Why is Geography Important?

At St Joseph’s, we strive to provide the geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to inspire all pupil’s curiosity about the world and its people. Teaching Geography equips pupils to answer questions about the natural and human environments as well as providing knowledge of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. It develops pupil’s awareness of diverse places throughout the world, understanding issues about the environment and provides appreciation of different people and cultures. At St Joseph’s, we use a range of maps, fieldwork and school trips/visitors to enhance the pupils fascination with the world and develop a range of investigative skills inside and outside of the classroom. Geography is fundamental for providing skills and preparing children for life beyond St Joseph’s.

St Joseph’s Aim for Geography - Curriculum of Hope

This year, we are using a new style of foundation subject curriculum, which has been written specifically for our children by our teachers.  Children will learn key historical and geographical knowledge through a dilemma-led story including fictional and significant heroes.  We hope these lessons will inspire children to not just learn facts, but strive to become an empowered, active citizen who can make a difference in the world they live in.

What is a dilemma-led curriculum?

We introduce problems that need to be solved by the children.  The problems are contextualised through the use of story.  Children are placed at the centre of the dilemma.

We know stories are memorable, therefore if we are solving a problem within the framework of a story there is a potential for something very powerful.

Solving problems is deeply satisfying and memorable (Daniel Willingham)

Why do we use Stories?

´  Story is a key part of a humanity-rich curriculum – it engages children in a cognitive, social and emotional manner.  It DRIVES the subsequent knowledge they need to learn and understand in order to solve the problem.

´  As teachers, we need to choose and create stories that ignite the children’s thirst for more knowledge.  Give children roles and responsibilities to be more engaged.

´  The story should enhance our learning and not take away from the central knowledge being learned.

´  This type of learning will give writing a real clarity and purpose.

 At St Joseph’s, our curriculum for Geography aims to ensure 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 skills 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 skills and writing at length

Subject Content

Across Key Stage 1 and 2 St Joseph’s pupils will be taught about:

o   Locational knowledge.

  • In Key Stage 1 pupils at St Joseph’s will develop knowledge about the world, the UK and their locality 
  • In Key Stage 2 pupils at St Joseph’s will extend their knowledge beyond the local area to include Europe, North and South America.

o   Place knowledge. 

  • In Key Stage 1 pupils at St Joseph’s understand differences and similarities through the study of human and physical characteristics of the UK and non-European country.
  • In Key Stage 2 pupils at St Joseph’s understand differences and similarities through the study of human and physical characteristics of the UK, region in a European country and region in North and South America.

o   Human and physical features.

  • In Key Stage 1 pupils at St Joseph’s can identify Seasonal and daily weather patterns, know the location of hot and cold countries and use basic geographical vocabulary.
  • In Key Stage 2 pupils at St Joseph’s can describe and understand a range of physical geography such as, rivers, mountains, earthquakes and volcanoes. As well as aspects of human geography such as, distribution of natural resources and types of settlement and land use.

o   Geography skills and fieldwork.

  • In Key Stage 1 pupils at St Joseph’s can use maps, atlases and globes to identify UK and other countries, use simple compass directions and use aerial photographs to recognise landmarks and human/physical features.