Our Dream for Geography
We dream of teaching our pupils to be Geographers who understand that many of the issues facing the world at present and in the future can be understood using geographical ways of thinking. We dream of using Geography as a way to learn about topics such the environment, climate, resource management and population movement, topics which affect the lives of our learners both now and in the future.
We dream of teaching our pupils to think like Geographers. Geographical thinking is not everyday thinking. Because geography, the world subject, tries to keep things whole, geographical thinking includes relating the near and far, the physical and the human, people and environments, the economic and the social… and so on. Geographical insights also come from the tension between the universal and specific: processes and phenomena play out differently from place to place and geography recognises that this matters. Thinking geographically therefore offers a uniquely powerful way of seeing the world.
We dream of teaching our pupils facts about the world, as the starting point of the adventures in Geography. By learning, recalling and using facts about very different places, our learners will have the building blocks of knowledge to help them understand the relationships between places.
We believe that we need facts in order to think, but we also need concepts to enable us to group information or facts together. The three main organising concepts of geography are frequently said to be place, space and environment. We dream of using these key ideas to frame the unique contribution of geography as a subject discipline, applying them to identify a question, guide an investigation, organise information, suggest an explanation or assist in decision-making.
We dream of increasing the range and accuracy of our pupils’ investigative skills, and advancing their ability to select and apply these with increasing independence to geographical enquiry.
We believe that Geography is a broad subject spanning the arts and sciences, and as such can provide the perfect starting point for a well-planned and well-implemented topic, concept-based, integrated, creative or thematic curriculum. We dream of using Geography and real-world geographical themes for amazing learning across all subject areas, as well as the hidden curriculum of values, attitudes and personal development. We dream of using pupils’ personal experiences of places, awe-inspiring ‘experts’, news items or exciting global sporting events such as the Olympics to enable learning to become embedded in pupils’ memories through meaningful links to their interests and authentic real-world issues.
Rationale and implementation
Geography is integral to the ethos and values of our school curriculum. Its fundamental role lies in helping children to understand the world, its environments and places near and far, and the processes that create and affect them. It encourages a holistic appreciation of how the world works and of the interconnections between concepts such as scale, community, cultural diversity, interdependence and sustainability. Geography is a subject that contextualises and extends the possibilities for developing and applying language and mathematics, and enriches understanding of, and in, subjects from science and history to art and design. Conducting geographical enquiries develops proficiency in asking relevant questions, collecting and analysing data, and drawing conclusions. Geography provides transformative opportunities for learning in the environment as well as from it, about it and for it. Children’s personal geographies – individual to each child – can be compared, contrasted and brought together through collaboration to provide insight into the nature, variety and lives of the neighbourhoods and communities in our catchment area and beyond.
Our Geography curriculum is heavily woven in to our overarching storybook curriculum to help provide children with a deeper contextual understanding of the topic that they are studying. For example, in Year 5, children read A Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson during their topic on rivers.
Throughout each year at Redhill, children learn all about the UK and our local environment whilst also learning about specific geographical subjects and another country from around the world. Children consistently compare and contrast their personal geography with those of children from around the world. In every topic, children develop their map skills and we plan in regular opportunities for children to conduct fieldwork and enhance their geographical enquiry skills.
When children leave Redhill, we want them to have a deep understanding of their local area, a breadth of knowledge about the environmental features of our country and a deep curiosity and respect for countries across the globe. We want all our pupils to leave Redhill with a desire to explore the world and the tools to take control of their future learning so that they can go wherever their curiousity guides them.
Redhill Curriculum: Geography Overview
Describe the world around me
Explain similarities and differences between own lives and the lives of those in other countries
Differences between natural and man-made objects
Similarities and differences between places, objects, materials and living things
Describe the weather
Make observations of plants and animals and explain changes and why some things happen
Show care and concern for living things and the environment
Map skills and Where I Live
The UK and Africa
Seasons and Weather
Living at the seaside
Compass and map skills
Investigating our local area
Continents, Countries and Capitals
Volcanoes and Earthquakes
Map Skills: Viking geography
Regions of North America
Map Skills: World War 2 Geography
Regions of the UK
If you have any questions about this area of the curriculum, please feel free to get in touch with the co-ordinator either through Class Dojo or by contacting the school office.