Geography at WJPS

The Geography Curriculum at West Jesmond

    Curiosity, Confidence, Creativity and Community

 Geography Curriculum Aims

Geography at West Jesmond inspires our pupils to have a curiosity and fascination about the world that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. As our children progress through school, their growing knowledge about the world helps to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and, of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.

Our ambitious geography curriculum is accessible to all pupils through careful ongoing scaffolding and adaptations. This allows our pupils to leave West Jesmond as confident geographers who possess an excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like and the skills to understand ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.  In Geography we actively build up our children’s sense of community and empathy through our local studies and through opportunities to find out about the lives of people in other parts of the world. We want our children to understand the their place in the world and how they can help to create a sustainable planet. West Jesmond Geographers will be able to confidently ask and explore questions, debate issues and seek to make a difference locally, nationally and globally.

 Implementation

The geography curriculum at West Jesmond covers the EYFS Curriculum and National Curriculum aims and objectives and has been carefully tailored to make it bespoke in relation to our pupils and local area. For example in Year 2, a geography topic is ‘Our Quayside’ where the children take part in fieldwork to explore the physical and human features of the quayside of The River Tyne. Each topic is introduced to the children through a Big Question which promotes curiosity and a creative problem-solving approach in line with our whole-school Curriculum Drivers. The core of our learning combines understanding and applying concepts, such as location and place and planning and decision making, with knowledge. Children revisit these concepts in different year groups and are encouraged to use metacognitive resources and thinking to make links between their learning. At the end of each topic, children answer the big question and are challenged to reflect on how their learning has impacted on their thinking.

Staff are helped to become experts in geography through ongoing planning support and access to CPD. They use a metacognitive toolkit to cement the conceptual understanding, deepen evaluating and questioning skills and to ensure that task design is relevant to final outcomes. Retrieval of knowledge is supported by our Knowledge Organisers that identify the key information and targeted vocabulary we want our children to learn and retain.

Learning in Geography is enhanced through field-trips, use of practical equipment and the use of digital technology. We are also fortunate to be able to welcome additional support from our West Jesmond families, the wider school community and experts from many local museums and universities. This allows the children to develop a deeper and lasting understanding.

 What you will see in a West Jesmond Geography Lesson

  • Engaging and inspiring lessons that promote creativity and curiosity.
  • High quality instruction and questioning with teachers providing carefully planned sequenced and modelled lessons that build on children’s geographical knowledge and skills.
  • Achievement and Inclusion for all: All activities are planned, scaffolded and adapted to ensure every child at West Jesmond can achieve highly in Geography. This may include adapted resources, adult support and awareness of physical/sensory needs.
  • Retrieval of previous learning and explicit links through concepts that connect new learning with what the children know.
  • An emphasis on geographical skills and fieldwork.
  • High levels of engagement with frequent opportunities for children to discuss and review their learning
  • An emphasis on correct and ambitious vocabulary . 
  • High quality verbal feedback during lessons.
  • A sensitive, but challenging approach to address stereotypes and to explore differing views on geographical issues.

 Impact: Progress in our curriculum is measured by children knowing more and remembering more.

If we are meeting our aims, our learners will have a rich body of geographical knowledge and skills and a curiosity to find out more about the world they live in. They will see themselves as geographers and active participants in their society and the wider world. Each one will be ready to thrive in Geography during the next stage of their education.

Staff use a range of assessment and summative assessment to assess progress towards our key Stage Milestones and to measure the impact of our teaching and learning. We utilise spaced retrieval and regular low stakes quizzing, opportunities to present work and discussion to understand our children’s learning and to plan for next steps.

Our geography Leader monitors progress for all children through our West Jesmond Deep Dives and takes actions to ensure every child achieves highly.