At SMSP, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and answer questions about the natural and human world, encouraging children to develop a greater understanding of the world and their place in it. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote children’s interest and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and the natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical features and human processes.
Through our exciting Geography curriculum, SMSP children develop knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, and build on their understanding of maps and a range of investigative and problem-solving skills. The children are encouraged to reflect on previous learning and how this relates to the key geography skills being taught in their current year. In addition to this, each year group studies a country in detail enabling them to draw comparisons between two contrasting locations. Geography naturally links with other areas of the curriculum and lends itself to many cross-curricular opportunities.
We are very fortunate to have a multitude of geographical based excursions on our doorstep. The school uses these to extend children’s knowledge and experience, and deepen their learning. Visits to local landmarks, parks and the river as well as residential trips in Year 4 and 6 provide memorable learning experiences.
To enrich their learning further, we organise specialist speakers to share their knowledge and experiences with the children, e.g. Green Peace representative talking to the children about Cop 26. This gives the children opportunities to gain a deeper insight into current affairs.
At SMSP the children elect two representatives from each class to be part of the Eco Warrior Team. The team meets fortnightly to work on innovative projects to raise the profile of ecological issues and make our school environment a greener place.
As a Church of England school, we promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in all subjects taught. In Geography, our aim is to create responsible, informed and caring global citizens.
In Reception, the children learn about people, communities and the natural world. Through observations, discussions, local visits, map work and inspiring texts, the children explore changes to their environment and develop an understanding about how places differ and why. Regular fieldwork activities in the school grounds, a visit from local fire fighters, trips to Teddington library and links with a local elderly care home enrich the children’s understanding of the world around them.
In Year 1, the children identify the United Kingdom and the countries within it. They study different types of maps, develop their understanding of map symbols and learn why maps are useful. The children explore the human and physical features of the seaside using maps to discover where the seasides are.
In Year 2, the children use maps and globes to find out about the continents and oceans of the world. The children learn the different compass directions and study explorers and their adventures. They also look at the similarities and differences between life in Kenya and their life. They explore the different foods eaten, types of homes the Kenyans live in, a variety of animals and find out about school life in Kenya.
In Year 3, the children find out about where rainforests can be found, what rainforests are like, what can be found in a rainforest and the damage being done to the world’s rainforests. They also understand geographical similarities and differences by comparing the Amazon Rainforest and Sherwood Forest. The children used an online programme called ‘Digimaps’ where they explore the local area and compare it to what it looked like in the past.
In Year 4, the children develop their understanding about weather conditions around the world. They learn about the locations of the different climate zones and identify the human and physical features within them. They also learn about the different cloud formations and measure wind using the Beaufort Scale. The children study OS maps and identify different features on the maps using their knowledge of the map symbols.
In Year 5, the children locate the major volcanoes around the world and explore whether they are extinct, dormant or active. They identify the structure of the volcano, how they are formed and learn about the three main volcano shapes. The children’s second main topic is Water and Rivers. They explore the cause and effects of flooding, locate the world’s major rivers, learn about the stages of the water cycle and look into the journey of a river. The children use ‘Digimaps’ to identify water related places in the local area. They also know and understand how to locate points on a map using a 4 figure grid reference
In Year 6, the children learn about the topic ‘Coasts and Seas’ particularly exploring the Isle of Wight which they visit on their residential trip. Within this topic the children know about the key topographical features, changes in land usage of time, coasts and coastal erosion.