The study of Geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world.’ Barack Obama
At Burrington Primary School, we are passionate about Geography!
To young children, the world is an exciting and interesting place. They are naturally inquisitive and ask questions about the world around them. Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspect of our world.
Our children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The Geography curriculum at Burrington enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which are also used to promote and strengthen their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, strong focus is placed on empowering the children to be able to achieve this by building and encouraging the key analytical skills that enable them to observe, hypothesise. process and interpret information, and build their own evidence-based conclusions.
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. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, both throughout their time at Burrington and also in their further education and beyond.
Geography at Burrington is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. While Geography National Curriculum sets out core knowledge, Burrington seeks to enrich this through the use of a skills-based enquiry approach where children are encouraged to explore, observe, problem-solve, predict, think critically, and talk about their natural and man-made environment with confidence.
Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each blocked topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. Due to mixed classes, Burrington use a rolling two-year curriculum cycle.
At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out (Learning without Limits pedagogy). This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion and equality.
Where possible, cross-curricular outcomes in Geography are specifically planned for, and utilised, in order to contextualise and embed learning. For example: Extreme Earth Topic linked to English Writing, PSHE (how to deal with natural disasters), Science and Maths in Year 5/6 and Rainforests Topic linked poetry and stories in Year 3/4 about animals, plants, weather, etc.
Global Goals is a key area of enquiry as it stimulates children to think and provide answers to the great challenges facing humankind in the 21st Century, i.e. – climate change, water security, destruction of ecosystems, development, trade and foreign aid.
Weekly Forest School sessions in KS1 are a powerful opportunity for outdoor learning where children engage in a range of practical activities in which they learn about nature and the environment.
Burrington is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), at the foothills of the Mendips. We aim to use this tremendous outdoor resource for a range of purposes, several times a year, such as: orienteering, geographical study (rocks or plants) or data capturing. We also take trips to Weston-super-Mare, Bristol and London to compare and contrast rural vs urban, local vs national.
We also recognise opportunities for Geography teaching to be greatly enriched by including and making use of current news items that are relevant to the learning of the subject.
There is no statutory teacher assessment in KS1 and KS2 for Geography. However, teachers will assess children’s security of acquisition. Teachers allow for assessment to be made during the course of a Geography lesson using discussion, question and answer techniques, and in encouraging pupils to communicate findings to others. Children will be consulted using feedback on their own understanding whilst learning is taking place. By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply, understand and have gained the skills specified in that key stage for the four areas of study (Locational and Place knowledge, Human and Physical History, History Skills and Fieldwork).
Teachers will develop further challenges to encourage firm acquisition of the curriculum, such as low-stake quizzes, whole-class presentations, end of topic homework, etc. Teacher’s professional judgements and the citing of examples of children’s work and performance in class will provide a basis for deciding if a child is emerging or has mastered an area of the curriculum. Outcomes in topic and English books are also considered as evidence in KS1/KS2, while photos are used for EYFS and Nursery.
At the end of each topic, children review their KWL document and complete the ‘what we have learnt’ section. They also find the answers to any incomplete questions that have not been covered. KS2 children review their topic-specific 'knowledge organisers' throughout the term as a working resource and at the end of term, they are quizzed using this resource as a form of assessing 'what they know'. In addition, Year 5/6 children write an essay of what they have learnt. These essays are collated into booklets and given to each child when they leave the school.
Child-led, end of term ‘museum’ days are created and presented, to which the whole school, parents and the wider community, e.g. St Monica’s residential home, are invited. These are an opportunity for children to be able to demonstrate their learning in a variety of forms, such as drama, writing, games, displays of maps, booklets, art and DT work, etc.
At Burrington, we plan termly topic WOW days to inspire children and engage them with the subject. Not only do WOW days enable children to develop their Geography skills and knowledge, but also allow them to have fun whilst learning in a different way! These may take the form of workshops, trips to museums, acting workshops, dress up days, etc.
Burrington also encourage visits by individuals and organisations that can provide enrichment to support core curriculum topics and inspire the children’s imagination, such as authors, Farmlink, and members of the public, e.g. Mr Hanson who presented his South American photos to demonstrate volcanic activity.
We also plan numerous school trips to explore our local area, such as: Mendip Hills, North Somerset Countryside Day, Weston-super-Mare (coastal), Farmlink – local farm, etc. All UKS2 children visit London where they either visit the Natural History or Science Museum.
Evidence of Work
Wow Day Write up