At Sissinghurst Primary we believe that Geography is an exciting subject through which we can inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
We aim to open the physical and human world up to our children and ignite within them the passion to explore and protect the world we live in and its peoples.
Our values are embedded in all our teaching through our Leaves of Learning. In Geography children reflect on how the school values of Kindness, service, courage and forgiveness can enable humans to be environmental stewards and courageous advocates for the world and its people.
Service: Through our curriculum we seek to deepen the understanding of the Earth’s human and physical forms and processes and the impact we have on our world including the responsibility we have for our world and all its people.
Kindness: Through our teaching, we intend to provoke thought, questions and to encourage children to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research to enable them to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of the world and their place in it.
Forgiveness: We recognise that it is important for our children to learn more about people and places beyond our small part of the world. We aim to equip our children with geographical skills to develop their knowledge and challenge misconceptions and prejudice through studying places, people, natural and human environments. We recognise the importance of learning from mistakes without blame and making changes in our world for a more positive future.
Courage: Opportunities to develop Geographical skills and investigate our world and the people who inhabit it is crucial to our school vision. At Sissinghurst we try to be courageous advocates for the planet, Geographical knowledge is central to give the children the knowledge and skills which will enable them to speak out for others' locally, nationally and globally.
Implementation of curriculum through stepping stones
Our Geography curriculum is taught though planned ‘stepping stones’, where each year children develop and build on previous learning. In our school, key stage 2 (years 3 – 6) are spread over three classes rather than 4, because of this it is crucial we are clear on which skills and knowledge are covered in each year group and which are covered over the course of the 4 years in key stage 2.
Year group stepping stones: The Sissinghurst stepping stones assessed on a yearly basis for Geography include: human and physical Knowledge; Geographical Skills & Field work and key vocabulary. Children will be assessed using a variety of low stakes quizzing, pupil conferencing and work reviews to ensure that they have developed the required skills and knowledge before moving on to the next year group stepping stone.
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. By the end of key stage 1 children will have compared 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 a range of fieldwork skills. Geographical enquiry and fieldwork skills are revisited and consolidated throughout the KS2 phase to an end point at the end of year 6. In KS2 children expand on their skills in local knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and fieldwork.
Key vocabulary is also included in each geographical stepping stone these are to be used by children to deepen their geographical knowledge and enable them to speak like geographers with confidence in their geographical enquiry abilities.
Across both key stages, children have a range of opportunities to experience geography through practical engaging tasks beyond the classroom including visits and fieldwork activities.
The stepping stones for each year group are used to ensure progression in skills.
Key stage stepping stones: Locational and place knowledge is delivered on a two year rolling cycle in key stage 1 and a four year rolling cycle in KS2. The end points are assessed at the end of the key stage phase, when all children will have completed a full cycle of geographical learning.
Assessments of and tracking of stepping stones, allow us to have confidence in the progression of skills and key knowledge regardless of each child’s route through key stage 2.
Learning Journeys in Geography
During the learning journey there will be times when the learning provides opportunities for discussion about our school values. Where there are links to our leaves of learning, the teacher or child may indicate which value has been focussed upon and may reflect on their thoughts about this value within Geography.