Geography Subject Leader
Miss Ashworth is our Geography Subject Leader and she is passionate about Geography after studying Geography at A level. Mrs Pickup, a Geography secondary school teacher is our link Governor for Geography.
At St Barnabas, we believe that high quality geography teaching offers our children the foundations for a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. Our geography curriculum at St Barnabas provides children with skills and knowledge for developing a natural curiosity and fascination about the world around them.
The aims of our geography curriculum at St Barnabas are to develop pupils' contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places and to be able to identify their key physical and human features and characteristics. At St Barnabas, we are also passionate about allowing our pupils to develop an interest and understanding of their local area. Across the curriculum, we provide pupils with opportunities to complete fieldwork and observations of the geography surrounding them and our school. This makes our curriculum unique and relatable to the children at our school.
By the end of a child’s journey at St Barnabas, they should have an understanding of geographical vocabulary, as well as key facts and skills that enable them to ask questions about the world around them. Ultimately, our aim is to ensure pupils leave St Barnabas knowing more, remembering more and understanding more about the world around them.
At St Barnabas, we have developed our geography curriculum by using a triangulation approach to curriculum development and design. This is done by: identifying key vocabulary that the children must know to access their topics; developing inquisitive and insightful questions that engage learner’s natural questioning around topics and key facts and knowledge that the children will acquire, as they go through their geographical journey within their topics.
We have identified key skills for each individual geographical topic across all year groups. This has enabled teachers to really focus on how the children are going to obtain these skills within their topics. Starting sessions with key questions enables the children to be engaged in their understanding of what they are being taught. Identifying key vocabulary prior to teaching each topic allows for an easier transition of understanding acquired by the children. It also breaks down misconceptions about words and enables cross curricular opportunities, for upskilling vocabulary across writing topics.
As a staff, we have developed schemes of work that identify key skills to be acquired for each topic. These schemes of work also allow for teachers to have creative freedom with the way they teach geography but also offer support to those who are not as confident in teaching the subject.
At St Barnabas, all teachers have access to Oddizzi, an e-learning resource and community that immerses children in the real world. Teachers at St Barnabas use the resources available on Oddizzi, as an additional tool for teaching and planning high quality, exciting and engaging geography lessons. Google earth, Google maps and Digimap resources are also widely used across the curriculum, to provide a practical and visual element to geography lessons.
The impact of what we have done has been positive for children, teachers and subject leadership. Teachers understand clearly what they have to teach but also why they have to teach it. This allows for teachers who find geography a difficult subject; to feel empowered and confident about their delivery. It also gives signposts for all in terms of resources available in school and out of school. This saves teacher time in terms of planning and preparation and impacts massively on their work life balance. Ultimately, allowing teachers to be more confident of their delivery of geography.Teachers know explicitly what needs to be taught in their topics and this also allows for teachers to be creative in how they would like to teach each topic. With additional websites and resources available to teachers, such as Oddizzi and Digimaps, this has provided teachers with a wide range of ideas and tools for teaching geography effectively.
For the children, the first major impact we have seen is that they enjoy their geography lessons. Through pupil conferencing, pupils can explain their key vocabulary being taught and can explain geographical concepts taught, by using the knowledge and skills obtained through a geographical topic. As you can see, what we have done in terms of geography is having a profound impact in school. Children enjoy geography and teachers feel confident teaching the subject.
Overall, by the time children leave St Barnabas, they are aspiring Geographers who can interpret a range of Geographical information including maps, globes and digital imagery.