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Cookham Rise Primary School

"We want all our children to SHINE"

Geography

We want all our children to SHINE as geographers, map-readers, global citizens and environmentalists. 

Intent

At Cookham Rise, we aim to inspire children to be curious about the world and the people in it.

Sir Michael Palin 2011, television broadcaster and travel journalist describes geography as,

“a living, breathing subject, constantly adapting itself to change. It is dynamic and relevant… geography is a subject which holds the key to our future.”

As teachers, our intent is to have a clear, purposeful and well-delivered curriculum. We plan on teaching a solid knowledge of places and environments as well as ensuring fundamental values such as forming opinions, developing emotional intelligence and instilling empathies for other people’s personal geographies. Through their work in geography, children learn about the area they live in and compare their life in this locality to other regions in the United Kingdom and also in the rest of the world. In topic lessons with a geography focus, children will learn how to draw and interpret maps and develop the skills of research. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, our hope is that children will gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Children learning about other countries and cultures will hopefully have a desire to visit/experience other cultures on a first-hand basis. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.

 

Implementation

At Cookham Rise, we have devised exciting themes to teach geography through. Using the National Curriculum objectives, teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills linked to each blocked topic and these are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. At the beginning of each term, a topic web is prepared and shared with parents and children. At Cookham Rise, we believe that the communication of our curriculum is vital to really bring a topic to life and help engage parents in their children’s learning. Weekly class letters sent to parents and work uploaded to the Seesaw App help to make them aware which part of the topic has been covered that week and provide stimulus for conversations about their child’s learning. From the topic webs, a series of structured lessons is planned and delivered, taking account of children’s interests and progress, These lessons are adapt if needed. Tasks are selected and designed to provide appropriate challenge to all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. We aim for all of our pupils to access the curriculum and support children who may have difficulties with this through scaffolding their learning. We encourage pupils to actively engage with their next steps and to make choices about their learning. In KS2, the children complete daily workbooks that have a selection of questions/activities for the children to work through. Each day there is a question on maps/atlases to make sure that knowledge gained is not knowledge forgotten. The local area is fully utilised to achieve desired outcomes and bring a personal message to the children’s learning.

At Cookham Rise, we have chosen three key drivers that are reflected within each of the topics that we cover:

Opportunities - this encompasses our desire to introduce the children to as many possibilities as possible. We will enhance this through inviting speakers into school, as well as going on school trips.

Community - we are at the heart of a lovely school community, but want the children to learn about and understand the wider communities they are part of, both in the UK and the wider global community. We believe we have a responsibility to help children understand and embrace diversity.

Creativity - we aim to be as creative as possible in how we teach our children, but also want to encourage their creativity across the curriculum.

For how our drivers relate to our topics, please look at the topic webs saved in the website area for each class.

 

Impact

We want children to leave Cookham Rise with a combination of skills and knowledge that will serve them well on the next steps of their journey. We recognise that this comes from a broad curriculum offering alongside the teaching of British Values and life skills.

Outcomes in topic and literacy books help to evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Our use of Seesaw also helps to track the progress made by children in geography lessons. Teachers and children can review the achievement each lesson by using the school’s SHINE grids which detail ‘I can’ statements as objectives for that lesson.

At the end of the year, teachers assess whether children have reached ARE (age Related Expectations) or are higher or lower than this. This information is then shared with parents via end of year reports and entered onto the school tracking system – iTrack.

Through our opportunities driver, we aim for children to learn about careers related to geography from members of the local and wider community. Above all, we want every child at Cookham Rise to care about the environment and realise that our actions have consequences. We hope for them to be empathetic to the diverse cultures around the world and other people’s geographies and to become responsible global citizens.

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