"The study of geography is about more than just 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 all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together."
"John Hall, my geography teacher at school inspired me to a lifelong interest in geography and a curiosity about our world which has stayed with me through my life. Geography is a living, breathing subject, constantly adapting itself to change. It is dynamic and relevant. For me geography is a great adventure with a purpose."
What we believe:
At Hayton C of E Primary School, we are committed to providing a purposeful and empowering curriculum that fully prepares learners for the next steps in their school career and opens the doors to the wider world. Geography surrounds us and forms parts of our everyday life and through our geography curriculum we hope to broaden our pupil’s horizons by helping them to understand the community they live in, their interaction with the environment and the relationships between nations. Within geography, we wish to provoke curiosity through the use of enquiry-based learning to help deepen children’s understanding of the world around them.
Underpinning the curriculum at Hayton C of E Primary School are our ‘Curriculum Compass ‘ drivers which are:
Knowledge is our North: a knowledge-rich curriculum
As Hirsch writes, knowledge should be thought of as ‘mental Velcro’.
People who have lots of subject-specific knowledge find that new knowledge ‘sticks’ to it, helping them commit the new information to long-term memory. In the same vein, a lack of subject-specific knowledge can mean that new concepts slip past you or that you make mistakes. The outcome of this is completely predictable: those with more prior knowledge learn more than those with limited prior knowledge, and therefore the gap between these two groups widens.
In ‘The Schools We Need And Why We Don’t Have Them’, Hirsch describes this as the ‘Matthew Effect’, drawing on Matthew Chapter 25:
“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away”.
In her book, ‘7 Myths About Education’, Daisy Christodoulou states: “The difference between experts and novices is that experts have a huge body of background knowledge and processes stored in long-term memory, and that they have spent a huge amount of time practising using that knowledge and those processes. In most fields, it takes several years and thousands of hours to become an expert.”
Skills are our South: understanding our place in the world
Pupils will explore the relationship between place and identity through their units of study and begin to explore and compare different cultures and landscapes around the world. Investigating the human and physical features of different landscapes will help pupils to uncover how our world is ever-changing. Sustainability will need to be at the forefront of children’s thinking and ideas when reflecting on their place in the world and making connections across continents will develop children’s understanding of my place, your place, our place.
Excellence is our East : aspiring to achieve
Once children begin to contemplate their place in the world and how their actions influence man-made and natural aspects of the landscape, we aim to inspire children to achieve goals that will continue to make our lives sustainable and protect our planet. Through different skills taught and honed in their geography journey at Hayton C of E Primary School, we hope they are able to use them to drive their achievements and set aspirations for their future.
Worldliness is our West: broadening horizons
Geography gives children the perfect opportunity to explore and fall in love with the beauty of planet Earth. By participating in field studies of the local area and places further afield, children can develop an appreciation for both human and physical attributes locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. One day, we hope our pupils follow in the famous footsteps of explorers to broaden their horizons and consider their influence beyond Hayton.
A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help 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, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
How do we do it?
Our Hayton Geography 'Quest' Curriculum
Long Term Plan - History and Geography
At Hayton C of E Primary School we follow the National Curriculum for Geography while also taking into account the individual needs of learners across school. We place a high value on revisiting key knowledge and key concepts. Our knowledge organisers are a useful tool for class teachers, who are able to use these to guide their lessons and decide where they are revisiting and recalling prior learning. Therefore, at every stage of development, we are encouraging our children to reflect on their prior knowledge and understanding. As well as this, purposeful links are made across other subjects to ensure that the children’s knowledge is consolidated. We value the power of authentic experience; learning is brought to life AND given relevance and meaning. We therefore carefully map trips, excursions and in-school events across school, ensuring a balance of coastal, urban and rural experiences.
We have used the National Curriculum and the diverse needs of our learners and community to plan and deliver an exciting curriculum that is based around three key geographical concepts: climate, the UK and the wider world. We teach geography in a planned, coherent way which is sequenced logically, ensuring that children learn and remember a rich body of geographical knowledge and acquire progressive geographical skills. The topics are organised so that the knowledge and skills outlined within the programmes of study, revisit and consolidate learning and show progression across year groups. We provide a range of motivating experiences to engage our learners, including: interactive tasks within the classroom; outdoor learning in the school’s grounds; fieldwork trips in the local community and educational visits to urban, rural and coastal locations.
