Fern Hill Geography Rationale
Love of Learning
At Fern Hill, we seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest 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. Our curriculum is intended to equip pupils with the knowledge and skills to understand our ever-changing planet and aspire to responsibly contribute to its nurture and development in a sustainable way.
Children develop their knowledge, skills and understanding as laid out in the national curriculum. Key concepts and knowledge are revisited through studies of different localities with a particular emphasis on developing pupils’ understanding and appreciation of sustainability, diversity and belonging. Particular emphasis is placed upon developing the geographical vocabulary required to identify and name places and describe the human and physical processes at work there. A vocabulary progression is currently in development to embed this further. By the end of each of the Key Stages, key knowledge, skills and vocabulary will have been revisited and built upon a number of times to ensure long-term learning. As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context through outdoor learning and fieldwork.
Children are provided with opportunities to undertake geographical enquiry about different localities where they are encouraged to question where a place is, what is it like, and why, how and why is it changing, how does it compare with other places and how and why places might be connected. Geographical fieldwork skills are mapped out year on year progressively to provide opportunities for the children to build upon learning and become proficient in using maps and compasses, reading grid-references and using fieldwork skills to record, measure and present the human and physical geography of our local area.
We aim for pupils to appreciate and respect the fragility of the world so that they learn to respect its beauty and grow into responsible citizens who care about protecting that fragility. Our children learn about the interdependence between human and physical geography and the impact humans can have on the environment. From this, they understand the crucial role they play in shaping what our changing world will be like in the future and question how they can influence change for the better. Regular visits from charities and fundraising events contribute to developing empathy and responsibility within our pupils. One example of this their annual support for the charity LunchBowl who care for and educate orphaned children in Kibera, Nairobi.
As a result of our curriculum, we aim to engender the excitement, creativity and critical thinking about the world that will equip young people to make their own way in it.
Geography Curriculum Intent: what is taught and when
Pupils engage in weekly humanities lessons and alternate between geography and history sequences of learning throughout the year with explicit links being made between the both when relevant.
In KS1, children compare Kingston to an area in Africa. Africa has been chosen to introduce locational knowledge required for KS2 history topics and also as a locality that can open our pupils’ eyes to the diversity in cultures around the world.
Children in KS2 study an area of New Orleans in North America and a region in Italy. These localities have been specific chosen as it provides an opportunity to revisit knowledge taught previously. For example, children can apply their knowledge of rivers taught in Year 4 to understand the process and impact of the Mississippi River flooding during Hurricane Katrina.
Children are given a wide range of experiences and resources in lessons. They are encouraged to ask and answer questions, as well as selecting and recording information. Teachers in all classes explore and plan appropriate opportunities for using ICT to enhance children’s learning experiences in geography e.g. using Google Earth.
In the Early Years’ Foundation Stage, geography is taught throughout continuous provision and the school’s grounds and environmental area with evidence towards ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ recorded using Tapestry. This is further enhanced through Forest Fun.