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Bywell CofE Junior-00960

Subject Overview

Subject Intent

At Bywell CE Junior School we recognize the value that a high-quality Geography curriculum can offer to our children.

A high-quality curriculum will enable all pupils to learn together and inspire in pupils a curiosity about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our aim is to provide an interesting and varied curriculum that intrigues our children, and through equipping children with specific locational knowledge, instill a sense of compassion and understanding of diverse places and people around the world.

Throughout their time at our school, following the National Curriculum guidance, we teach the children about specific geographical terms in relation to their local community and the world around them by comparing and contrasting various continents. We aim to provide opportunities for pupils to gain a greater knowledge of places around the world and a deeper understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

At Bywell CE Junior School, we want children to enjoy and love learning about Geography by gaining not only knowledge in the classroom, but geographical skills outdoors as well. Through the use of fieldwork opportunities in the local area we aim to bring geographical skills to life, and with links to other curriculum areas we hope to inspire an enduring interest in global geographical issues for years to come.

Subject Implementation

  • Medium term planning will be reviewed to ensure that knowledge-based lessons are planned for and learning opportunities executed regularly.
  • Teachers subject knowledge will be audited and subject specific support will be provided where needed.
  • Discrete geography lessons are planned and resourced to provide high-quality teaching and learning opportunities. Key geography questions are included to challenge understanding.
  • All children will be taught by their class teacher, with activities to support SEND planned accordingly. Pre-and post- unit quizzes will be used to monitor progress. Memory quizzes will be used to monitor long term knowledge retainment of previous years learning.
  • Children are expected to use subject specific vocabulary within lessons.
  • Geography lessons will be monitored across the school to assess how well the children are achieving geographical knowledge and skills. (in the form of learning walks, book celebrations, catch-up jotters and the use of pupil voice).
  • Learning wall information will be captured and stored for future reference.

Subject Impact

  • Pupil voice completed: January and May 2023. Children were able to recall specific lessons and knowledge from lessons. Children were eager to mention memory quizzes and that’s how they know they are doing well.
  • Work books are well presented. Great to see every year group including some type of data handling such as bar graphs and line graphs.
  • Working walls are developed and are becoming increasingly more detailed with specific content (see corridor displays) Children mentioned these in pupil voice answers.
  • Memory quizzes are popular. Children like to see how their score improves. Feedback to staff was to ensure answers are discussed rather than just the answer number given.
  • Units are being reviewed and tweaked. (The original unit may have been planned by a teacher from another year group and learning styles are unique to each class).
  • After ‘Deep-dive’ practice, units have been streamlined even further to ensure that ONLY key details are revisited to encourage specific focus in lessons.

Next Steps for 2023/24

  • Pupil voice to focus on how the children know they are doing well.
  • Work books to be monitored to ensure consistency within the year group and progression across year groups.
  • Working walls to be used to improve use of vocabulary and technical understanding of the unit.
  • Use of memory quizzes to be developed to include use of maps to ensure children can LOCATE specific places and geographic features.
  • Review units to ensure a more scaffolded approach to research of places rather than randomness. Eg. Population size, capital city, major cities, rivers, mountains to start.

October 2023 Review

  • Memory quiz maps have been created and distributed to each group to be used in conjunction with original memory quizzes.
  • ‘Streamlined’ subject units have been distributed to year groups with the intention of providing specific knowledge for the children to learn. Streamlining has the implication that unit plans will need to be adapted to reflect renewed expectations.
  • Staff have been asked to update the unit plans in light of teaching each half term rather than in weekly blocks.

December 2023 Review

  • A selection of children from each year group have met and shared their views of Geography. Children say they are enjoying their lessons and look forward to the next lesson. Children are able to share that they know how well they are doing because their ‘teacher tells them’ and ticks their work.
  • Children identify that Memory games help them to remember information.
  • Year 4 children have enjoyed learning about Sicily and Mount Etna because it links with their writing unit in English.
  • Year 6 children are able to identify countries of South America and have enjoyed using i-pads for research.
  • In reviewing units of work, Year 6 and Year 4 Staff have started to use QR codes to direct the children to specific research materials, helping to cut down on random, irrelevant research time. This will be implemented by Year 3 and 5 during upcoming units of work.
  • Corridor displays have been collated and stored in a scrap book to celebrate the vast range and quality of work completed around the school. It clearly demonstrates progression both in presentation and also in content of the work.