In Early Years, children develop their understanding of the world through practical, play based activities and rich stories. They make observations about their environment and explore how their natural world changes through the seasons. Children also use their knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and when appropriate, simple maps to explain some similarities and differences between their life and the lives of people in other countries.
In Key Stage 1, children learn about climate by studying their local weather and comparing it to the weather around the world. They develop their knowledge of the UK through local studies and a study of our country’s capital and they learn about the wider world by comparing distant locations such as Shanghai. Throughout all of their topics, children gain a knowledge, understanding and recall of continents, countries, capital cities, seas and oceans. They will experience geography in a way that is real to them by taking part in a range of fieldwork experiences such as using a weather station to keep a weather diary and using camera traps to find out what lives on our school grounds.
In Key Stage 2, the children delve deeper into the human and physical geography. Children will learn about geographical processes such as how mountains are formed, the journey of a river, the water cycle, erosion and deforestation. They will explore how the choices that they make impact these both locally and as part of the wider world. Key Stage 2 children develop their map reading skills through the use of a range of different map types and put this into practise when planning fieldwork in the community.
We aim to encourage all pupils to reach their full potential through the provision of varied and individually tailored activities and learning opportunities. We recognise that our 'Learning Quest Curriculum' approach, allows pupils to gain a progressively deeper understanding of, and competency in geography as they move through our school. Through our teaching of geography, we provide learning opportunities that match the needs of children with SEN (special educational needs) as for all individuals. As part of our assessment process we look at a range of factors, such as: classroom organisation, teaching materials, teaching styles and differentiation – so that we can take additional action or alter these factors to enable the child to learn more effectively. This ensures that our teaching is matched to the child’s needs. We enable pupils to have access to the full range of activities involved in learning geography where children are to participate in activities outside the classroom. For a visit to the coast or any type of fieldwork in geography for example, we would carry out a full risk assessment prior to the activity to ensure that the activity is safe, inclusive and appropriate for all pupils.
How do we know if we have had an impact?
Our children will develop a love for geography and a curiosity for the world around them. They will appreciate the importance of their role in society in order to create a sustainable world for future generations and the importance of preserving and celebrating diversity. We aspire for children to leave Hayton C of E Primary School being able to debate and discuss geographical issues and to be able to reflect and form their own opinions on matters such as climate change and natural disasters. We measure our impact based on pupils’ confidence to ask and explore questions to further their own geographical knowledge and understanding. They will be inquisitive young learners and citizens who choose to understand global environmental issues and seek to make a personal difference in protecting and shaping the world we share. In this way, we prepare our learners fully for transition to secondary school when they leave us. By the end of their primary education here at Hayton, our learners will have gained a rich body of geographical knowledge and a wide range of transferable skills, which they can apply to other subjects and contexts. They will have gained the geographical skillset and knowledge necessary in order to thrive at secondary school and beyond. We see this through talking with our children about their geography learning and what they can recall; we see this through the links our children make across topics and years groups when they talk speak about their understanding of a concept; we see this in our pupils’ wonderful work and we see this through the outstanding progress they make from their starting points with us.
We utilise spaced retrieval and low stakes quizzing, using practical opportunities, quizzes, discussions and presentations in order to build a rounded picture of the learning that has taken place. This enables teachers to appropriately challenge children in their thinking and learning. We aspire for children to leave Hayton C of E Primary School being able to debate and discuss geographical issues and to be able to reflect and form their own opinions on matters such as climate change and natural disasters. We measure our impact based on pupils’ confidence to ask and explore questions to further their own geographical knowledge and understanding. They will be inquisitive young learners and citizens who choose to understand global environmental issues and seek to make a personal difference in protecting and shaping the world we share. In this way, we prepare our learners fully for transition to secondary school when they leave Hayton C of E Primary School.