EASTLANDS JUNIOR SCHOOL,
What is Geography?
Geography is the study of the environment, local to global, and the physical and human forces that shape it.
Geography is important because:
It is a body of knowledge essential to our understanding of the world around us.
The skills and knowledge of geography have a wide implication in every day life.
Environmental awareness is important for a responsible participation in society.
To develop an understanding of the features and conditions, which make up the environment.
To appreciate how humans have used the environment with positive and negative effects.
To develop the geographical skills of:
Observing and comparing places and geographical features.
Communication: using appropriate geographical vocabulary.
Measuring and recording accurately.
Using and interpreting: maps, atlases and globes.
To learn to ask questions, propose solutions to meet environmental problems.
Geography and the National Curriculum.
Geography is a foundation subject within the framework of the National Curriculum. The knowledge, skills and understanding are laid down in the programmes of study.(see page 144 – 146)
Strategies for the teaching of Geography
Organisation of the Geography Curriculum.
The Geography Curriculum is organised into two yearly cycles for lower juniors and upper juniors. Over the cycles a range of geographical skills and knowledge are covered. The coverage of geography is planned for from the theme and details in the NC document. For coverage of geographic work across the key stage see the topic curriculum over view. (see over view planning appendix)
When planning geography work, teachers link the ideas to the topic covered and plan an appropriate amount of time within the foundation curriculum.
Teaching of Geography.
The class teacher teaches children geography, there is no specialist teaching of geography.
The children work individually, in co-operative groups or as a class as appropriate. The groups are usually of mixed ability. Discussions using speaking and listening skills are encouraged.
Fieldwork in the environment is an important part of the geography curriculum.
Teachers make use of published worksheets and materials as well as producing their own to meet the needs of the topic.
Teachers make use of school broadcasts, information from the Internet and material from outside agencies eg. Action Aid for some topics within the geography curriculum.
Children are encouraged to present their findings in a variety of ways e.g. topic folders, wall displays, verbal reports, sketches, models and class books.
Pupils with special needs may receive help and support in a variety of ways, e.g. individual sheets, pairing up with a more able child, differentiated activities, support from teaching assistants or teachers and careful choice of books at their level of reading ability.
Pupils with a particular flair and ability may have differentiated and extension activities.
Through the study of geography the children develop their skills and use a variety of techniques to gather and interpret knowledge and understanding throughout the key stage. The geographical skills are specifically taught.
Resources are made available and accessible and are regularly reviewed.
The study of geography is through a mixture of practical activity, investigative fieldwork and class-based activities.
Information handling skills, including the use of a wide range of source materials, are explicitly taught.
Careful observation is encouraged.
Resources are made available and accessible, and are regularly reviewed.
Children are encouraged to communicate their findings in a variety of forms, written and verbal reports, use of graphs or pictures, wall displays and individual topic folders.
Strategies for Ensuring Progression and Continuity.
Geography is part of the foundation curriculum, the coverage of which has planned for by the staff.
The geography topics are organised throughout the school on a two year cycle for lower and upper juniors
Schemes of work for geography are taken from the NC
Medium term planning, for geography within the foundation curriculum, is undertaken by year group staff and is developed onto medium term planning grids. (see planning blank)
Use of the geographic skills ladder ensures teachers plan for progression and continuity.
Staff evaluate each geography session as an ongoing process.
Completed copies of termly planning and examples of children’s work are handed to the coordinator for monitoring purposes.
Role of the geography coordinator.
To take the lead in policy development and production of schemes of work, to monitor the delivery of the geography curriculum, to ensure progression and continuity of geography teaching and learning throughout the school.
To support colleagues with advice and suggestions.
To undertake work analysis, monitoring the delivery of geographic content
To take responsibility for the purchase and organisation of central resources for geography.
To keep up to date with developments in geography education and disseminate information to colleagues as appropriate.
To advise the head teacher of concerns or actions needed to be taken following monitoring of planning and work analysis.
Feedback to Children and Parents.
Mark children’s work with the aim of helping and encouraging children to learn with positive and constructive comments, verbal and written.
Discuss work with the child whilst they are carrying out the task.
Discuss and review work upon completion of the topic, giving the child time to reflect on their work and progress, together with setting a target to work to during their next topic.
Reporting to parents is done on a termly basis with parent interviews and with an annual written report. This focuses on the child’s understanding of themes and places and their geographical skills.
Children’s projects are kept throughout the year by the class teacher and are shown to parents at parents’ evenings. The child may then take them home at the end of the year at the head’s discretion.
Resources such as trundle wheels, tapes, metre rulers etc. relevant to the scheme of are kept in the resources room.
Central resources include photocopiable worksheets and books of ideas are stored in the staff room, atlases and matching workbooks are stored in the library. The library also contains encyclopaedias, reference materials and globes for the children’s use.
Central resources are the responsibility of the geography co coordinator who may have a small budget available.
Visits to geographical sites may be an integral part of the programme of study for geography and are carefully planned by teachers to support their classroom work as appropriate.
The children are given the opportunity to take part in two extended visits during the Key Stage. The lower juniors are offered a bi-annual visit to Walesby Scout Activity Centre. The upper juniors are offered an annual visit to Sheffield, depending on price constraints.
I.C.T. is a resource that can be used in geography for:
Communicating information (word process and graphics.)
Handling information (databases.)
Specific software for teaching and developing geographical skills (mapping, grid references, aerial photographs.)
Use of the Internet for research.
Use of PowerPoint to create presentations on a given topic.
Health and Safety.
Teach the children to use equipment in accordance with health and safety requirements.
Teach pupils to understand the need for safe practice in field activities and how to achieve this.
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