Our knowledge rich geography curriculum is encompassed in three vertical themes that form part of our whole school 3D curriculum. The three geographical themes of Our Local Area, Wider World and Global Warnings provide our children with a deepening understanding of their world. We want our geography curriculum to enlighten our children to understand geographical impact; our world shapes us and we shape our world.
We believe that the more we know about our world then the more we feel a part of it. If we can engender this then children will grow to value our world. For this reason we ensure that children ignite that flame and develop a connection to the world that is closest to them and where there is regular opportunity to get out into it, our local area. Our Local Study theme is organised vertically so that our children explore a new aspect of our local area every year and recap previous learning to build knowledge that is remembered.
As children develop their knowledge of their locality then they can begin to transfer their geographical thinking to the wider world. We secure their geographical thinking to the local area so that they can apply this same thinking to more distant locations. The Wider World theme widens children’s views of other continents and key physical and human features of them. The knowledge content of our geography curriculum is intentionally highly prescriptive to ensure that our children develop cultural capital, powerful knowledge to empower.
Our climate emergency needs to be owned by us all and for this reason we have built case studies into our geography curriculum that raise the pressing issues that we all need to understand and own. Our third vertical geography theme focusses on physical geographical processes that shape our world. Each unit includes a case study that highlights the relationship between our physical and human world and the often two way impact between the two. We have included case studies of physical geography events impacting negatively on human geography such as natural disasters and the human world impacting on the physical such as habitat destruction.
Our geography curriculum aims to bind our children to the place in which they live and provide them with the gift of long-sightedness to gaze upon the wider world.
Our three Geography themes
Our Local Area
To feel a part of a local area and community requires knowledge of it. Integrating ourselves into our local area is beneficial for our own mental and physical health and for the health and future prosperity of our community. We recognise that local news and community groups are in decline and that local communities feel the pressure of fragmentation. We aim to counteract these trends by providing our children with an ever deepening knowledge of our locality, our town and set it in an ever growing context of the South West as a region of the United Kingdom. Viewing our local area through the eyes of a geographer allows our children to know its key features and functions, how its heritage has shaped it, what challenges face it and what makes it unique. We believe that studying our local area in depth develops the skills needed prior to and alongside developing an understanding of places further afield because children can immerse themselves in it and contextualise its complexities. This gives them the gift of perspective when studying places less familiar to them.
The Wider World
A growing place knowledge of the world year on year is what awaits our children as they engage with our wider world theme. We want our children to develop their cultural capital of the human and physical world through the study of the continents of Europe and North and South America. We want our children to be able to locate these continents, countries and human and physical features on a map and to deepen and grow their schema of the world. Raising the profile of some of the wonders of our world may be the spark that ignites a raising of cultural horizons and a thirst for worldly travels in adult life. Europe is the main destination for some of our holidaying families and increasingly the heritage for many within our school community. The heritage and development of Europe and North and South America are entwined with that of the United Kingdom and we want our children to understand this relationship. We want all of these links to be explicit through our knowledge rich curriculum.
Our natural world of which we are a part is at a critical point because of humankind. Our Global Warnings theme exemplifies emergent emergencies that are not of our children’s making. Our children are inheriting a world of our making and those who came before us. In this theme we want our children to understand the challenges that present themselves because of the global climate emergency alongside learning about the major natural geographical processes that have and continue to shape our world. We want our children to be informed of how our world has been shaped by natural phenomena and how these processes are being influenced detrimentally by humanity. Knowledge of these complexities will lead to informed opinion and debate and we hope allow our children to develop a schema of knowledge that enables them to make informed decisions now and in later life that limit the exploitation of our world, slow global warming and stop them from making the same mistakes as their forebears.