“Academic excellence and intellectual curiosity for all”
Throughout the children’s journey at Hackney New Primary school we understand the value of developing a culture of academic excellence in all subject areas, including Geography. We recognise that through the development of strong geographical knowledge and by fostering intellectual curiosity about the world children will build the foundations of understanding the world they live in, the people that reside within it, the places that exist and landscape and environments. Starting in EYFS right through to Year 6, the children will develop a firm understanding of what geography is and how to become critical geographers; fostering active citizens for when they go out into the world.
The curriculum begins by looking at local and personal geography in EYFS and Year 1, fostering a curiosity in their local environment and considering how this was shaped. From Year 2 onwards pupils consider the wider locality of Britain and moving out into Europe and the World in KS2. Units are sequential and build on knowledge year on year, providing children the perfect building blocks to succeed and progress as geographers throughout their journey at HNPS. The units provide an opportunity to not only build key knowledge, but to critically think, examine and question the world around them with the intention of them becoming active citizens within the community and world and life-long learners.
Geography is taught every other half term in blocks, and each year group covers a range of topics relating to location, place, human and physical geography. Core knowledge and skills are detailed on a progression map which teachers refer to when planning their units of work. Geographical vocabulary and knowledge are progressively built on each year. For example, year 1 pupils learn the names and locations of the continents of the world. By year 6, pupils have learnt about Europe, North and South America in more detail, contrasting and comparing localities between these continents.
Progression of knowledge and skills has been carefully mapped and core knowledge has been identified for each unit. This is to ensure a baseline of the fundamentals upon which deeper and interlinked knowledge can be built and key skills can be developed. Teachers use a range of formative and summative assessment techniques to ensure core knowledge has been learnt and retained and to corroborate geographical skills such as asking geographical questions, using world maps, using directional language and critically examining the world around them with the intention of creating change for the better.
Conducting local fieldwork is an important aspect of our curriculum. The skill of gathering and interpreting a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams and aerial photographs, are developed through trips to significant places in our local area, such as Kingsland Basin and Haggerston Station.
The National Curriculum informs our curriculum and additional resources from the Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society are used to supplement our planning. Teachers also have access to a variety of tools when planning, including Hamilton Trust, Google Earth and Ordnance Survey to help bring Geography to develop and create ‘sticky’ learning opportunities that children will remember and draw upon when completing future learning (whether that be in school or in their own time). Geography is also linked across the curriculum with teachers making connection in subjects such as History, Science and English (with Google Lit Trip) to ensure that children are getting every learning opportunity possible to develop their academic excellence and intellectual curiosity.
We ensure that pupils accessing geography at greater depth are motivated in their learning through the pedagogy of ‘low threshold, high ceiling’. All learners are supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. We have high expectations for pupils’ knowledge and articulation of ideas to ensure that all pupils participate in high-quality discussions.
Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional geography learning outside the classroom. At Hackney New Primary School, our pupils have many opportunities to experience geography on educational visits. The pupils explore the local area, including orienteering and compass skills during regular outdoor learning sessions in local parks and woodlands. Local museums also provide an opportunity to further geography learning, as well as trips to places of worship, monuments, and landmarks.
Outcomes in Geography books evidence a broad and engaging Geography curriculum and demonstrate the children’s acquisition of identified core knowledge. Children review their learning at the end of each topic by recording their newly acquired knowledge to a knowledge harvest. Knowledge organisers are used for short low stakes quizzes to ensure the retention of core knowledge over time. Regular monitoring ensures that outcomes meet the expected standard.
Geography Knowledge Progression Grid