Geography at St Charles’ Catholic Primary School
At St Charles Catholic Primary School, we stimulate the children’s interest and understanding of the world around them. We help pupils gain knowledge and understanding of their local area and the wider world. They learn to value their own locality as well as diverse cultures from around the globe
At St Charles, our Geography curriculum aims to inspire in our pupils a lasting curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. We teach children to locate, navigate and explore geographical features. They learn to value their own locality as well as diverse cultures from around the globe. We aim to ensure that children understand their local area and its significant features. They can compare and contrast other locations around the world whilst having a good understanding of human and physical features, and are able explore these in different contexts.
Geography is an investigative subject, which relies on concepts, knowledge and skills from other curriculum disciplines. Our teaching of geography equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places and people; resources in the environment; human and physical processes; and formation and use of landscapes. Our children are the geographers of the future.
In June 2018, a complete audit of the history curriculum was conducted. On the back of the findings from this audit, the history curriculum has been carefully built and the learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each year group crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills.
History subject specific characteristics, which we expect the children to demonstrate, have been developed and shared with all stakeholders. These characteristics underpin all work in history and form a focal point for display areas and provide a common subject specific vocabulary for staff and pupils. These characteristics are:
- An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
- The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
- The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
- The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
- A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
- A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.
- A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
We empower our staff to organise their own year group curriculums under the guidance of the subject leader. Teachers are best placed to make these judgements. Staff worked with subject leaders to develop year group specific long-term curriculum maps which identify when the different subjects and topics will be taught across the academic year. The vast majority of subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links across subjects. They link prior knowledge to new learning to deepen children’s learning.
We use both formative and summative assessment information in every Geography lesson. Staff use this information to inform their short-term planning and short-term interventions. This helps us provide the best possible support for all of our pupils, including the more able. We have also introduced an end of topic assessment which enables all pupils to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and understanding they have acquired over the sequence of lessons. The assessment milestones for each phase have been carefully mapped out and further broken down for each year group. This means that skills in history are progressive and build year on year.
Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in history. A comprehensive monitoring cycle is developed at the beginning of each academic year. This identifies when monitoring is undertaken. The last history monitoring took place in Summer Term 2019. Monitoring in history includes: book scrutiny, lesson observations and/or learning walks, pupil/parent and/or staff voice interviews.
All of this information is gathered and reviewed. It is used to inform further curriculum developments and provision is adapted accordingly.
National Curriculum Aims
- The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both
terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and
how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
- understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical
features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial
variation and change over time
- are competent in the geographical skills needed to
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through
experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams,
globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through
maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.