Geography curriculum

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At Dartford Primary Academy, we teach the English National Curriculum and deliver this through the philosophy of the International Baccalaureate (IB) as a framework to provide our children with the tools they need to succeed in life. We have selected clear end points, in line with the National Curriculum and Development Matters, that we want all children to achieve. The essential knowledge and skills needed to reach these end points have been mapped to build sequentially through engaging IB inquiries throughout the school. These inspire curiosity and a fascination with the world around us, creating enthusiastic geographers and addressing social disadvantage. Through the study of geography, learners will develop a strong sense of place and scale, allowing every child, regardless of need or background, to acquire the knowledge and skills to become globally-aware citizens. A gradually increasing understanding of the processes of human and physical geography, and their interconnected nature, encourages pupils to participate actively in their community and contribute to solving geographical issues. The study of geographical issues supports the emotional and ethical development of pupils, while also allowing them to solve problems and show creativity and resourcefulness. Pupils will build up a bank of contextualised location knowledge which will be used throughout life and which helps to address typical gaps in our pupils’ knowledge. In addition to this, pupils acquire the geographical and map skills needed to investigate places around the world. Fieldwork is used, with increasing independence through the school, to encourage enquiry, expose children to unfamiliar environments and allow them to apply geographical concepts, knowledge and skills to their local area. The skills, knowledge and cultural capital, nurtured through their time at Dartford Primary Academy, will set pupils up to take advantage of opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in later life.

At Dartford Primary Academy, geography is taught through transdisciplinary inquiries as part of the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). Our key focus documents outline the progression in geography knowledge and skills throughout the school, with specific locational knowledge, map, fieldwork and enquiry skills set out for each year group. In EYFS and KS1, pupils develop contextual knowledge of their local area, the continents, Britain and some key case studies which provide strong building blocks for the rest of their geography learning. Each KS2 year group explores at least one geographical process in depth, ensuring that the full breadth of the National Curriculum is taught across the school. The topics are arranged to allow pupils to build upon their knowledge and skills from previous years and to create links with this and knowledge and skills from other subjects. Lessons are engaging and ensure that concepts are embedded in long term memory. Each year group undertakes at least one fieldwork project, using progressively more advanced skills for geographical enquiry, allowing pupils to explore topics in depth and apply their knowledge and skills fluently. In addition to this, whole school environmental focus days, with clearly mapped progression in the skills and knowledge taught, allow for additional cultural capital opportunities and help the children to explore their responsibilities in a changing world.

We ensure the teachers have expert knowledge of the primary curriculum through CPD opportunities. Teachers also adapt their lessons to ensure that all pupils are able to access their learning, including those with SEND. We provide challenges that encourage our pupils to embrace and understand the connections between what they learn in lessons and the real world, in order to become critical and reflective thinkers. Incidental geography teaching in other subject lessons is also utilised to further embed pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the world. Learning is assessed through the use of ongoing assessment and the use of frequent low stakes assessment tasks. This allows teachers to check pupils’ understanding and to identify and correct misconceptions, while also embedding the pupils’ knowledge and helping them to use this knowledge fluently.

The children’s outcomes in geography will evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Children will also be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding through rich discussions and feedback in the classroom. At Dartford Primary Academy, we use teachers’ assessment, assessment tasks and effective real time feedback to ensure all pupils progress. As children progress through our ambitious, sequential curriculum, they know more, remember more and are able to do more as a result. We ensure that all of our children, regardless of disadvantage or SEND, have embedded the knowledge, skills and cultural capital that they need to be successful members of society. The end points listed below ensure that children are prepared with the skills and knowledge needed for future geography education, employment in a wide variety of sectors and to be responsible citizens in a changing world.

By the time children leave Dartford Primary Academy they will:

  • Have a general knowledge of the world map and a detailed knowledge of the countries and major cities of Europe, North and South America and their main features.
  • Have an excellent understanding of the main human and physical processes and features and how they are interconnected.
  • Have an extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
  • Be fluent in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.
  • Be proficient in the fundamental skills of fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques, including basic GIS.
  • Be proficient in the use of OS maps.
  • Have a passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
  • Have the ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment
  • Be aware of their own impact on the planet and make environmentally conscious choices