“The study of geography is more than just about memorising 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 that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.”
Barrack Obama (President of USA, 2009-2017)
At Milton St John’s C.E. Primary School, we aim to develop pupils’ interest in both their own surroundings and in the variety of physical and human conditions in the wider world. Geography should provide an interesting and exciting way for pupils to engage with both their local area and fascinating aspects of the world we live in.
Through high quality teaching, we develop the following essential characteristics of geographers:
- A good knowledge of where places are and what they are like, both in Britain and the wider world;
- A comprehensive understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected;
- An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary;
- Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills, as well as effective presentation techniques;
- The ability to reach clear conclusions and explain their findings;
- Excellent fieldwork skills as well as other geographical aptitudes and techniques;
- The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current issues in society and the environment;
- A genuine interest in the subject and a real sense of curiosity about the world and the people who live here.
Our curriculum drivers underpin all we do and are an essential part of our learning. The drivers help our pupils to ‘RISE’ up and play a vital role in their community; locally, nationally and globally. They are listed below:
- Respect for the opinions and beliefs of others
- Independence & Resilience
- Engagement & Curiosity
At Milton St John’s we shape our geography curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills.
Our geography curriculum is designed to develop the pupils’ curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Pupils investigate a range of places – both in Britain and abroad – to help develop their knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. We are committed to providing pupils with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area of Mossley and nearest city of Manchester so that they can develop a real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special.
We believe it is important to provide our pupils with the opportunities to use a range of investigative and problem-solving skills, both in and outside the classroom, to develop a deep understanding of geography. Geography also has an important link to our eco themes by providing opportunities for pupils to develop their understanding and resolving issues about the environment and sustainable development.
In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Starting with the early Years Foundation Stage who lay the foundations using the guidance from the ‘Development Matters’, which aims for all children in Nursery and Reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’. This is followed by Key Stage One exploring and investigating the local area and the United Kingdom and contrasting it with another country. Building on from these skills, the pupils in Key Stage Two start to learn about the wider area e.g. Manchester and different physical processes that effect the Earth. By the end of Year Six we have confident and well-rounded geographers who can use the skills they have learnt to read maps, investigate different countries and physical processes. Year Six pupils will leave Milton St John’s as responsible citizens with a set of core values.
At Milton St John’s geography is taught in a combination of blocks throughout the year. This is so that pupils can achieve depth in their learning. Cross curricular outcomes in geography are specifically planned for, with strong links between geography and morning literacy lessons identified, planned for and utilised such as stories in different settings. The local area is utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice.
At the beginning of each topic, pupils convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of the pupils’ different starting points. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge.
The impact of how geography is taught at Milton St John’s is that each pupil will be equipped with geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. We want the pupils to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about geography, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.
Outcomes in the pupils’ geography books evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrates their acquisition of identified key knowledge and skills. Our curriculum will mean that each pupil will be able to compare their knowledge at the start of a geographical topic with their knowledge at the end to show progress. Pupils will have the skills to reflect on geographical knowledge, make comparisons between different places, both locally and world-wide, and use their knowledge and geographical vocabulary to support opinions and reasoning. They will have developed resilience and curiosity about the world around them and will show respect and understanding of all the different cultures studied.