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How do we teach Geography
What is Geography
Geography is a foundation for students to better understand the world that they live in. Geography encompasses a combination of natural and social sciences, as it studies both people and their physical environment. Human geography is concerned with the understanding of the dynamics of cultures, societies and economies while physical geography focuses on the study of landscapes and natural processes. Geography impacts upon almost every aspect of our daily lives, from the food we eat, to travelling to work/school, to the climate that we live in.
Why is geography important to our school?
Studies over the last decade have unfortunately highlighted a decline in the precedence of the study of geography within primary schools. At St.Alban’s however, we value geography. We believe it not only helps our children to develop their understanding of the world but also, allows them to find their own place in it. It is imperative that our geography curriculum inspires in students a curiosity and fascination with the world that continues beyond their years at primary school.
With the ever-growing environmental concerns for our planet, it is more important than ever that we not only teach geography to the next generation but also, that we teach it well. At St.Alban’s, we believe that teaching about the environment and environmental responsibility is an integral part of our curriculum. Young people should be taught to appreciate the relationship between physical and human geographies rather than seeing the two as separate entities. We are passionate about inspiring the children in our school to be environmentally conscious and know that they can make a difference in the world. We have a school house (house Jericho) dedicated to promoting environmental responsibility in school. House Jericho leaders/ambassadors have recently introduced the use of recycling bins and continue plan new ways to help make St.Alban’s more environmentally friendly.
Local Area Field Work
As well as learning about environmental changes and concerns, at St.Alban’s we particularly value the exploration of our local area. Our geography curriculum aims to instil in our students a love for where they live. This helps children to develop their sense of belonging and responsibility for the locality. To do this, we take a more practical approach and local fieldwork is an imperative part of our curriculum. We recognise the importance of providing children with first hand experiences and opportunities to apply their geographical skills practically.
Field Work Beyond the Locallity
Not only do our children regularly explore the local area but also, we have planned opportunities for pupils to apply field work skills on excursions beyond the locality. We aim to develop the cultural capital of our students by providing them with ample hands-on experiences both near and afar. In Y4, children travel to Castleton, where they explore the incredible caverns there. This trip is mainly field work based and so, students will use many geographical skills such as map reading, using compasses and devising their own maps. From the next academic year, our Y6 children will experience a trip to London. Again, pupils will be provided with opportunities to utilise field work skills during the excursion. Furthermore, this first-hand experience will help children to compare life in the capital city with that in relatively small, northern town.
At St.Alban’s, we follow the National Curriculum, which includes Geography as a compulsory subject for key stages 1 and 2, with statutory Programmes of study. The National curriculum splits the study of geography into four key areas: locational knowledge; place knowledge; human and physical geography and geographical skills and field work. These key geographical concepts are identified in our progressive KSV (knowledge, skills and vocabulary) documents which are at the bottom of this web page.