Geography at Hermitage
Geography Subject Statement
Subject Leader: Steve Torrie
In Geography, we aim to ensure that all children become positive global citizens and gain knowledge and understanding of the world they live in. We aim to equip the children with an interest, curiosity and enthusiasm for working geographically, which we develop through focused case studies, fieldwork and enquiries.
We know that great geography happens in our school when...
- Our curriculum relates to real world examples and allows children to make connections to their locality as well as looking at comparisons to other countries and cities.
- The children are engaged in interactive lessons and resources.
- There are opportunities for children to investigate geographical changes in their surrounding areas and elsewhere.
- Children can apply other skills and make connections to other curriculum areas by identifying links.
Our Geography curriculum links children’s learning as much as possible to real life examples. This is done through case studies and topics that grab children’s attention and passion for learning. It relies upon a balance of skills and knowledge being planned and taught in all year groups. Connections between topics allow for the application of prior learning and children to discover similarities and differences between places and cultures through our spiral curriculum design, which allows skills and knowledge to be revisited and built on in a progressive manner.
Data analysis and tracking of progress is done in a number of ways. At the end of each topic, class teachers complete an assessment task looking at a key objective covered in that term. Based on the criteria set, children are then identified as WTS, ARE or GDS for the subject. Teacher assessment is also applied to this assessment, based on the quality of children’s classwork and this is then used to finalise assessment judgements in each class. We carry out periodic moderation work across our school and with other professionals.
All objectives, both skills and knowledge, have been taken from the National Curriculum, and our own Geography curriculum designed with the support of Chris Trevor, an expert in primary Geography and History. During this, we came up with the idea of a ‘spiral curriculum’ to ensure that children retain key knowledge by revisiting certain objectives in different year groups. Some content is also taught at various points due to the level of maturity required to discuss and learn about certain concepts.
We ensure that the subject is being delivered effectively through the school by carrying out a range of monitoring activities. Books and planning are scrutinised and feedback is given to teachers. Lesson observations may also be carried out in this subject. Furthermore, the subject leader will offer supportive team-taught lessons to less confident members of staff and NQTs.
We have produced a bespoke scheme of work that meets the needs of the children. We are constantly reviewing this scheme in order for it to be the best that it can be for the children of our school.
In EYFS, the teaching for Geography is covered by the ‘Understanding
the World’ strand of the curriculum whereas Year 1 – 6 follow the National Curriculum objectives for Geography. We have introduced Knowledge Organisers that class teachers share with parents and children, outlining the key learning and vocabulary for each unit of Geography. Geography is taught each term as a discrete subject but also part of a wider topic and overarching enquiry question, but there are also many cross-curricular links within our curriculum.
Pupil voice is at the forefront of the Hermitage values, and if pupils believe their learning is fun, relates to real-life and is good quality, then that is one of the most effective pieces of evidence we could receive. Pupil voice surveys are completed regularly for this subject. Impact is also measured through staff questionnaires, book scrutinies, tracking of attainment through assessment activities and lesson observations, where appropriate.
The general trend of attainment is that most children at Hermitage make good progress in Geography, broadly in line with that made in the core curriculum. However, over recent years it has been noted that the number of GDS pupils in Geography is lower than that of other areas. As the curriculum continues to evolve, a focus will also be put on how to challenge the highest ability groups in order to further the progress made by those in these groups. This is currently done through open ended tasks, higher level questions, differentiated work and extension activities in lessons. Furthermore, the progress of vulnerable groups is investigated each term to ensure any gaps with their peers are addressed.