Geography Curriculum Statement of Intent
At Westwood we offer a high quality, engaging geography curriculum which is taught in context through our adventure approach to learning. The curriculum offer has been well mapped out in order to ensure progression of the 4 key geographical concepts across year groups and key stages.
The teaching of geography remains high profile across school with geography being a key driver for a number of adventures. While at Westwood children learn to become proud of their local community and the part they play in the diverse world around them. We will inspire pupils to become curious and fascinated about the world around them and the opportunities and possibilities this could bring them in their future.
Below outlines the progression through the 4 key geographical concepts at Westwood:
Locational Knowledge – In Early Years children begin to ask questions about where they live and become familiar with local landmarks. This is extended in Key Stage 1 where children travel to the 7 continents and through the 5 oceans giving them a sense of the world around them. Here children also build upon their understanding of where they live looking beyond Middleton and focus on the 4 countries that make up the United Kingdom and their capital cities. In Lower Key Stage their knowledge of countries within United Kingdom are recapped and build upon this knowledge by becoming aware of the different cities and regions throughout the U.K. In this key stage children also locate key European countries within their ‘Euromazing’ adventure. They also do a study of North American the ‘American Dream’ adventure. Through studying mountains (Ben Nevis), hills (Yorkshire Dales) and coasts (East coast of Yorkshire) the children identify their human and physical characteristics. In Upper Key Stage 2 children continue to develop their knowledge of key topographical features through their study of rivers around the world including The Thames, Nile (also covered in LKS2) and Ganges. In this key stage children locate some of the world’s countries including Russia, Nepal, Australia and Brazil. Whilst visiting Australia and Rio de Janeiro the children compare their physical and human characteristics and the impact of human activity in both of these areas. Children also drawn upon their map skills by locating countries based on lines of longitude and latitude and consider time zones, tropics and hemispheres.
Place knowledge – In Early Years we ensure children become familiar with their local environment and where they live (Middleton). This is built upon in Key Stage 1 where children are able to study the similarities and differences between a UK city (Leeds) and India (Delhi). In Lower Key Stage 2 the
children’s prior understanding is drawn upon when comparing and contrasting the UK (Leeds and London) with a region within a European country (Amsterdam). In Upper Key Stage 2 children build upon their place knowledge by studying the wider world around them, in particular a region within South America (Rio and the Amazon).
Human and Physical – Within Early Years the children explore the natural world and develop an interest in physical changes (seasons) which take place in their local environment. Children in Key stage 1 build upon this knowledge by identifying seasonal and daily weather patterns of the U.K. as well as locating hot and cold areas of the world such as Antarctica and Africa. During this key stage children’s geographical vocabulary is extended in relation to human and physical features. In Lower Key Stage 2 children develop a deeper understanding of the vocabulary learnt in Key Stage 1 regarding mountains, volcanoes, the water cycle, types of settlement and land use and economic activity including trade links. In Upper Key Stage 2 children study volcanoes, earthquakes and rivers. Through the learning adventure’ Rio v Rainforests and ‘River Rescue’ children learn about natural resources, climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts with the Amazon and worldwide.
Geographical Skills and Fieldwork – The Early Years children develop an early interest in nature in their local environment such as where insects are found. In Key Stage 1 the children build upon this knowledge by using simple fieldwork and observational sills to help them when devising simple maps of their local area within their ‘Space Rescue’ adventure. They also begin to use compass directions and locational and directional language when finding hidden treasure in their ‘Shiver Me timbers’ adventure. By using maps, atlases and globes children begin to have an understanding of where countries of the UK and continents and oceans of the world are located. Skills are continued to be built upon when children in Lower Key Stage 2 use atlases and globes to assist them in locating different locations studied such as countries within the UK and Europe, North America and mountain ranges across the world. The children use eight points of a compass and four and six-figure grid references to help them locate and describe where the missing LEGO piece is in their ‘LEGO solve a mystery’ adventure. In Upper Key Stage 2, the children continue to develop their use of maps, atlases and computer mapping to locate the countries they are learning about and focus on key geographical features about e.g. climate zones, biomes, vegetation belts, human and physical features, time zones, the position of countries and key rivers. On their residential to Ingleborough, children use maps and compasses to navigate a walk up Norber Hill. They learn about the symbols found in a key of a map. On their around the world adventure, children locate key countries around the world noting their grid references from a map.
Wherever possible, our geography curriculum is enhanced by trips, visitors and residentials as this provides the real life experiences needed for our children and helps bring the curriculum to life. As geography is a key driver for a number of adventures children have the opportunity to consolidate their learning within geography through a number of subjects. This allows key vocabulary to be referred to regularly which in turn supports children’s retention and allows them to apply their geographical knowledge in a range of ways leading to a deeper understanding of the subject. They also understand the importance of their actions and the part they play in the diverse wider world around them.