Geography

Part of the Faculty of English and Humanities

Subject Leader:

  • Mr J. Brown

Faculty Leader:

  • Mr J. Brown

Subject Vision:

From the moment we are born, it is our instinct to begin to explore the world around us with all our senses. At Milton Primary, we feel it is important to nurture and encourage this natural curiosity, to shape and direct it as our children become inquisitive, questioning learners who look closely at our environment and begin to interpret what they see. With this in mind, our geography curriculum aims to foster curiosity, prompt fascination and develop the next generation of explorers. The teaching and learning of geography therefore features significantly in many of our curriculum projects at Milton Primary, as we aim to instil an understanding of different cultures and make exploration a truly tantalising prospect. 


Principles of Outstanding Geography

These are the ‘Principles of Outstanding’ humanities at Milton Primary Academy. They were devised and agreed by the children and staff in September 2021, informed by the way we feel that humanities should be taught across the Academy.

Principle 1: Children are excited and enthusiastic about geography, as they are taught to know more and remember more.

Principle 2: Lessons are carefully planned and delivered, so that new material is delivered in a way that is clear, interesting and useful. 

Principle 3: Instruction is focused on the learning intention and pedagogical tools do not detract from the knowledge that needs to be remembered. 

Principle 4: Through spaced-retrievalpreviously taught content is revisited to ensure that new content can be understood and is retained in the long-term memory. 

Principle 5: Formative assessment is regularly used to check that children retain knowledge and that they can retrieve previously taught content from their long-term memory.

Principle 6: Teachers enable children to access a range of enrichment opportunities, both within and beyond the curriculum.  


Geography Subject Leader

My name is Mr Brown and I am the geography subject leader at Milton Primary Academy. I love nothing more than the great outdoors and truly believe that each of our children deserve the best possible opportunities to explore the world around them, developing a secure understanding of what makes it so special. To do this, I am proud of the curriculum that we have developed at Milton Primary; not only is it relevant to the children in our care but it also allows them to travel the world from the comfort of their classrooms, and regular educational visits. For example, how amazing is it that children in Year 6 are able to take a virtual reality tour of the Amazon Rainforest, whilst those in Year 2 compare the searing heat in Kenya to the physical geography of our local area!

To foster a love of geography at Milton, we have taken the key content from the National Curriculum and considered how this may best be used to ensure exploration of the world around us and the identification of similarities and differences between our immediate environment and others around the world. To ensure seamless progression in geographical knowledge, our learning initially focusses on Milton and Stoke-on-Trent, the areas with which children are familiar. As they move through the academy, exploration then widens to include countries and continents as far away as Egypt and South America, and this gives me a great sense of pride as I see our children truly immerse themselves in their learning of other cultures and contexts.

As with any subject in our academy, we strive to ensure that our geography curriculum allows children to reach their full potential. To achieve this shared goal, I continually aim to develop my own practice and through participation in local networks, continue to pursue excellence and stimulate the children’s interest in our local, national and global environments.


Geography Curriculum

At Milton Primary Academy we aim to provide a geography curriculum that is creative, inclusive, challenging and inspired by the real-world. It inspires future thinkers, innovators and problem solvers in an immersive environment that stimulates curiosity and supports high-quality learning, allowing each and every learner to fulfil their potential.

The requirements and content of the National Curriculum provide a starting point for the teaching of geography and history in the academy.

The geography attainment target is divided into five areas:

  • Locational Knowledge.
  • Knowledge and understanding of human and physical geography.
  • Following directions and maps.
  • Geographical enquiry and investigation.
  • Map Making.

This is then broken down into key stage specific content.

EYFS:

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we teach geography through the Understanding the World strand of the Early Years Framework.

Ongoing experiences and opportunities linking to children’s developing understanding of the world are planned from the objectives set out in the Early Years Framework, which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged 3-5 at Milton Primary Academy.

The experiences that we provide ensure that children develop a secure understanding of the world around them. By the end of the Reception year, they will be able to:

  • Identify similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things.
  • Talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
  • Explain why some things occur.

KS1 and KS2:

The Primary 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 knowledge needed to:
    • Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes.
    • 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 knowledge and writing at length.

With this in mind, our programme of study for geography clearly sets out which matters, knowledge and process that pupils are expected to know, apply and understand at each point in the year for all groups.

