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Heyes Lane Primary School

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Geography

Heyes Lane Primary’s Geographical intent

Never in the history of our planet has geography been so clearly at the vanguard of thought. However, thanks to the work of people such as David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, this subject has become a part of society’s consciousness. At Heyes Lane, our intent is to become the vessel on which children travel, as they acquire and develop the geography skills they need to become active and ethical citizens; ready for the challenges that the world is facing. Our geography curriculum has been designed in such a way that all of the knowledge and skills which children should acquire as part of the national curriculum are reinforced and strengthened by the school’s five defining core values of; having a positive mindset, an active approach, a creative outlook, a connected environment & a caring nature. These core values, which children are nurtured to develop, help them to acquire the key skills of; being able to compare and sketch maps, use and interpret different photographs including ground, aerial and satellite, and to describe different landscapes including human’s impact on the earth.

 

Implementation

A love of planet Earth is key to the implementation of our Geography curriculum and one which has not been difficult to foster. Usually children look to adults for leadership, however with the emergence of a climate conscience culture amongst young people, the roles have been reversed and it is now children who are leading the way in the battle against climate change.

At Heyes Lane, we have used children’s passion for the world and Heyes Lane’s bespoke threads, in developing a series of themes which make use of and ignite their love of geography. The themes are pupil and enquiry lead. This starts early; In Year 1 for example, children become passionate about saving the Coral Reef in Australia, despite the 16,000 mile difference, their spirit is unwavering.

Year 2 bring it closer to home by exploring the Geographical reasons behind Manchester’s success and contribution in the industrial revolution. In addition, children make a historical link to Geography by learning the reasons behind the Ancient Romans’ decisions to settle in Chester.

The world is clearly on the verge of a huge turning point in the war against climate change and in Year 4 children explore this in depth with their topic ‘Can little people save the world?’ During this topic, children learn about deforestation both abroad and locally. They use research skills to determine what can be done in their school environment. Following a pupil-led enquiry, children have grown their own bee-friendly flower bed on the school field.

In a true display of thinking outside the box, the Year 5 team’s space topic is a hotbed of Geographical skills, knowledge and communication. The end goal being to convince people to choose their planet to move society to, following Earth’s demise. In this topic, children discuss whether or not to colonise Mars, the impact of climate change on planet Earth and different leadership styles from government roles, to that of individuals like Greta Thunberg and activists such as The Extinction Rebellion.

 

Impact

The Geography curriculum at Heyes Lane is based around developing children’s passion, through highly engaging and constantly evolving topics. Children will gain, develop and consolidate all of the skills and knowledge they require as per the national curriculum, whilst also developing their own love of learning and the school’s five core values.

By the time pupils at Heyes Lane leave for secondary education, they have the following knowledge and skills.

  • Location Knowledge

Children are able to use maps to identify key countries, regions, towns, cities and geographical features.

  • Place Knowledge

Children are able to articulate and discuss the differences between varying areas of the world and how society is impacted by geography.

  • Geographical Skills and Fieldwork

Children can use maps, atlases and other similar sources to locate places and describe its features. They know the 8 points of a compass, grid references and keys. Finally, they can use fieldwork to assess the effect of humans in a given area and also to sketch, make their own maps and to use a range of digital technologies.

 

 

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • CPD to ensure that teacher pedagogy and assessment is secure.
  • Regular feedback, marking and pupil voice feedback.
  • Subject monitoring, including book looks.
  • Regular low stakes knowledge assessments, using a range of creative approaches.
  • Images and videos.
  • Theme ‘outcomes’.
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