Geography

Vision Statement

Together we inspire one another to love learn respect and forgive, rooted and built up in Christ, so that every member of our school community can develop and flourish; united in mutual respect with a sense of belonging.

Intent of the teaching and learning of Geography

At St Joseph’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s curiosity and awareness about the world that we live in and where we live, as Leicester is a very diverse and multicultural city. We want the children to find their place within the world, to learn about its people and for this to remain with them for the rest of their lives. We aim to do this by to promoting the children’s interests and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We strongly believe that high quality geography teaching offers our children the foundations for a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place within it. The geography curriculum at St Joseph’s enables children to develop knowledge and progressive skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

We achieve this by ensuring that students are exposed to quality first teaching and investigating. We help every student develop as a whole person, fulfil their potential and contribute towards a future built upon the social and economic well-being of the individual, the local community and the wider world. We provide geography teaching that builds upon prior learning which prepares young people for the social, economic and environmental surroundings of our modern world.

A key element to our teaching is the building of fundamental geographical knowledge and concepts that can be added to and developed each year, increasing memory recall and retrieval skills. This allows our students to advance their rational thinking skills in addition to developing a sense of curiosity and excitement about geography.

Through high quality teaching, we develop the following essential characteristics of geographers:

  • An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like, both in Britain and the wider world.
  • A comprehensive understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected.
  • An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
  • Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills.
  • The ability to reach clear conclusions and explain their findings.
  • Excellent fieldwork skills as well as other geographical aptitudes and techniques.
  • The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current issues in society and the environment.
  • A genuine interest in the subject and a real sense of curiosity about the world and the people who live here.

Implementation of the teaching and learning of Geography

Geography at St Joseph’s is taught throughout the year, so that children achieve depth in their learning. Within our curriculum we have identified the key knowledge and skills of each area of geography and consideration has been given to ensure progression across these areas throughout each year group. By the end of year 6, children will have geographical understanding of locational knowledge and place understanding, fieldwork, human and physical features, enquiry skills and globes, maps and plans. New geographical vocabulary is present throughout all teaching of geography. In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive and inclusive throughout our school. The students start to learn about their locality and where they live understanding Leicester as the city where they live. This moves onto learning about the UK, Europe and finally countries across the world drawing comparisons between them.

Geography is also taught cross curricular and will feature throughout the year during different subjects. The local area is utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. We ensure geography is taught through lessons such as guided reading so children gain the important skills needed in particular through non-fiction texts. Our children are provided with as many opportunities as possible for learning outside the classroom, benefiting their educational, social, physical and emotional development.

Planning is informed by and aligned with the National Curriculum using the Lancashire scheme. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Outcomes of work are regularly monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge. Within our knowledge-rich approach, there is a strong emphasis on people and the diverse community of our local area. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year. The children also achieve this through other areas such as communication and language and PSED.

Impact of the teaching and learning of Geography

Our Geography Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. At St Joseph’s we ensure that all students are exposed to rich learning experiences both in and out of the classroom and we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes.
  • Develop the use of geographical language and vocabulary.
  • Promote collaboration and developing a general sense of enquiry, which encourages them to question and make suggestions.
  • Build on our student’s natural curiosity and develop a geographical awareness of their surroundings but also what is in the wider world.
  • Make links between geography and other subjects.
  • Create a culture of high aspirations which will allow our students a platform to learn about careers related to geography in the wider community with specialist skills and knowledge, ensuring that they are well prepared for the next steps of their education.
  • Develop an interest in the past and an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations.
  • Instil and understand the values of our society and how we can protect our environment and world for years to come.
St Joseph's Catholic Voluntary Academy - Leicester