"The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together."
Intent - What Do We Aspire For Our Children?
Our Curriculum Intent for Geography
At Cuddington Primary School our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills. We aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our curriculum will equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources, and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of our planet’s key physical and human processes.
The aims of teaching geography in our school are:
- To enable children to know about the location of the world’s continents, countries, cities, seas and oceans.
- To give a particular focus to the study of local geography to enable children to understand and appreciate their locality.
- To develop the skills of interpreting a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems.
- To help children understand how the human and physical features of a place can change over time.
- To enable children to progressively develop their geographical skills (including fieldwork) throughout their school journey.
Our Whole School Geography Road Map
Implementation - How Will We Deliver the Curriculum?
Knowledge at the Heart of the Curriculum
At Cuddington, we provide a high-quality history curriculum that has been carefully designed and sequenced to equip our children with a secure, coherent knowledge geographical knowledge of their locality, Britain and the wider world. Learning starts in Reception with children learning about their personal geography and developing an understanding of the school grounds and important location beyond the school gates (such as the local church, playground and woodland). In Key Stage 1, children explore their local communities and develop an understanding of the physical and human features, and how land is used in different ways. The Northwich area is surrounded by a network of waterways, with this in mind children learn about rivers, canals and bodies of water by exploring those that they live in close proximity to. Building on this, children in Key Stage 2 look at how the local geography has been changed by salt mining and by the building of the Weaver navigation.
Linking Curriculum and Pedagogy
We have developed our pedagogy and curriculum to teach memorably and make learning stick. At the heart of our approach is retrieval practice. Retrieval practice involves deliberately recalling knowledge from memory to enhance learning. Each time a memory is retrieved, it is strengthened and less likely to be forgotten. If we wish our curriculum to build over time, then we need to teach in a way that makes knowledge ‘stick’. retrieval practice is a staple classroom strategy used to ensure children are regularly recalling and reviewing previously taught concepts to ensure they are not forgotten and thus can be built upon. Furthermore, geography units are closely linked to history units so children can make meaningful connection between subject disciplines. For example, Year 4 children in geography learn about how the Salt Industry has changed our local landscape. This concept is then developed in Year 5 when children learn the history of the salt mining industry.
Teaching Geography Through Narrative
Humans are a storytelling species. Stories are ‘psychologically privileged’ in the way our memory treats them. If we encounter new knowledge within a narrative, we are more likely to retain that knowledge. When possible history units of work will be delivered through high-quality texts or taught alongside thematically linked texts during English lessons. For example, when studying 'Historic Explorers' in Year 6, children will 'Shackleton's Journey' by William Grill. Similarly, when exploring biomes in Year 4 children will read 'Wild World' by Angela McAllister.
Reading Across the Curriculum
In order to develop children's reading skills, our teaching staff plan opportunities for children to independently read age-appropriate texts that link to the geography topic being studied. We have invested heavily in supporting our geography topics with Collins Big Cat titles that enrich our wider curriculum.
Impact - How Do We Know Our Geography Curriculum is Effective?
Our curriculum ethos is that children produce fewer pieces of work that are of high quality. Often, a piece of work will take several weeks to complete and may incorporate learning from other areas of learning. We believe that if children have become knowledgeable and skilful geographers, then they will be able to articulate their understanding with confidence. This is why pupil voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress.
We believe that beautiful work takes time. Therefore, children take longer on fewer pieces of work to ensure they can deepen their knowledge and refine their work, taking time to redraft where needed. Below are some examples of our children's high-quality geography work.