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What is our aim with Geography at Springfield? 

A guiding principle of Geography at Springfield Junior School is that each study draws upon prior learning.  the study of Geography is built around the principles of cumulative knowledge focusing on spaces, places, scale, human and physical processes with an emphasis on how content is connected and relational knowledge acquired. An example of this is the identification of continents, such as Europe, and its relationship to the location of the UK.

Children become ‘more expert’ with each study and grow an ever broadening and coherent mental model of the subject. This guards against superficial, disconnected and fragmented geographical knowledge. Specific and associated geographical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from the study they have completed at the infant school to Year 3 and through to Year 6. High frequency, multiple meaning words (tier 2) are taught and help make sense of subject-specific words (tier 3). Each learning module in geography has a vocabulary module with teacher guidance, tasks and resources.

The planning of the curriculum ensures the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by implementing retrieval and spaced retrieval practice, word building and deliberate practice tasks. This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory: new content is connected to prior learning. The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with places, spaces, scale, people, culture and processes.

Our curriculum fulfils and goes well beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum as we believe there is no ceiling to what pupils can learn if the architecture and practice is founded in evidence-led principles.

What does this look like in our classrooms? (Implementation)
A clear progression of skills is implemented for pupils from Year 3 to Year 6. Skills, knowledge, concepts and vocabulary are continually revisited and are built upon to ensure that pupils make, or exceed, expected progress. Concepts and vocabulary are explicitly taught in context and built upon through each unit of work across the school. 

THINKING LIKE A GEOGRAPHER - Pupils make more sense and have a deeper understanding of the substantive concepts and knowledge by using what they know through disciplinary knowledge. Teachers use ‘Thinking Hard Tasks’ to consolidate or elaborate pupil thinking. 

The implementation of our curriculum ensures balanced coverage of the four main themes outlined in the National Curriculum: Geographic and skills fieldwork; locational knowledge; human and physical; and place knowledge.

Within Geography sessions we aim to support pupils by:
*Promoting pupil voice 
*Displaying learning, skills and vocabulary, in the classroom, on our 'Loops of Learning' wall 
*Using an enquiry led approach; key questions and ancillary questions
*Providing a diverse and creative curriculum
*Building aspiration by creating opportunities for children to have wider experiences; visits, trips

Vocabulary forms a key part of our curriculum. Therefore, subject specific Tier 2 and Tier 3 words are identified in each module. Supporting pupils in the acquisition of knowledge, through the use of key concepts, terms, and vocabulary, provides opportunities to build a shared and consistent understanding. Knowledge organisers and notes, displays, along with regular retrieval practice, will be used to support this approach. 

How do we support and assess all learners?
We strive to meet the needs of all pupils, whatever their ability or level of need. Children have the right to progress and reach their potential. By adapting our teaching, we support the needs of those children who have disabilities, English as an additional language or special gifts and talents.

We use the Insight Assessment Tracker to identify which pupils are making progress against the curriculum objectives and are able to meet the age expected standard for individual year groups.

Teachers use a range of creative ideas to challenge our most able pupils including tailored questioning. Learner groups, including EAL and Pupil Premium, are analysed through school data and relevant action is taken to ensure that all groups are catered for appropriately. For example, pre-teaching of vocabulary and key knowledge enables pupils to access learning in the classroom.


Geographical Enquiries

Year 3 & Year 4

‚ÄčFieldwork and map skills are revisited with the intercardinal points of a compass points being introduced. A study of the UK, focuses on regions, counties, landmarks and topography. This study demands analysis and pattern seeking to identify the features of the UK. Further studies are undertaken to elaborate fieldwork and map skills through a sharper focus on OS maps. Pupils elaborate and expand their understanding of human and physical features and apply it to the study of rivers.  An in-depth understanding of latitude and longitude is used by pupils throughout KS2. Studies on location and position is the focus on the water cycle.  . Cultural awareness and diversity are taught specifically within learning modules. Examples include European studies, as well as studies of countries and people in Africa, and North and South America. A deliberately planned study focusing on the environmental regions of Europe, Russia, and North and South America draws attention to climate regions and is the precursor to studying biomes in Year 5 & 6.

Year 5 & Year 6

The study of Biomes and Environmental regions builds upon world locations, latitude and longitude studies. . The study of biomes is revisited deliberately to ensure the content is remembered and applied. The study of 4 and 6 figure grid references supports prior learning of reference systems and brings an increased accuracy to mapping and fieldwork skills. Terrain is studied through contour lines and OS map skills and fieldwork.  Route finding and decoding information through maps offers challenge through increasingly complex orienteering and mapping tasks. Pupils study and compare the Lake District, the Tatra mountains of Poland and the Blue mountains of Jamaica.  The concept of physical process is revisited through a study of Earthquakes, mountains and volcanoesSettlement, trade and economic activities are the focus of a study that draws upon the Windrush generation module