Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement
Here at St Nicholas, we want our children to love Geography lessons. We nurture their natural curiosity with a hands on, investigative approach to study the world around them.
Our Geography curriculum aims to progress the children’s understanding of their place in the world. It is relevant and meaningful to our community; we want them to know and celebrate Alcester. We capitalise on the rich opportunities around us in our Roman town and within the wider local area of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
Memorable moments enrich our children with cultural capital by providing opportunities that are normally out of reach. For example, Reception children ‘fly’ to China and bell boating on the River Avon in Year 6.
Together with History, Geography drives our school curriculum as we take our children on a journey of learning: building and embedding skills and knowledge to equip them to become responsible, global citizens. Our children have an awareness of the world around them and the impact they personally and uniquely can have upon it. Our children have big dreams for themselves and for our planet. We aim to empower them to realise those dreams.
Our geography curriculum is tailored to our children using the Oddizzi Scheme of Learning. Learners gain a progressively deeper understanding and competency of geographical skills and knowledge as they move through the curriculum. For example, they broaden their sense of their own locality through the year groups. Year 1 focus on observing human and physical features within the school grounds and our local area of Alcester, then extend further to a study of an African country in Year 2. This understanding of our place in the world develops through the year groups through comparisons within the UK, Europe and the wider world. In Key Stage Two, there is an emphasis on understanding how places across the world are interconnected with links to Alcester made explicit. For example, comparing the rivers of the world to the River Arrow.
Geography is taught discretely through an overarching theme for that half term enabling staff to make meaningful links across subjects. When Geography is the curriculum driver for the half term, it is taught weekly. This helps to ensure sufficient time is allocated to Geography and that geographic subject matter can be built upon and revisited- altering long-term memory and this making significant progress.
Staff use the school’s long term plan, Oddizzi Medium Term Plans and Schemes of Work to inform their own planning under the guidance of the subject leader. Each year group has Geography Medium Term Plans for each unit that tailors the geographical techniques and substantive knowledge required over the year to that year group’s termly themes. The medium term planning helps teachers to ensure National Curriculum coverage over the year, clear progression of disciplinary knowledge and a broad and balanced learning experience for the children. We mindfully plan memorable moments and cultural capital such trips and fieldwork. While our curriculum has been thoughtfully planned, teachers have flexibility to respond to the interests of their cohort and to current affairs.
The standard of work and presentation in Geography is expected to match that of core subjects. Children are encouraged to demonstrate our core learning behaviours or perseverance, collaboration, resourcefulness and reflection. These learning behaviours are celebrated during feedback. When children are showing their best learning in Geography, we acknowledge they are embodying the school vision and ‘shining brightly’.
As part of ensuring a hands on investigative approach to Geography, a Fieldwork study takes place in every phase. For example, Year 1 carry out survey of the school grounds and Year 4 investigate the River Arrow. Children experience hands-on learning in our Forest Schools outdoor provision area. Forest School takes place in every year group and is an embedded part of St Nicholas school life.
Our children have an excellent knowledge of where the places they have studied are and what those places are like. They draw upon a solid base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary when studying new places. Children know about physical and human geography and can make comparisons using this criteria. By the time they leave us, our children show understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how human and physical environments are interrelated. They recall examples from previous learning. Through learning about different places and the people in them, our children show tolerance and respect for different cultures.
Children communicate their geographical knowledge through a range of responses. The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.
Having a secure Geographical knowledge of, and sense of place for Alcester is important to us. They will feel connected to their local environment and develop a sense of responsibility for it. Children will know how local settlement growth has influenced the human and physical geography of Alcester today. They will see themselves as citizens of Alcester who can make a difference to their town.
Assessment for Learning is at the heart of our practice with pupils being given opportunities to reflect on and improve their own work. Teachers use a variety of formative assessment and feedback methods in class rather than relying only on written comments. We use Insight to contemporaneously track each child’s progress on the key concepts identified in our skills progression. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through Learning Walks, Pupil interviews and Book Monitoring.
Here at St Nicholas, you will see the impact of our Geography curriculum through the children themselves. They have a genuine curiosity to find out about the world and the people who inhabit it. They role play as jungle explorers in the playground, and they recreate Forest School in their own gardens during Covid isolation. They will speak passionately about reducing plastic pollution and enjoy sharing their knowledge of the places they have visited or hope to visit one day. This love of Geography is the result of a rich and engaging curriculum that is informed by the National Curriculum and led by our children’s interests.