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Geography

At Our Lady of Compassion Primary School, we are GEOGRAPHERS!

We want our children to love geography. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be cartographers, town planners, conservationists or weather forecasters.

Our aim is that, through the teaching of Geography at Our Lady of Compassion, we provide a purposeful platform for exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. We want to ensure that through Geography, pupils are able to explore the relationship between the Earth and its people through the study of place, space and environment.

In Geography, pupils in our school will learn the skills of understanding locational knowledge; how and where people fit into its overall structure. We also intend for children to become passionate and knowledgeable about our local community and beyond, by learning through experiences in practical and fieldwork activities.

‘You can travel the seas, poles and deserts and see nothing.  To really understand the world, you need to get under the skin of the people and places.  In other words, learn about geography.  I can’t imagine a subject more relevant in schools.’ 

 Michael Palin

Implementation

A guiding principle of CUSP Geography is that each study draws upon prior learning.  High volume and deliberate practice is essential for pupils to remember and retrieve substantive knowledge and use their disciplinary knowledge to explain and articulate what they know. This means pupils make conscious connections and think hard, using what they know.

CUSP Geography is built around the principles of cumulative knowledge focusing on spaces, places, scale, human and physical processes with an emphasis on how content is connected and relational knowledge acquired. An example of this is the identification of continents, such as Europe, and its relationship to the location of the UK.

What do we teach?

Early Years 

The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of geography, people and communities through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’.

Children learn about features of their own environment such as school, home, community and their city through first hand experiences and learn how environments may differ through the sharing of books, stories, poems, small world play, role play and visits. Children enjoy the valuable experiences gained from our regular trips to places within their local community such as the library, park, the village and the beach. Children are given time to discuss, comment and ask questions about what they observe about the world around them and are encouraged to be active learners and explore their interests further.

Key Stage 1 

The sequence in KS1 focuses young children to develop a sense of place, scale and an understanding of human and physical geographical features. 

Later in KS1, CUSP map skills and fieldwork are essential to support children in developing an understanding of how to explain and describe a place, the people who live there, its space and scale.  

Initially, children study the orientation of the world through acquiring and making locational sense of the 7 continents and 5 oceans of the world. They extend their knowledge and study the countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom, along with the oceans and seas that surround us, routes and maps can be made concrete in day-to-day experiences in the safety of their school grounds and classrooms.  

Throughout KS1, pupils enhance their locational knowledge by studying and identifying human and physical features of places and contrasting locations throughout the world. The location of these areas in the world are deliberately chosen to be culturally diverse.

Fieldwork and map skills are further developed with a study of the local area, using cardinal points of a compass. Maps are introduced through familiar stories as a way to communicate what the place and space is like. Pupils retrieve and apply knowledge about human and physical features in their local context. OS maps are introduced to pupils in KS1 using Digimap for Schools. Simple keys and features are identified and mapped locally to help begin to understand place, distance and scale. 

LOWER KEY STAGE 2 

As pupils begin KS2, fieldwork and map skills are revisited with the intercardinal points of a compass points being introduced to elaborate on the knowledge pupils already have around cardinal points. This supports a study of the UK, focusing on regions, counties, landmarks and topography. Further studies are undertaken to elaborate fieldwork and map skills through a sharper focus on OS maps. 

Pupils elaborate and expand their understanding of human and physical features and apply it to the study of rivers.  

To enable accurate location of places around the globe, pupils study absolute positioning or reference systems through latitude and longitude. 

Complementing studies on location and position is the focus on the water cycle. It offers explanation and reason about physical processes as well as why certain biomes have specific features in specific global locations. Pupils study geographical patterns across the world using latitude of locations to explain why places are like they are. Further river studies revisit substantive knowledge and these are applied to the River Nile and the Amazon River.

Further fieldwork and map skills are introduced to enrich pupils’ disciplinary knowledge of locations and places. 

A deliberately planned study focusing on the environmental regions of Europe, Russia, and North and South America draws attention to climate regions. 

UPPER KEY STAGE 2 

The study of Biomes and Environmental regions builds upon world locations, latitude and longitude studies. World countries and major cities are located, identified and remembered through deliberate and retrieval practice, such as low stakes quizzing and Two things tasks. The study of biomes is revisited deliberately to ensure the content is remembered and applied. 

In upper KS2, the study of 4 and 6 figure grid references supports prior learning of reference systems and brings an increased accuracy to mapping and fieldwork skills. 

Pupils take part in geographical analysis using patterns and comparison of both human and physical processes as well as the features present in chosen locations. This abstract concept is made concrete through studying and comparing the Lake District, the Tatra mountains of Poland and the Blue mountains of Jamaica. Physical processes such as orogeny and glaciation are acquired to explain significant change over long periods of time. The concept of physical process is revisited through a study of Earthquakes, mountains and volcanoes. 

Settlement, trade and economic activities are the focus of a study that draws upon the Windrush generation module in CUSP History. This develops an increasing knowledge about migration and the factors that push people away or draw people towards settlements. Within these studies, pupils make relational connections between settlements and physical or human features. 

How do pupils learn

  • Class timetables have been built to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum.  

  • Subjects have been blocked in a spaced retrieval model to support catch up and to build the frequency of science and wider curriculum subjects. This maximises learning time. 

An essential component to CUSP lessons is the systematic and coherent approach that we embed focusing on the six phases of a lesson.

OVERVIEW OF KNOWLEDGE 

Each unit includes an overview for the teacher which details the big idea that pupils will be studying, prior knowledge, skills to be taught and common misconceptions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KNOWLEDGE ORGANISERS

Dual coded knowledge organisers contain core information for children to easily access and use as a point of reference and as a means of retrieval practise.

MAPPING OF KNOWLEDGE

 

The sequence of learning makes clear essential and desirable knowledge, key questions and task suggestions for each lesson and suggested cumulative quizzing questions.

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