We have decided to use Twinkl ‘PlanIt Geography’ as it offers a coherently planned sequence of lessons. This ensures we have progressively covered the skills and concepts required in the National Curriculum. ‘PlanIt Geography’ aims to develop children’s curiosity and a fascination with the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We have also decided to use and expand upon Chris Quigley’s ‘The Essentials Curriculum’. This spiral curriculum design helps identify key geographical skills and concepts, which are revisited continually at ever more sophisticated levels. These key skills and concepts are locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, and geographical skills and fieldwork.
The intent for geography in Nursery is that children begin with hands-on exploration of our school grounds and then move on to begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment around the school. Finally, children will discuss that there are different countries in the world and talk about their holidays.
Reception will focus on three different continents, Antarctica, Europe and Africa. The main intent for Reception is to recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries. They will also be able to recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live.
In KS1 children will build upon the knowledge they have gained in EYFS. They will start to learn the names of key places in the UK beyond their immediate environment. Children also learn the names of the world’s oceans and continents. Children begin to compare places in the UK with a place outside of the UK. This builds on EYFS’s knowledge and understanding of the world, people and communities. Building on EYFS knowledge of how environments may vary, children begin to learn about the physical and human features of geography. Building on EYFS knowledge of their environment, children begin to use maps to locate places and name features using keys and symbols. Children also begin to look at how the environment has changed over time.
The intent in lower KS2 is that children build on KS1 knowledge of the UK, children begin to explore more of the world, and understand how the world has zones and the significance of those zones. Locating places and features accurately on maps also becomes a focus. Children develop vocabulary relating to physical and human geographical features from KS1. They begin to develop the skills of comparing regions, by focusing on specific features. Children focus on comparing regions of the UK in-depth and start to look at an area outside of the UK. Children have a stronger understanding of the difference between physical and human geography. They use more precise vocabulary, explaining the processes of physical and human geography and their significance. They learn more about extreme weather, the processes involved in the causes and effects of extreme weather, as well as beginning to understand the impact of humans on the earth. Children begin to develop their map skills. They will be able to identify features on a map through the use of symbols and keys. Children begin to use fieldwork skills to monitor and explain patterns in human and physical features.
Upper KS2 allows children to begin to explore Eastern Europe and South America, using maps to find these locations. Children use their knowledge of longitude, latitude, coordinates and indexes to locate places. Compared to Lower KS2, children focus more on finding locations outside of the UK. Children develop their analytical skills by comparing areas of the UK with areas outside of the UK. They will have a deeper knowledge of diverse places, people, resources, natural, and human environments. They can make links to places outside of the UK and where they live. Children are encouraged to conduct independent research, asking and answering questions. Children deepen their understanding of the difference between physical and human geography. They can explain the terminology of both aspects of geography with a range of examples. They spend time exploring human geography and the impact humans have on the world. They focus on trade links, resources and the distribution of resources around the world. Children also learn about the different types of mountains. Children build on their map skills by communicating locations through grid references and coordinates. They also explain what makes a good map symbol and why. Children focus on observing and recording the changes in human features over time, for example, trade patterns.
In KS1, children begin to use maps and recognise physical and human features to do with the local area, building to using maps to explore the continents and oceans of the world in year 2. Further, in year 2, children will begin to compare where they live to places outside of Europe and ask and answer geographical questions. In KS2, map skills are developed further using digital maps, more keys and symbols and children begin to use more fieldwork skills. Through revisiting and consolidating skills, our lesson plans and resources help children build on prior knowledge alongside introducing new skills and challenges. All children expand on their skills in local knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and fieldwork. Across both key stages, children have a range of opportunities to experience geography through practical engaging tasks beyond the classroom. The lessons come with an end of unit assessments to give the teacher and adults leading geography confidence in the progression of skills and knowledge and that outcomes have been met. Keywords are also highlighted in each lesson pack, to be used by children to deepen their geographical knowledge.