In our teaching of geography we want the children to begin to understand the people and places in the local community, extending and connecting to a wider and more global context “so that they learn about their county, country, the world and the universe.” (Kidd, Curriculum of Hope)
Our history and geography curriculum is ever-evolving: changing as our own knowledge grows and develops. Working in emotionally positive and hopeful ways requires that classrooms provide the kind of conditions from which rich lives can emerge but also meet the demands of our education system. We take care to weave in the knowledge that is required but we also take care to be flexible to find other potential areas of interest; to find and develop other knowledge and experiences that build on the interests and expertise of teachers, and the interests of the children themselves (so the children are not powerless or passive but that are active agents of learning).
This approach allows us to adapt to a changing world, particularly in areas such as environmental and climate change so the children are actively experiencing relevant knowledge, while also developing skills that are relevant to their current and future lives.
We want the children to be able to develop the relevant skills of a geographer and to be able to present and interpret geographical knowledge in a number of ways: maps, writing, exhibitions, debates, data, apps and fieldwork. We want them to know what it is to be a geographer and enjoy being a geographer.
What our pupils say:
“When the lady from WWT came to talk about the Madagascan Pochard it was cool to find out how they saved a bird that was lost for a long time and almost extinct. It inspired me by what people can do.”
“We have been looking at Climate Change in Geography where we have learned that our world is heating up, which means that polar bear and penguins’ homes are melting. This makes me feel sad and we need to do something about it.”
“I really liked comparing the Rainforest to London– it is so cool to learn about the differences with their weather. The Amazon is an average 27 degrees whereas London is 11 degrees– that is quite a big difference. The trip to the Living Rainforest was so good because you got to see all the animals and what their habitats looked like.”