Geography is an integral part of our provision and ethos at Lakey Lane. It is firmly placed within the context of our aims, visions and values as a school – Aspiration, Citizenship and Equality. Geography is encompassed in our curriculum’s aspirations and expectations of driving and achieving high standards, making progress, engagement, enquiry and diversity. Geography is used to develop the children’s creativity, curiosity and awareness of the world around them. We celebrate their achievements throughout the school environment and ensure that their experiences of geography are enriched by developing children’s natural curiosity about the world around them, within their local environment and places further afield. Children are encouraged to ask questions, use maps, and acquire geographical vocabulary and fieldwork skills in order to develop their knowledge of place, location, and human and physical geography.
We aim to deliver our curriculum through 3 key drivers which underpin our children’s learning.
Aspiration - Our geography curriculum allows children to ‘think like a geographer’, to deepen their understanding and explore their natural curiosity of our world. We believe children should be given a variety of enriching opportunities to explore, understand and be proud of where they live and the diverse community they are part of. At Lakey Lane, we strive to give children the experiences to appreciate, seek enjoyment and learn about our world. We offer children the opportunities to learn about aspirational explorers and communities around the world – both past and present - in order to inspire their curiosities as geographers. They are taught to be aspirational, ambitious and responsible citizens of our local community, our city of Birmingham, Great Britain and the wider world.
Citizenship - Our geography curriculum develops children’s ability to understand their role as an individual, living in one of the most diverse cities in the world. They are given many opportunities to appreciate, embrace and celebrate all cultures - both locally, nationally and internationally. Children know that they play an integral role as a citizen of Hall Green, Birmingham and Great Britain. They know that they have a responsibility and duty to understand and deliver British values and be proud to be part of our diverse, wonderful world.
Equality - Our geography curriculum teaches children that everyone is treated in a non-judgemental manner, regardless of where in the world they were born or where they live. Children are taught to embrace, respect and celebrate a multitude of cultures, values, traditions and beliefs of communities from around the world and to always be respectful of the world in which they live in and the people who live in it.
Lakey Lane Geography Intent based on our 6 school values.
Ambition – ‘To strive to be ambitious citizens of the world and to develop a sense of pride of where they come from, where they live and how they conduct their lives. To have high aspirations as individuals, be the best citizens they can and to have a positive impact on the area we live in, our city of Birmingham, Great Britain and the wider world.’
Self-belief – ‘To know that they are an important part of our local and wider community. Children will be given opportunities to explore the values of our world and the diverse communities, cultures and traditions they have to offer. To know that they play an integral role as a citizen in Great Britain and to be proud of this.’
Community – ‘To develop our children’s awareness and appreciation of our local and wider community. Children will be given opportunities to explore, help build new initiatives and be proud to be part of Hall Green, Birmingham, Britain and the wider world.’
Respect – ‘To show an appreciation of our local environment and to value the place we live in. Children will understand and compare areas in the wider world and discuss how we can make our world a better place. To learn about and understand they play an important role in climate change and that their choices matter. Change starts with them, they can make a difference!’
Curiosity – Children are encouraged to develop their natural curiosity and fascination about our world. They will develop their enquiry skills as geographers and ask questions about the world they live in. They will be taught to ‘think like a geographer’ and experience a variety of enrichment opportunities which allow them to fulfil their curiosity.
Kindness – To care about our school, our local area, the city we live in and show an understanding and appreciation of British Values. To look after the place we live in and show kindness and care to human and physical features we share and more importantly – the animals and people we share them with.
Our Geography curriculum promotes a love and respect of the world around us, encourages children to develop their curiosity about our planet and is planned to demonstrate progression.
We focus on progression of knowledge, skills and vocabulary whilst developing a curiosity about our world and strive to promote the culture of others.
The main areas of geography taught are through the National Curriculum areas of:
- Place knowledge
- Locational knowledge
- Human and physical features
- Fieldwork skills
Our curriculum strives to ensure that all children learn to show a love, appreciation and respect for our local area and community, our country (linked to British Values), our continent and the wider world. Our projects also develop children’s understanding of the impact of climate change and the part that we all play in it.
To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Geography, at Lakey we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. It builds upon prior knowledge and develops the children’s geographical knowledge and skills as they move through the school. Teachers have access to knowledge organisers to inform the knowledge, skills and vocabulary the children will require for each project. These are shared with parents at the start of each project and displayed in Geography books for children to refer to.
At Lakey Lane Primary School our geography curriculum is planned in line with the knowledge and skills outlined in the National Curriculum. In each year group, children will study two projects across the school year. These are referred to as driver projects as links are made between other curriculum subjects.
