Geography is an exciting, knowledge led subject that helps us better understand the people, places and environments in the world. The programme of study for Geography states “a high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives”.
At Harris Primary Academy Orpington teaching of geography is vital to developing life-long learners who seek to maximise the use of resources in their environment, who minimise the impact of their actions and seek to develop understanding of the world they live in. These will be achieved using enquiry questions, which seek to provide answers to the understanding of where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time.
Children will be equipped with knowledge and understanding of key vocabulary and terminologies about diverse places, people, resources, natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes using knowledge organisers. Our intention is for our children to be ready to tackle the expectations of KS3 and beyond.
The early learning goals at EYFS aim to guide children into making sense of their physical world and their community by exploring, observing, and finding out about people, places, technology and the environment.
In Year 1 and 2, children will develop understanding of their local area by learning about where they live, as well as one other small area of the United Kingdom and a small area in a contrasting non-European country. We have chosen Kenya to study as it offers a wealth of physical and human features to compare. Children will learn about weather patterns in the United Kingdom and hot and cold areas of the world. They will use computing, world maps, atlases and globes, simple compass directions, aerial photographs and plans, as well as simple fieldwork and observational skills during their learning.
In years 3-6 children will expand and build on previous knowledge. For example, children in Year 3 start the year by studying a contrasting area of the UK, building on and using skills learnt in KS1. This comparative work supports their future work looking at different places around the world. They also have the opportunity to develop their map skills further so that they can explore London’s land use- using all the geographical skills they have learnt so far- looking at maps, different types of land use, economic activity and settlements. They look at how London has changed over time. Once they have this understanding of London, children go on to compare it to different locations around the UK.
In Year 4 children learn about Italy as it offers the chance to explore some key physical features. It also allows the children continue to develop their map skills and then learn about Italy- this learning builds upon their work on earthquakes and volcanoes in Year 3.
Once children reach Year 6, they can use their geographical knowledge and skills to learn about complex geographical themes. They continue learning about using maps and use maps to help them learn about a range of settlements. This leads on to learning about why people might migrate from one place to another. At Harris Primary Orpington, are curriculum goes beyond the National curriculum and our pupils work on microclimates is an additional unit.