During their time in our EYFS setting, we encourage children to make sense of their physical surroundings. Children spend time outside in our environment exploring what they can see and hear throughout all of the seasons. We help the children to remember and to make comparisons with previous discoveries by photographs and lots of talk relating to weather and seasons, patterns and change. Children are challenged to think of the characteristics and features of their surroundings, why they are there and the effect that they have.
Pupils are expected to show care and concern for living things and we are working to extend opportunities to have nature inside our classrooms too.
Aspects of Understanding the World are being integrated into our topics and linked to carefully chosen key texts throughout the year to ensure that new vocabulary has a context and a base for discussion. Children experience Understanding the World through planned carpet teaching times, continuous provision and focus activities.
Key Stage One
Geography is currently organised over a two-year cycle to accommodate a mixed Yr1/2 class. All classes cover the same topic, but activities are slightly different for the two-year groups. Classes currently have a weekly topic session. We have recently adopted a collaborative floor book approach to show our learning, gathering and sharing examples of the learning covered in each session. These books are available in the classroom for children to access and are used to show key facts and essential knowledge that pupils need about a unit of work, acting as a class knowledge organiser.
Where possible the school grounds and locality are used for first -hand experience and fieldwork. Children are encouraged to discuss what is around them and to use geographical vocabulary. We regularly encourage children to consider where our school and Bure Park are in relation to Bicester, as well as England, the UK and beyond.
Meaningful cross-curricular links can be seen within our learning, where appropriate. Our overarching Paddington Bear theme incorporates the comparison of London with the non-European city of Lima.
Key Stage 2
In Key stage two, via a topic approach, teaching will equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Children will build upon the knowledge, skills and understanding developed in KS1 by extending their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include studying the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. Pupils will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical processes, (including climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle) and human processes (including types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water).
They will specifically consider the formation and use of landscapes and environments including key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; plus understand how some of these aspects have changed over time. They will identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones.
Throughout key stage two they will extend their geographical skills in the use of maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping, use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and keys. Fieldwork will help them to observe, measure and record including sketch maps, plans, graphs and digital technologies. High quality texts will be used when appropriate to stimulate and facilitate geographical learning. We aim to develop a life-long curiosity about the world and its people whilst fostering the importance of understanding and respecting difference/diversity, requiring children, as global citizens, to develop empathy for other people’s geographical locations, climate, cultures and "lived experiences."