We are very lucky at North Bradley CE Primary School to be surrounded by amazing countryside in a beautiful part of the country. We have many opportunities to explore our local, and some more distant surroundings.
At North Bradley, we want to develop children's natural curiosity in the world around them. We want them to be able to have pride in, and knowledge of, their local area, the UK and the wider world. We want children to have an excellent knowledge of where places are, their key features and how they are similar and different to their own environment. We aim to ensure that they are skilled in geographical skills; knowing how to carry out a fieldwork enquiry, asking key questions and exploring patterns in their data. We aim for children to have a very skilled knowledge of a wide variety of maps. Our topics are informed by the national curriculum as well as the context of the local area.
Through the study of geography, children gain knowledge essential to our understanding of the world around us and the environmental awareness that is a prerequisite for responsible participation in society. At North Bradley CE Primary School, our children study Geography from Reception through to the end of Year 6. Our geography curriculum links geographical knowledge to a variety of learning contexts within each year group, which have been planned to ensure the required breadth of coverage at each Key Stage.
Our geography lessons are built around a key enquiry question. Children are actively involved in shaping this enquiry through their questions and interests, guided by the teacher. Some examples of enquiry questions this year are:
- Why is London our capital city?
- What makes Trowbridge special?
- What challenges are facing South America?
These questions also provide an ideal context for extending children's literacy in speaking and listening, reading and writing. We ensure that there is a balance between the acquisition of geographical disciplinary skills and substantive knowledge so that at the end of the unit of work, pupils will be able to use this understanding to give a well reasoned, substantiated answer to the enquiry question.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in Foundation Stage to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year. We aim for our EYFS children to be able to talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society and know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
Children at North Bradley develop their disciplinary skills; their ability to think like a geographer. Children ask geographical questions, use different geographical sources and collect and analyse their own data to help them in answering questions with children becoming increasingly responsible for their own enquiry as they get older. Our four main skills that children develop are:
- Map work
- Data analysis
Our geography curriculum is built around five core themes that children will revisit year on year to further develop their understanding. We carefully map these themes across the units and revisit them. Each time the children encounter a concept, their understanding of it becomes denser and more nuanced. The themes are:
Weather and climate
Settlement and land use
Hazards and responses
Transport, trade and the distribution of resources
The environment - climate change, threats and responses.
We visit many local surroundings, landmarks and places of interest to support our geography learning contexts which develop children’s understanding of the world around them. In addition, children in Year 4 take part in a geography based residential trip, through which they are involved in many orienteering and geographical learning.
At the beginning of each unit, children are given a knowledge organiser which shows the key knowledge that will be covered throughout the learning context. Low stake quizzes happen at the beginning and end of each unit. This provides a means by which progress can be judged in terms of knowing more and remembering more.
Through following our Geography Programme of Study our children, by the end of KS2, will have gained a coherent knowledge and understanding of their local area, including North Bradley village, Trowbridge, Wiltshire and the South-West region. Children will also be aware of different environments around the UK. Children will be able to compare contrasting environments that they have studied, noting similarities and differences. Alongside this, children will explore a wide range of global environments and will be able to compare regions of the UK with regions of Europe, North America and South America. They will be able to discuss a wide range of human and physical features and locate places studied confidently one a wide range of maps. Children will be able to use many other sources, alongside maps, to gather knowledge about places studied and will have an increasingly prominent role in fieldwork. The children's work in their topic books, low stake quizzes and well-reasoned and substantiated answers to the units enquiry questions show evidence of this broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrates their acquisition of the key disciplinary skills, key knowledge and substantive concepts taught.