Year 5 Orienteering at Gibside
Geography is a valued part of the curriculum at Gosforth East Middle School as it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. Geography investigates the relationship between the Earth and its people.
We offer a structure and sequence of lessons to help teachers ensure they have covered the skills required to meet the aims of the national curriculum. The content allows for a broader, deeper understanding of the four areas of geography identified in the curriculum. It will develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places and understanding of the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, along with how they bring about variation and change over time. We intend to develop children’s curiosity and a fascination of the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The topics offer a range of opportunities for investigating places around the world as well as physical and human processes. The lessons are intended to improve children’s geographical vocabulary, map skills and geographical facts and provide opportunities for consolidation, challenge and variety to ensure interest and progress in the subject. Topics allow for skills to be repeated regularly to embed key geographical skills.
How students are supported in Geography
In geography a broad and balanced curriculum enables every child to access learning and enthuses all pupils about the world in which they live. Geography teachers have high expectations and every child, including those with SEN, are supported to succeed. The geography curriculum has been carefully planned engage, inspire and support all pupils. A clear progression of knowledge and skills supports the learning needs of all pupils. Teachers within the geography department work closely together to enable the progress and development of all pupils throughout the school.
Specific approaches which are used within the geography curriculum include:
- Targeted and well thought out seating plans.
- Appropriate levels of scaffolding provided where necessary.
- Modelling and WAGOLLs are used effectively to support all children.
- Resources are adapted and designed to enable specific learning needs to be met.
- Technology is utilised effectively to support children with additional learning needs.
- Group work and discussion are frequently used as a precursor to extended writing which enables children to articulate themselves more clearly.
- Targeted and structured questioning techniques used to support, probe and challenge.
- A variety of feedback strategies are used that allow all students to make progress, whether written or verbal.
- Teachers understand the needs of all pupils and use the strategies best suited to addressing individual needs.
For extra support in geography take a look at these helpful websites:
- Sporcle Geography quizzes are great fun and can help your child to improve their geography knowledge.
- Practice and revise map skills with BBC Bitesize.
- Mapzone, developed by the Ordnance Survey, is another great website for budding geographers! With loads of activities and games, Mapzone is a great way of improving your child’s map skills.
- For older pupils, the Cool Geography website contains numerous free resources which can be used to support your child’s geographical knowledge and understanding.
- Take a look at the Geoggle website. It has lots of free slideshows, quizzes, worksheets and some great video links to support your child’s learning in geography.
- Finally, the 3D Geography and the Met Office websites have some lovely ideas to inspire any young geographers with great hands-on activities and experiments!
Assessment in Geography is regular, rigorous and embedded in the curriculum. Teachers continually assess each child’s progress and attainment through careful questioning and marking of pupils’ written work. Effective and targeted feedback allows all children to understand the next steps they need to take in order to make progress.
Assessments are varied and include regular low-stakes quizzes, Microsoft Form multiple-choice quizes, short answer questions and extended written texts.
Key performance indicators are progressive and are embedded into the geography curriculum. Geography KPIs are also used to inform children of their next steps and these can be found below in PDF format.
At GEMS we encourage children to learn by experience and we value fieldwork as an important part of the geography Curriculum. Fieldwork is an essential component of geography education as it enables pupils to develop subject knowledge and gain a range of skills that are difficult to develop in the classroom alone. Local fieldwork opportunities at GEMS will help to develop map reading skills and an understanding of the local area. Other fieldwork opportunities at GEMS include:
- Reading maps fieldwork at Gibside
- Coastal fieldwork at Whitley Bay and St. Mary’s Lighthouse
- River studies at Gibside
- Isle of Arran in Scotland
- Housing survey in Newcastle
- Glacial fieldwork in the Lake District (new for 2022!)
Additional geography enrichment activities at GEMS have included a themed ‘Mexico’ day in year 5, visits to the Jam Jar and Tyneside cinemas to watch geography-themed documentaries are part of the INTO Film Festival, visits from RGS Ambassadors to discuss career opportunities in geography and visits to Northumberland University to attend Geographical Association lectures. Also, geography has also played an invaluable role in whole-school enrichment days. For example, during the 4Rs day, every child played the Trading Game and developed their understanding of the processes involved in trade.