At Coppetts Wood we want our children to develop a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, broadening their horizons whilst also drawing on their own experiences. We want to equip our children with knowledge and understanding of places, people and natural and human environments and an understanding of the earth’s key physical and human processes. We want them to make sense of, and have an interest in, their surroundings, both near and far, and over their time with us they will study both the local area and further afield. We also want children to be able to draw and interpret maps and develop their skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem solving. We want our children to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future and begin to comprehend how their actions now, could affect the health of our planet in the future.
Geography is taught throughout the year, usually in termly blocks. Each year group has their own Curriculum map which identifies the geography topics that need to be covered across the year. Teachers use their year group objectives to link with their geography ‘topic’. These objectives are then highlighted off once they have been covered. ‘Facts Week’ is taught at the beginning of each term. This is where children get the opportunity to learn key geographical facts, e.g. European geographical features and the capital cities of the UK.
At Coppetts Wood we use an enquiry based approach to our teaching in Geography. An enquiry approach puts an emphasis on questions and encourages curiosity. At the start of a unit, instead of identifying the end-points of learning, the enquiry approach identifies the starting point: a question to frame what is being studied. It is important that the big questions become the children’s own which provokes curiosity, possibly by setting up some puzzling situation or problem, or through a stimulus. The enquiry based approach is integrated as much as possible into a given unit, to cover the specific knowledge, skills and understanding determined by the use of the enquiry based ‘sandwich approach’. It can be taught as a ‘stand-alone’ lesson or as a ‘project’ based piece of learning. There is a resource box for each unit kept in a central store. We also keep a collection of maps in the library area. Appropriate atlases and globes are found in most classrooms. We also subscribe to ‘planbee.com’ and have the lesson plans saved in our shared area, under specific year groups.
ImpactChildren demonstrate their ability in geography in a variety of ways including discussions, written work and PowerPoint presentations based on their enquiry investigations. Children’s work is evident in their topic books as well as photos from fieldwork, trips and assemblies saved in the shared area. All children should have a Facts Week folder where map work, etc. is kept. At the end of a unit, teachers note those children significantly above or below expectations and any areas of strength or areas to be addressed for the class as a whole in the next geography unit. Subject leader ‘Book looks’ throughout the year help to give a whole school overview of Geography teaching and learning, enabling us to monitor attainment, progression and consistency throughout the school. The subject leader also keeps a portfolio of work showing coverage and progression.