At Rimrose Hope, our geography curriculum teaches an understanding of places and environments. Through their work in geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind. We encourage children to show their mastery of specific geographical skills throughout their units of work and identify mastery using ‘M’ stickers that are mediated with the children. The ‘Project’ pedagogy identified in our school-wide pedagogical approach is utilised in geography to help children analyse and reformat information they may have gathered from a number of sources. The Feuerstein work on empathy that the children complete in PSHE is built upon in geography as children are taught to identify positive actions that they or others can take once a problem has been identified. This World empathy is a vital aspect of our children’s education journey and has resulted in the creation of our school eco club and a protest movement set up to support the Save Rimrose Valley Campaign.
It may seem strange to think about your 3 or 4 year old child as a geographer. However, the years from birth to age five provide a first opportunity to see how your child interacts with their environment — and how the environment influences them. The early learning goals at EYFS aim to guide your child onto make sense of their physical world and their community by exploring, observing, and finding out about people, places, technology and the environment. At Rimrose Hope, we strive to encourage the children to ask 'big' questions about the world they live in and encourage the children to become explorers, developing a sense of their surroundings.
In Years 1 and 2, your child will be asked to begin to develop a geographical vocabulary by learning about where they live and a small area in a contrasting non-European country. They will learn about weather patterns in the United Kingdom and hot and cold areas of the world. They will use ICT, world maps, atlases and globes, simple compass directions, aerial photographs and plans, as well as simple fieldwork and observational skills. Schools have flexibility to choose the areas they teach and there is considerable variation between schools in their approaches.
In Key Stage 2, pupils will extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They will develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
There are three focus areas:
Locational knowledge examines latitude, longitude and time zones. Your child will use maps to focus on Europe, North and South America, concentrating on regions, key physical / human characteristics, countries, and major cities. They will also work on locating the counties and cities of the United Kingdom, and start to explore their human and physical characteristics.
Children also examine geographical similarities and differences by comparing the geography of a region of the United Kingdom with a region in a European country, and with a region in either North or South America. This is part of the place knowledgeaspect of the curriculum.
For human and physical geography, your child will be taught to describe and understand key aspects of geography, for example: climate zones, rivers, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, the water cycle, types of settlement, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.