“Geography is, in the broadest sense, an education for life and for living. Learning through geography – whether gained through formal learning or experientially through travel, fieldwork and expeditions – helps us all to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, better informed, and more responsible as citizens and employees.” Royal Geographical Society
At Durham Gilesgate Primary, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The geography curriculum at our school enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops and understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
This is fundamental at a time in human history where global warming, population growth and diminishing natural resources present humanity with issues that only be solved with a global approach.
The curriculum organisation of Geography at Durham Gilesgate Primary is through teaching in half term blocks, one each term, across the year; so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills for each blocked topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group
and then between each year group across the school. Thus the curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable.
Geography as a humanities subject is underpinned by our curriculum drivers and thematic planning is used to incorporate these driver’s alongside our geography topics. The Royal Geographic Society recognises that one part of Geography is about, “Understanding the causes of differences and inequalities between places and social groups…” Our ‘values’ driver ensures that children can discuss and learn about and explore the complex issues of inequality in a geographical context. Similarly through links to Earth Science experts at Durham University and through our driver ‘heritage and opportunity’ we can provide children with opportunities to become enthused about Geography. The local and regional area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom (fieldwork) embedded in practice.
Transferring skills from core subjects is an important part of our implementation and meaningful opportunities to write as a geographer sit alongside our progression of skills so that the children produce substantial work which mirrors their developing knowledge. We have also identified subject specific (tier 3) vocabulary that we will introduce and which children will learn and use in their spoken and written language. Similarly, children will use their maths knowledge when conducting field studies.
When planning sequences of lessons and field studies, careful consideration is given to how all learners are supported and included in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
We expect that the majority of children will achieve at age related standards in geography at the end of each year. We recognise that some children may not achieve this standard but we will expect that they have made good progress from their starting point. We also recognise that some other children will exceed age related standards and we will have deepened learning for these children. Outcomes in books, evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context.
Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is supported. Children are able to learn about careers related to geography from member of the local and wider community with specialist skills and knowledge, ensuring that they are well prepared for the next steps of their education.