At Clerkenwell Parochial School, we believe that Geography is instrumental in developing a deep understanding of the natural and human features of our world. Through our through and concise curriculum, children are inspired and encouraged to understand the world around them, as well as their own impact and place within it. We also seek to rouse a love and awe for God’s intricate creations through our investigative and thought-provoking approach to the delivery of our programme of study. Geography knowledge and skills are taught through an exciting and engaging curriculum that is tailored to suit the interests of the children, reflects current issues and non-negotiable units taken from the National Curriculum, as well as topics that relevant to our children’s own local context. We aim to teach skills that not only develop children into proficient geographers, but are also transferable across the curriculum. This includes applying their learning to their own social, moral, ethical, cultural and spiritual development. We seek to ignite a desire to learn more about our fascinating world, how it has come together and the beautiful diversity of human beings that we share it with. We work towards sparking curiosity and developing an interest in learning about the Earth’s many physical features, the diverse landscapes, human life and the intricate processes that make up our world as we know it. We have developed a thorough and progressive curriculum that is built up term by term and year by year. This is to ensure that children are able to take a step further with their skills each time they work on a unit, which will in turn build up their skills for proficient application through their school years and into their further education, as well as in their everyday lives.
At Clerkenwell, our units are selected from the National Curriculum and this selection process is based upon the interests of the children, units of study in other curriculum areas and their relevance to our children’s own lives within their own local contexts. These units cover an extensive programme of study based on Physical Geography, Environmental Geography, Human Geography and Local Area Geography. We teach Geography in blocks throughout the year so that we are able to immerse children into each unit with as much depth as possible. The teaching and learning of Geography skills is just as important as the teaching and learning of Geography skills.
The following knowledge and skills are developed from Year 1 to Year 6:
Each unit is planned in detail by our teachers and overseen by the Subject Leader, as well as being headed by a ‘Big Question’ that needs to be answered by the end of the unit. Each ‘Big Question’ is selected in order to develop children’s understanding of how the knowledge they have acquired is related to them as individuals within their own local context. Both the knowledge and skills required for proficient understanding of the topic carefully identified and then taught through engaging, immersive and creative lessons. During the entry point of each new unit, the children are asked to identify what they already know about it, as well as considering what they would like to find out. Teachers then use this alongside the unit’s Big Question to develop a thorough and enquiry-based unit lead by the children’s curiosity. Each topic is taught in an exciting way in order to help knowledge ‘stick’; this includes the use of artefacts, maps, compasses, information books, use of Computing, themed entry points and educational visits, making use of all London has to offer.
Each year group is covering the following in Geogrpahy this year, identified by their ‘Big Question’:
- The UK - 'Where can we go in the UK?'
- Comparing Places - ‘What would it be like to live in Coll and Kapatalamwa?’
- Seaside Holidays - ‘What was it like to live by the sea then and now?’
- Places Around the World - ‘Where am I?’
- Homes Across the World - ‘How do homes and the environment relate?’
- Cities and Local Area - ‘What would Dora the Explorer find interesting about our city?’
Year 3 and Year 4
- Comparing places - ‘Where would you rather live: Greece or the United Kingdom?’
- Rivers (History and Geography cross-over, with local area study) - ‘Why is London situated by the River Thames?’
- Earthquakes and Volcanoes - 'What makes the earth angry?'
- Local Area Study - ‘Can you map out Dickens' journey from his house to our school?’
- Local Area Project - 'Who do you think you are?'
- Comparing places - ‘Would you rather live in the Caribbean or the United Kingdom?’
- Comparing Places - ‘How does the United Kingdom's land form compare to that of South America?’
- Local Area Project - 'Who do you think you are?'
- London and Travel - 'How can I apply geographical skills to mapping and travelling?
We are a school that is committed to inclusion and by ensuring all entry points of this nature, we are able ensure that all children’s different starting points inform the planning and teaching. We aim to close gaps in knowledge and skills where they are present through careful planning, resourcing and scaffolding, as well as setting challenged and pushing towards Greater Depth where attainment is very high. In order to make learning relevant and immersive, we carefully created a programme of study that links well with other curriculum areas, ensuring that connections can me made with Maths, Literacy, Science, History, RE, Computing, Art/DT and PSHE where relevant.
As a whole school, we are shifting our thinking to consider how our teaching and learning impacts the children as individuals within their own local context. With this in mind, we developed a History project based on Clerkenwell Parochial ’s fascinating and rich history entitled 'Clerkenwell: Who Do You Think You Are?' The project included school’s Geographical history, which allowed them to learn about the significance of their local area, why it is the way it is today and the Human Geography related to it. This also tied in well with looking at who we are as a school, where we have come from and where we are going next.