Geography

Avonwood Geography PolicyClick Here

Avonwood Curriculum OverviewClick Here

Subject Leaders: Mrs Short & Mrs Turner

Senior Leadership Team Link: Mr Jackson

Twitter@AvonwoodGeog

An introduction to Geography at Avonwood

Subject Intent

The Avonwood Curriculum for Geography provides all children, regardless of their background, with a set of core ideas that will enable all students to experience a personal sense of awe and wonder when describing and explaining the world around them. Our curriculum ensures that children will master core content through the development of key concepts and timely revisiting of key knowledge. The curriculum has been sequenced and specific knowledge selected to allow for gradual development of vertical concepts – the ‘big ideas’ in geography – to provide firm foundations for KS3 and KS4. At Avonwood we purposefully teach appropriate knowledge, to aid current and future understanding, and to smooth the transition to KS3. We encourage children to apply and make connections between the curriculum and the wider world.  

Taking the National Curriculum as its starting point, our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that powerful knowledge builds term by term and year by year. We make meaningful connections within subjects and between subjects. At Avonwood, we ensure that foundational knowledge, skills and concepts are secure before moving on. Children revisit prior learning and apply their understanding in new contexts (including their specific local area) and teachers will adapt lessons – the ‘how’ – to meet the needs of their own classes. Our curriculum - which includes the taught subject timetable as well as spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, our co-curricular provision and the ethos and ‘hidden curriculum’ of the school – is intended to spark curiosity and to nourish both the head and the heart.  

Our Geography curriculum identifies coherent substantive knowledge of the world that is built gradually using subject-specific pedagogy from EYFS to Year 6 and beyond. This includes a balanced view of the countries of the world to address misconceptions and negative stereotypes. Within lessons, there is explicit teaching of core disciplinary knowledge and the ability to approach challenging, geographically valid questions. Geographical enquiry skills have been sequenced across the year groups and, where appropriate, review and build on relevant knowledge that is first taught in mathematics or science, such as interpreting line graphs or setting hypotheses. We seek to carry out opportunities to undertake fieldwork, outside the classroom and virtually. Fieldwork is purposeful, and either gives children the opportunity to explicitly practice relevant disciplinary knowledge or to reinforce substantive knowledge. 

Substantive knowledge is selected to build children’s’ understanding of three geographical vertical concepts: 

  1. Location and place: The location of the world’s continents, countries and places, and the key physical and human characteristics of each 
  2. Geographical scale: Considering the local, national and global scale and understanding how causes and effects occur at all scales 
  3. Interconnections: How are the human and physical worlds connected? How are different locations connected at different scales? 

Subject Implementation

The Avonwood Geography curriculum is adapted from the United Learning curriculum. It is aligned to the National Curriculum 2014, Programmes of Study for KS1 and KS2 and ‘Understanding of the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  

The Avonwood Geography curriculum sets out the units that should be covered in each year. Within each year, the units have been sequenced in a logical way that the means that substantive knowledge and skills progresses from one to the next and there is gradual understanding of ‘vertical concepts’. 

All lesson plans are based on Rosenshine principles and reflect best practice. Teachers use assessment for learning to tailor lessons around our children and help plan for subsequent sequences of lessons.  

All units include:  

  • A practical pre unit formative assessment:  

  • A knowledge organiser which outlines knowledge (including vocabulary) all children must master  

  • A cycle of lessons for each subject, which carefully plans for progression and depth 

  • Continuous formative assessment to identify misconceptions and fill gaps in knowledge 

  • Opportunities to apply ideas and knowledge for example, trips and visits from experts 

At Avonwood, Geography is taught for half a term (with the other half-term being history) per each term. Within each lesson, opportunities for formative assessment are provided and teachers continually adapt their lesson delivery to address misconceptions and ensure that children are keeping up with the content. 

Subject Impact

Our Geography curriculum is high quality, well-sequenced and is planned to demonstrate progression. It aims to help equip children with the knowledge and skills that they need to be understand and notice the world around them. At Avonwood, we inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching will equip children with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As children progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. 

If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress.  

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:  

  • Tracking of knowledge in Geography exercise books 

  • Tracking of knowledge in post learning quizzes 

  • Challenge questions for children to apply their learning in a philosophical/open manner

United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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