There are links between the Geography driver projects and History and Art units to make learning more engaging and purposeful. For example, in year 6 the driver project ‘Polar Kingdoms’ is linked with the Art and D&T projects ‘Inuit Art and Environmental sculptures’.
In Early Years geographical learning is woven into continuous provision with a half termly focus following the subject overviews. In Key Stage 1, when Geography is the driver project, a two hour weekly lesson is taught. In Key Stage 2, when Geography is the driver project, a weekly lesson of one hour 40 minutes is taught.
Each classroom has an appropriate selection of key geographical vocabulary displayed to reinforce new knowledge being covered. A range of appropriate fiction and non-fiction texts are available in book corners and each class will display a timeline. Literacy group and whole class texts and novels are linked to the projects where possible.
Written work is recorded in work books with some photographic evidence to demonstrate when children have taken part in a practical lesson. For example, minibeast hunts in forest school and river fieldwork skills when year 4 go to the river Cole.
Prior learning is reviewed and reinforced during ‘ticking over’ sessions at the start of each lesson and at the beginning of each project an introductory knowledge session is used to assess children’s current understanding. The needs of all pupils are carefully considered in the planning stage and lessons adapted accordingly.
For each unit of work there is a corresponding knowledge organiser which children are familiarised with at the start of the teaching, it is referred to throughout the unit and also gets put onto the website and gets sent home. The knowledge organiser details unit expectations, skills to develop, key vocab and grammar that will be taught, prior learning and phonics and pronunciation foci.
Children will have the opportunity to engage and participate in activities through the use of visitors, experiences and educational trips. Currently year 2 visit Weston-Super-Mare as part of their ‘On the Beach’ project. Year 4 have taken part in visit to the local river (River Cole) to develop their fieldwork skills as part of their ‘Misty Mountain, winding rivers’ project. Year 5 have taken part in visit to the local allotments as part of their ‘Sow, grow and farm’ project. Year 6 take part in a residential trip at Peckwood in Alvechurch to develop their geographical fieldwork and Science skills. Most year groups also have the opportunity to develop their fieldwork skills in our forest school which is linked to their projects and they complete a range of data collection and analysis in the local area.
Pupil learning and progression is identified in the end of project assessments. This enables teachers to put in place any intervention needed to address areas that require attention. Lessons are adapted throughout the teaching sequence based on lesson to lesson assessment for learning.
Breakdown of the Curriculum
In Nursery, the children initially look at Lakey Lane Primary School to develop a sense and understanding of community. They look at maps of the school and the local area, before conducting field work in Hall Green. In Reception, the children use their knowledge of Hall Green and move further to explore the city Centre of Birmingham. They develop an understanding of a city and learn about the key landmarks in Birmingham.
In Key Stage 1, each autumn term begins with essential skills and knowledge projects (Our Wonderful World in
Year 1 and Let’s Explore the World in Year 2). Teaching these projects in Years 1 and 2 enables children to be introduced to, or revisit, critical geographical concepts, aspects, skills and knowledge. These projects prepare children for the study of more thematic geography projects in the following term. In the spring term of Year 1, children study the project Bright Lights, Big City. This project introduces children to the geography of urban environments and the physical and human features of the United Kingdom. In contrast, in the summer term of Year 2, children carry out a detailed study of coastal geography in the project Coastline. This project introduces children to the geography of coastal environments and provides children with the opportunity for in-depth coastal fieldwork and a trip to Weston.
In Lower Key Stage 2, children begin with essential skills and knowledge projects (One Planet, Our World in Year 3 and Interconnected World in Year 4). Teaching these projects in Years 3 and 4 enables children to further develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of key geographical aspects and concepts and prepares them to study more thematic geography projects in the following term. In the spring term of Year 3, children study the project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles, which explores physical features and geographical phenomena, including earthquakes and volcanoes. In contrast, in the summer term of Year 4, children carry out a detailed study of the physical features of mountains and rivers, which includes opportunities for in-depth fieldwork including a trip to the River Cole.
In Upper Key Stage 2, children again begin with essential skills and knowledge projects (Investigating Our World in Year 5 and Our Changing World in Year 6). Teaching these projects in Years 5 and 6 enables children to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of key geographical aspects and concepts and prepares them to study more thematic geography projects in the following term. In the spring term of Year 5, children study the seasonal project Sow, Grow and Farm, which explores farming,
agriculture and rural land use. In the spring term of Year 6, children study the polar regions in the project Frozen Kingdoms. The project includes an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of these regions, including environmental issues.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Pupils’ reflections and verbal discussions about their learning; evaluations at the end of each unit to assess their own development as well as pupil interviews with school leaders.
- Due to the respectful culture embedded in school, children are keen to share their experiences of festivals and celebrations in class, with staff and as apart of assemblies.