- In Year Six we've begun our new Geography topic, all about Biomes and Climate Zones.
- Y6 developed their personal and social skills to conquer the orienteering challenge!
Geography at London Fields Primary School
Geography is a rich and diverse subject that gives children the opportunity to learn about diverse places, people, resources, environments and the effect of mankind. It inspires a curiosity and fascination about the world from an early age and fosters enthusiasm and a passion for learning. By studying the beauty of Earth and the awesome power of Earth-shaping forces, we can fascinate, inspire and create globally-aware pupils.
Whilst the importance of geographical knowledge is recognised, we also wish to enable children to become lifelong geographers who have the skills and attitudes to continue to appreciate the world around them. Throughout the Geography curriculum at London Fields, children will learn the Earth’s key physical and human processes. They will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how these affect landscapes and environments. Many contemporary challenges – climate change, food security, energy choices – cannot be understood without a geographical perspective.
Our Geography Curriculum develops the essential characteristics of geographers:
- An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
- An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.
- An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
- Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.
- The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.
- Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.
- Highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.
- A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
- The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.
How Geography is taught at London Fields
The Geography curriculum is designed to help pupils form a Geography schema within their long-term memories.
Schema theory states that all knowledge is organised into units. A schema is, therefore, a conceptual system for understanding knowledge.
Our Geography schema is a way of organising Geography semantic and procedural knowledge in a meaningful way; it is an appreciation of how facts are connected and the ways in which they are connected. It is distinct from information, which is just isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links.
Big Ideas help form the basis of the schema. Big Ideas are key concepts that underpin the subject. There are three Big Ideas in Geography:
- Investigating Places – (understanding the geographical location of places and their physical and human features)
- Investigating Processes – (understanding the physical and human processes and activities that occur in a place, and why they might occur)
- Communicating Geographically – (understanding geographical representation, vocabulary and techniques)
Each Big Idea has facets of knowledge (knowledge categories) which help to strength the schema. Learning knowledge in each of the categories allows pupils to express and demonstrate their understanding of the Big Idea.
These Big Ideas are returned to over and over again so the pupils gradually build understanding of them.
. Click here for more general information about the curriculum.
Geography Trips, Visitors and Workshops
We strongly believe that geographical skills need to be put into practice and high-quality learning opportunities can be developed through practical fieldwork. Our staff are always looking at how to incorporate these trips into the curriculum. Previous Geography trips have included visits to the coastlines of Lyme Regis and the Isle of Wight, local fieldwork and visits to wetlands centres across London.
In 2017 we also secured funding to take a small group of pupils to our partner school in Zaragoza, Spain. Pupils attended lessons in Spanish, visited Geographical features such as waterfalls and tried local delicacies such as squid at the food markets.
Understanding the world through current affairs is hugely beneficial for developing Geography knowledge and we encourage children to stay up-to-date with what is going on in the world by having a copy of the children’s newspaper ‘First News’ delivered weekly to each class.
Geography at Home
There are lots of ways in which you can support your child with their Geography learning.
- Having access to an atlas is a fantastic way for children to ask questions and become curious about the various countries around the world.
- Spending ten minutes a week investigating a new country within the world is a great way to ignite children’s fascination with our planet. For example, you could look at a country’s location in comparison to the UK or investigate food that might be eaten there.
- Google Earth is another great tool for investigating the world.