Geography Leader - Mr Bishop
Why does Geography Matter?
At St Francis we believe that Geography is an integral subject that is inspiring for children. The children at St Francis are motivated by the topics that are relevant to them. This allows them to explore the wider world as well as the local area around them. Through this the children develop an understanding of the physical world but they also develop socially and emotionally through understanding the cultural world. This is why Geography matters!
Here is a short clip by David Attenborough to show why Geography is so significant:
What Geography looks like at St Francis?
Geography is not taught as a stand-alone subject at St Francis. It is taught within a topic to allow the children to be fully immersed within the learning, as thus see Geography as a tool to explore a culture, area or country. Each topic has been chosen specifically to be relevant and to enthuse each of the different years throughout St Francis. We recently asked the children at St Francis what they would like to learn about in Geography. This is shown in the picture below. As a school, we have used these responses to ensure that the children are excited by what we are teaching them.
We aim to provide every child with physical experiences to base their Geography learning upon, whether this be exploring a forest floor or making Paper-Mache volcanoes. This then gives every child a magical Geography moment to inspire them to learn more. When thinking what a good Geography lesson should look like, we consulted the children. This is what they said.
A good Geography teacher should:
- - Be adventurous, not boring
- - Take us to places, like museums
- - Have happy and practical lessons
- - To know everything about the world
- - Make it fun
We listened to these suggestions by the children, and we work to have every lesson be PRACTICAL, FUN and FULL OF KNOWLEDGE.
How Geography skills and knowledge progress through the school?
During the foundation stage, children learn about the world around them. They look at the similarities and differences between places, objects and materials. They converse about their immediate environment and the learning opportunities provided by the adults. Further up the school, children will start to ask geographical questions based on the topics they are studying. They will look at different environments around the world and environments in the local vicinity. Pupils will learn about different countries around the world and the physical and social differences between countries. By the time they are in year 6, students will be able to work as a geographer: producing and studying maps; describing and comparing different settlements; have a grasp on place knowledge; as well as being familiar with key geographical terms.
Outdoor Learning and Geography
At St Francis we are really lucky to have a dedicated Forest space and dedicated time in the busy weekly timetable for all children to experience Outdoor Learning. The magnificent Mrs Edmonds creates fantastic challenges and activities within this area for every class within the school to experience. This gives every child an amazing experience of the physical make up of the local area. This allows the children to understand physical geography in a far more enhanced way. This may be shown as our youngest learners noticing that the ground gets muddy and sticky after it has rained, or possibly by our oldest learners looking at the different microclimates within the wooden area to see how each insect is adapted to live exactly there.