Curriculum & Assessment
Geography at Stillness
At Stillness Juniors, we believe that Geography helps to provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. This leads to our children being curious about the world around them and their place in it. Our Geography curriculum enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas, which can and are used to promote their fascination to investigate different places, environments, and human cultures.
Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts from being familiar with their local area to understanding their impact on the globe. The curriculum is designed to ensure that teaching equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress through the school, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge and skills are progressive and are sequenced to provide the framework and approaches that provide explanation of how the Earth’s features are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
We aspire to develop inquisitive, creative learners who question the world around them and develop a sense of responsibility towards our planet. Our vision is that these skills will remain with them for the rest of their lives, equipping them well for further education and beyond.
To implement the approach outlined above, Stillness Juniors make use of the Cornerstones Curriculum for learning in this area of the curriculum. The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped out to the 2014 Primary National Curriculum. It ensures coverage and progression of a broad range of skills and knowledge.
Geography at Stillness is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic, and these are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, as part of the KWL strategy (what I Know, What I would like to know and what I have Learned). This ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice, incorporating children’s interests. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenges to all learners and to develop independent working and confidence, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the children and rigorously checked by the teacher.
Topic Knowledge Organisers underpin children’s understanding of subject specific language, remind children of previous knowledge, and provide visual and summative information on key knowledge to be learned. They support children in engaging in independent tasks. These are placed in books and are used as a reference point when needed. In addition, they are made available to parents to support pre-teaching and learning at home.
Lessons are planned to promote different levels of learning. Questioning is used to promote different levels of thinking (evaluative, creative, and innovative) and prompt retrieval in children, encouraging them to extend their own knowledge.
Cross curricular outcomes in geography are being planned. The geography provision is also well resourced to support high quality teaching and learning.
In addition, we aim to utilise the local area, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Each unit is enriched with school visits, special curriculum days and we also proactively look for opportunities to welcome parents and carers to take part in children’s learning and experiences.
To provide evidence which shows children’s attainment of a broad and progressive curriculum, relating to each of the identified national curriculum strands, locational knowledge, place knowledge and human and physical geography. This is in addition to the development and application of key skills, supported by fieldwork.
As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deeper knowledge of the local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Children learn about careers related to geography from members of the local and wider community and develop specialist skills and knowledge to ensure that they are well prepared for the next steps of their education.