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.

Pupils need to be competent in composite geographical knowledge including:

  • Collection, analysis and communicating with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes.
  • Interpreting a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
  • Communicating geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative knowledge and writing at length.

Assessment in Geography

Effective assessment is critical to teaching because it provides teachers with information about pupils’ understanding and needs. Teachers will plan formative assessment tasks linked to lesson objectives and will draw conclusions about what pupils have learned by looking at patterns of performance over time. At the end of each unit of learning, teachers will make a judgement, which will begin to build a picture of a pupil’s competency in the subject content.

The academy will present to parents, for discussion, an annual written report on each pupil involved in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Assessment of the children’s work and their acquisition of knowledge will be made using:

  • Written work.
  • Low stake quizzing.
  • Evaluating patterns of performance over time.
  • Questions and answers.
  • Structuring tasks and questions to enable the identification of knowledge gaps and misconceptions.
  • Discussion between individual children and teacher observation.

Educational Visits and Enrichment

At Milton Primary Academy we place great emphasis on the importance of educational visits and visitors to enhance the teaching and learning of geography. These visits and visitors, which provide valuable opportunities for learning through first-hand experience, are therefore an integral part of the curriculum and allow our children to make valuable connections between what they have learned in class and their first-hand experiences in the real-world.

Whole School Enrichment and Clubs: During their time at Milton, all pupils have access to extra-curricular clubs and enrichment opportunities that link to one or more aspects of the geography curriculum. These range from ‘Gardening Club’ to ‘Eco Club’, and this one in particular is led by our Academy Parliament.

To enrich our curriculum, we have also carefully chosen experiences that allow our children to enjoy hands-on activities linked to their projects. Children travel to Telford Exotic Zoo, where they hold a variety of animals from around the world; visit the seaside and play on the beach; see the meerkats at Peak Wildlife Park; learn about the journey of the cocoa bean at Cadbury World; and explore international landmarks at Tate Liverpool. 

Fieldwork is also integral to geographical enquiry and in order to ensure that these competencies are given a practical context, we offer 2 residential visits to our children throughout their time at our academy. At the beginning of Year 4, they are given the opportunity to visit Stanley Head for a two-night stay. Here, they get to take part in a range of activities that ensure every child develops a love of their environment and that they love to explore. When they reach Year 5, we offer a 5 day residential to Kingswood Peak Venture, which is an amazing opportunity for children to develop these competencies further and also conduct a river study, following a river’s journey from source to mouth; it is this trip in particular that is quite often our children’s favourite memory when they look back on their time at Milton.


Pupil Voice

At Milton Primary Academy we believe that the view of every pupil is important to ensure that we provide the best education possible. Here is a selection of pupil voice collected during the 2019/20 academic year, and in some cases, what we are doing / have done to improve the geography education that we provide.

Penelope in Year 1 said… “I liked learning about how cold it gets in other countries and we made some ice melt.”

Lennon in Year 2 said.. “I want to know about one country in lots of detail and learn who lives there.”

Lennon said it… we did it!! As a part of multicultural week at Milton, you will get the opportunity to explore a country in a lot more detail. We will give you an idea about what life is like there, how people live and what the environment is like. When you learn about the seaside at the end of the year, you will also have lots of opportunities to talk about how the seaside in England might be different to seasides around the world!

Charlie in Year 3 said… “I learnt lots from Mrs Dean when she came to tell us all about life in Ghana.”

Taylen in Year 4 said… “We have learnt lots about how Stoke-on-Trent has changed because of the pottery industry.”

Kayden in Year 5 said… “I would like to learn more about how to use a compass and how to use an atlas.”

Kayden said it… we did it!! As part of Year Four’s trip to Stanley Head, we have planned some amazing orienteering experiences to allow you to explore an unfamiliar area using a compass, OS map and six-figure grid references.

Freddie in Year 6 said… “I have enjoyed being able to use coordinates and I cannot wait to go to Kingswood to learn even more about the environment.”


Downloads

Please see below a selection of documents that relate to the intent, implementation, and impact of geography teaching and learning at Milton Primary Academy. If you require any additional information relating to this subject, then please contact the subject leader, Mr J. Brown, via the academy office (milton@learningvillage.org.uk).


Downloads