“Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?” Michael Palin
At St Michael’s Infant School we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it, using a variety of media and learning methods. At our school we endeavour to make geography as engaging as possible, therefore it often links to the topic we are currently learning about. Our hunt for ‘Rusty Robot’ around the school grounds during our ‘Robots’ topic (for example,) involves using maps, keys and geographical vocabulary. This instantly improves their locational knowledge of the school and allows them to begin to use the appropriate vocabulary they will need to broaden their knowledge on their geographical journey throughout school.
We make full use of our local area, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. We make three visits to Brickfields (our local park) during Autumn, Winter and Spring, for a geographical study with longevity around how changes happen over time. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and explorative skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and an understanding of the ways in which human activities impact upon our environment.
At St. Michael’s we understand that some of the most valuable learning can happen through experience, when children are involved in practical activities and investigations with meaningful context and links to what they have previously learned. Much of our geography is practical, including team activities which the children particularly enjoy. We learn about the seven continents and five oceans during our ‘Underwater Adventure’ topic and St. Michael’s Junior School have reported that the children are still singing the ‘Seven Continents’ song throughout their time there!
Geography at St. Michael’s is taught in blocks throughout the year so that children can achieve depth in their learning. Extensive consideration is put into ensuring progression across topics throughout each year group. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive and transferable. We aim for our children to develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Specifically, in each lesson, we carefully consider how we can differentiate each activity to target and respond to each child’s individual needs. Our school’s aim is to ensure each child is free to learn at an achievable pace for them, and that they are equipped with the tools and understanding they need in order to keep developing as successful geographers.