At Westgate Primary School all children, including SEN and disadvantaged, learn the following concepts and themes through studying different geographical topics throughout the school:
- Understanding our changing and interconnected world
- Comparing and contrasting
- Environmental Impact
- Cause and effect
- Map and atlas work
- Human and physical features
- Investigating and field work
By connecting our British Values through the teaching of Geography, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future e.g plastic waste.
We begin each year with geography because it is something familiar to the pupils, especially for the Year 1 children. We want them to accurately articulate their thoughts and opinions through the proactive acquisition of technical and none technical vocabulary.
In Year 1, we start by looking at the weather - this is a real life, concrete concept for pupils and is something to which they can easily relate. Pupils look at the changes in the weather and what would be appropriate clothing e.g. to wear into the playground, to go into the local area or on a holiday.
This connects to make links to local area through developing an understanding of map work. Before pupils can go out into the local area, they will look at map skills, beginning with a map of the table, then the playground and then moving into the wider area/ investigating their surroundings e.g. Dartford.
Pupil’s geographical knowledge will then slowly build outwards from this starting point by layering skill and knowledge year on year.
In Year 2,we extend this further by looking at Kent through exploring two contrasting towns e.g. Dartford and Herne Bay. They look at the human and physical features and begin to develop an understanding of how they are connected. They move from maps of the classroom to aerial photos; road maps and maps of the major features of the UK. They begin to familiarise themselves with the location of the River Thames and its relationship to the development of the local area.
In Year 3, they study rivers in detail as a key physical geographical features. This builds on their understanding from Year 2, as they explore how the River Thames is compared to the Amazon, comparing the physical and human features of each area. The information is used to analyse evidence and draw conclusions; understanding geographical similarities and differences. They study larger scale maps of the world identifying a range of rivers and other features. They look at the physical features of the UK by looking at other rivers and the river system.
In Year 4, children move on to looking at coastal features with a trip to Broadstairs. They are looking at the human and physical features and how they are connected. They look at how the physical features impact the human use of the land and environmental issues e.g. erosion and coastal defences, tourism, fishing etc. We link this back to the weather from Year 1 and how weather affects floods, droughts etc.
In Year 5, children investigate places with more emphasis on the larger scale, contrasting more distant places. They also look at the impact of large scale physical features on human lives e.g earthquakes and volcanoes, land use etc.
They look at thematic maps and the comparison of other large scale maps.
In Year 6, children study world scale biomes, where they independently apply the skills already learnt from previous years in order to explain and analyse appropriate data. They compare contrasting biomes and develop their understanding of the human impact on them – including major environmental issues like pollution. They make comparisons and draw conclusions.