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at Didsbury CE Primary School

“The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together."
- Barack Obama

At Didsbury CE, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and answer questions about the natural and human worlds, encouraging children to develop a greater understanding of their world and their place in it. It helps to develop a range of investigation and problem-solving skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can be used to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. 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 natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

A curriculum for life for all

We believe that the ambitious geography curriculum at Didsbury CE plays a vital role in equipping each child with the skills and knowledge needed to take advantage of opportunities in later life. The knowledge engaged curriculum provides children with first hand experiences that bring the subject to life and root the curriculum in a local context. The curriculum content and design provides children with the key geography knowledge, skills and understanding they need to be ready for their next stage of education and later life. The opportunities that thread through our geography curriculum equip our children, whatever their background with the soft skills such as enquiry and teamwork that are vital to success in 21st century Britain. Ultimately, we want the children of Didsbury CE to be responsible citizens of the earth and its environment.

Curriculum planning and sequencing 

In Didsbury CE, geography is a knowledge-engaged curriculum within which we do fewer topics but in greater depth. We also look to develop resilience and a growth-mindset which are the hallmarks of a skills curriculum. Knowledge and skills go hand in hand together with knowledge taking the lead.

Didsbury CE provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to children's diverse learning needs. This is particularly the case in Geography as through this subject area the curiosity and imagination are stimulated. We can aim to meet the child’s personal needs by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes. We encourage children to learn by experience and we value fieldwork as an integral part of the Geography Curriculum.

In EYFS the knowledge and skills in History and Geography comes from the starting point of the child and is taught through Understanding the World area of learning. This is broken into 3 sub-areas: People and Communities, The World and Technology. History and Geography is taught in People and Communities and The World. The majority of the history is covered in People and Communities and majority of the geography is covered in The World. 

In Key Stage 1 Didsbury CE starts with the experiences of the child. Year 1, Geography starts with a local view of where we are in the world, including looking at our local area. This develops in the latter part of the year to “My world and me” followed by “Weather patterns”.

Year 2, within Island Maps, work done on the British Isles in Year 1 is built upon. Compass points and maps are looked at. OS map symbols are also introduced for the first time, this is then built upon in Year 4. In Year 2, the children also build upon their knowledge of their place in the world and look at the Antarctica and the Arctic, here the continents and oceans are studied. The children also look at who discovered the poles, this links with Year 1’s history topics on the explorers Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong. Lastly, “My Home” topic gives the children the opportunity to explore their local area building upon Year1’s “Where do I live?” topic.

In Year 3 children are given the opportunity to study a climate that is a complete contrast to our own in the form of “rainforests” this builds upon the work they have done in Year 1 on weather. This also gives the children the chance to explore and debate the issue of deforestation. The children then explore how our planet is evolving looking at volcanoes within “Extreme Earth” this supports their science topic on rocks and soils.

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