'The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.' Barack Obama
At Heartwood we seek to foster in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives, equipping them well for further education and beyond.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure that teaching equips 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. The geography curriculum at Heartwood Primary enables children to develop moral, social and cultural development. As pupils progress through the school, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.
Geography is passionately led by Leonie Cunnington who has a degree in Geography and particular experience of teaching it in-depth in KS2 and KS3.
Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning and become geographers. Key knowledge and skills of each blocked topic have been identified and these are mapped across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Our children's geography learning journey begins with their local area and then each year progressively takes a step further afield from Swaffham. We equip our children with the knowledge and vocabulary to make informed comparisons about the physical and human geography of places compared to our local town. Existing knowledge is checked at the beginning of each topic, this ensures that teaching is informed by the children’s starting points and that it takes account of pupil voice and children’s interests.
|Nursery||Reception||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6|
Our school and grounds
Out and About- Shirley Hughes
Our school grounds
Local town and
Wells and Paupa New Guinea
Leaving Scars on
the Earth- desforestaion
and palm oil
World locational knowledge
Counties and cities of the
UK - rivers/ coast/ hills/
and land use patterns
Earthquakes and volcanoes
Place knowledge around the world
trade links and communities
Distribution of natural
Geography enrichment days are planned throughout the year to help deepen children's knowledge and understanding and enhance cultural capital, experiences, and vocabulary. Days include Earth Day, Geography Awareness week and 'around the world day'.
Key stage 1:
• key knowledge and skills, including basic locational knowledge such as the names and locations of the world’s continents and oceans, are the focus to address missed education and provide the basis for knowledge that will be needed later.
Key stage 2:
• curriculum adjustments prioritise critical underpinning knowledge, such as weather and climate, geology, topography, trade links, and natural resources and their distribution.
A secure grasp of this underpinning knowledge ensures that children are ready to learn subsequent knowledge about human and physical processes.
How do we teach geography?
Through the Mantle of the Expert drama and story based approach, to different locations around the world on a commission. Planned knowledge and vocabulary drives the learning. Children are enriched with vocabulary and given planned opportunities to apply knowledge learned. We stimulate the children's curiosity in order for then to engage in learning and create future geographers.
We give the children planned opportunities as geographers to develop and apply key skills, supported by the fieldwork. As children progress throughout the school, they develop deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Swaffham as their local area and its place within the wider geographical context.
We enhance learning experiences through trips and visitors:
|Nursery||Reception||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6|
|Field work - Wells coast|
Local shops -
audit of products
with palm oil
Visitor and connections
with Northern Ireland
Field work- coastal
Field work - Rivers, Castle Acre
Making a Difference
As part of our ‘making a difference curriculum’ our School has been awarded the Eco-Schools Gold award for our on-going commitment to thinking and acting geographically in order to make our school more sustainable. Our forest provision enables students to practise their geographical skills and experience changes in the seasons and weather patterns. Topics covered in the forest include; curiosity and fascination about the natural world, natural environments and the importance of the natural world, recording the weather, identifying seasons and weather patterns, developing knowledge about our locality and map skills – creating maps of the school, exploring and aerial photographs of the forest and its boundaries and using compass directions.
The sustainable development goals inspire and guide this approach. The Oxfam Global Citizenship curriculum of knowledge, understanding and skills compliment this, equipping our children with the tools to make a difference locally and globally- with a wider understanding of their impact beyond their local town. Progressively investigating concepts such as globalisation, social inequality, sustainable development, human rights and and diversity.
The National Curriculum
We teach Geography with key substantive concepts that children use throughout their learning in each year group, from Nursery-Year 6, to make connections and links with their prior learning and prepare them for what they are learning next. We always compare and link back to 'Where does Swaffham fit into the wider world?' and the place we are exploring.
These concepts are:
The purpose of the geography national curriculum is to 'inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives'.
At Heartwood we care about our beautiful planet and the world that we live in. Through the Geography curriculum, we learn the knowledge and skills to become Geographers who understand how to 'make a difference to', embrace, protect and love our local environment, the UK and beyond whilst being conscious of our foot print on the world.
Very simply, geography is about understanding the world by: comparing locations; investigating; researching different sources; writing and talking about places; asking and answering questions.
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.
3 & 4-year-olds will be learning to:
Children in Reception will be learning to:
Understanding the World
People Culture and Communities
In Years 1 and 2, your child will be asked to begin to develop a geographical vocabulary by learning about where they live, as well as one other small area of the United Kingdom and a small area in a contrasting non-European country. They will learn about seasonal and 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 Years 3 to 6, the geography curriculum retains some flexibility, and builds and expands on previous knowledge. There are four focus areas:
The Nicholas Hamond Academy
Our curriculum is designed to prepare the children for the next stages in their education in each subject. Our curriculum map plans to support the declarative and procedural knowledge needed for the children to access and thrive in geography in KS3.
We have been awarded our Eco-school flag! Our Geography curriculum has heavily influenced this.
Environment and Lifestyle
In addition to the National Curriculum we teach Environment and Lifestyle which is adapted from the Swedish curriculum.
Children are taught:
The whole school learnt about Recycling Week, 20-24th September. Here is some of the work created following this learning.
Year 2 have been working hard to make a difference to our local environment. Through their Science topic they have been exploring the impact of different materials on the environment and the potential dangers. Using their knowledge of our local environment, they went litter picking. The found lots of plastic and brought it back to school, leading onto a discussion about the effect this may have had on the local wildlife and residents.
Squirrel Class have been learning about Stonehenge and landmarks in London.
Year 3 planted 2 trees on Earth Day. They have been learning about the importance of trees and how they can help reduce the effects of Carbon Dioxide on the environment and global warming.