Welcome to Geography at Chesswood
Geography is all about exploring the world and all its wonders. At Chesswood, we begin by exploring the world on our doorstop before venturing further afield to explore the human and physical geography of a variety of places. It's currently an exciting time for Geography at Chesswood, as under the leadership of Mrs Hamilton and Miss Varley, we are creating a bespoke curriculum that inspires the children to think about Geography in a real world context.
“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. So many of the world's current issues – at a global scale and locally - boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them.”
Our vision for Geography at Chesswood Junior School is to inspire a lifelong interest in geography and a curiosity about our world which will stay with pupils through their lives. We aim to help to create informed and active future citizens with an understanding of how their lives are connected to others, are both shaped by, and affect the environments they inhabit, so that they are able to make responsible choices for the future.
In line with the whole school curriculum policy, the following drivers and principles underpin everything we do in Geography.
Life Opportunities Creativity, Confidence, Competence
Real & Relevant
Life skills are key to Geography at Chesswood. ‘Aspirations’ is a key concept that runs throughout all units of Geography, linking the knowledge learnt to potential future careers in the field. Children should have the opportunity to meet people who are working in Geography-based careers and units should be planned so that they take on that role throughout the unit.
Knowledge taught is also linked to the essential skills relevant to becoming educated citizens; each unit is linked to ‘sustainability’ so that children understand the impact of human and physical geography on the environment and the potential solutions needed to address this in the modern world.
Children will have the opportunity to take part in extracurricular activities, which will develop their leadership skills within the field, i.e. becoming an ‘Eco Spark’.
Creativity Confidence Competence
The Geography curriculum at Chesswood seeks to develop creative and critical thinking within the subject by firstly embedding confidence and competence. By sequencing progression through the school pupils build upon prior knowledge and skills, frequently revisiting previous learning and building upon it. The key knowledge and skills are kept to the most important and relevant, allowing pupils to form a solid basis in the different areas of the subject.
Pupils will learn about their local area, its position within the South East of England and the UK, and further afield into Europe and the rest of the world. They will learn about the physical and human features that make their area unique and then begin to compare their area, with other areas of the world.
Skills will be taught both as a unit on their own, but also within topics so that they can be used and embedded, again through sequenced planning throughout the four years.
Geography is varied in time between year groups, with more time being spent on the subject in the upper key stage. Children will focus on locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, and geographical skills and fieldwork will run throughout these as appropriate. Through our concepts of aspirations, sense of place and sustainability, children will develop an awareness of how people connect to different areas and a sense of collective responsibility for the future of our planet. Their intellectual, spiritual, moral and emotional development will be promoted and will link to other curriculum areas.
The National Curriculum areas of Locational Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography and Geographical Skills and Fieldwork is coherently planned and taught through a spiral curriculum. Focus at Chesswood is on the knowledge, skills, concepts and vocabulary, with clarity on what getting better at the subject means. Pupils will start their learning journey as pioneers, moving to voyagers as they become experts.
Real and Relevant
Geography is everywhere, in our everyday lives, on our journeys to school, in the places we live. It therefore offers many opportunities for children of all ages to experience learning beyond the classroom. This allows them to enrich their knowledge by, for example, visiting places they may not normally consider, places of geographical interest or conducting geographical surveys within the local area to gain relevant information that will contribute to the learning journey.
By using the concept of “aspirations” we can introduce pupils to how and when geographical skills and knowledge is used within the wider world, and the importance of these skills in making decisions for the future of our planet – both on a local and on an international scale.
The Geography curriculum at Chesswood is knowledge rich, introducing the essential knowledge pupils need to be educated citizens. Knowledge has been sequenced effectively, to ensure that children have a good understanding of core locational and place knowledge, that they have a clear and well-thought-out foundation in the features and processes involved in physical and human geography which can be built on throughout the four years at Chesswood and beyond. Skills is taught both separately and in conjunction with the knowledge to enable them to be embedded and able to be applied. Core knowledge and skills are specified in detail and laid out in knowledge organisers, including vocabulary.
The Geography curriculum seeks to introduce children to the location of globally significant places, their physical and human characteristics and their interdependence, as well as the skills which will enable them to collect, analyse, communicate information through fieldwork. Units are chosen specifically to stretch children’s knowledge and skills development, with a key focus on core technical vocabulary and understanding.
At Chesswood, the Geography curriculum has been developed to enhance a child’s awareness of their own abilities and strengths as a learner, thus ensuring that children see learning in Geography as an on-going process not a one-off event. It seeks to introduce children to the most globally significant places – both in physical and in human features, inspiring discoveries and those who are behind them, linking to key individuals historically and currently.
High expectations have been set through the Geography curriculum for each and every student, including stretching work for those whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard and providing pupils with support, who have low levels of prior attainment or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The curriculum has been designed to give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
A key aspect of inclusion in Geography is developing empathy, which is modelled by teaching staff at Chesswood. Geography is about the world around us – the natural and human features but also the people who interact with these places. It therefore is a natural opportunity for us to develop empathy as we learn about how people’s lives can be affected by where they live.
Through the concept of “aspirations,” pupils will have the opportunity to meet people who are working in Geography-based careers. Care is taken within the Geography curriculum to ensure that both male and females are represented to ensure girls are aware that Geography based careers does not necessarily mean joining a male-dominated world.
geography long term plan