At Villa Real School we shape our geography curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography.
We aim for a high quality geography curriculum which should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Our teaching equips pupils with knowledge about places and people; resources in the environment; physical and human processes; formation and use of landscapes. We also want children to develop geographical skills: collecting and analysing data; using maps, globes, aerial photographs and digital mapping to name and identify countries, continents and oceans; and communicating information in a variety of ways. We want children to enjoy and love learning about geography by gaining this knowledge and skills, not just through experiences in the classroom, but also with the use of fieldwork and educational visits. We aim for pupils to develop an understanding of the world they live in and a sense of community.
Pupils/students on pathway 2 follow a sensory curriculum. They explore geographical skills and understanding through a range of sensory activities bespoke to their individual needs.
Pupils/students on pathway 3/4 access Geography as part of their formal curriculum.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Geography is offered as a part of the curriculum throughout all stages within Villa Real School including EYFS and 14-19 provision.
In EYFS we follow the Early Years Development Journal where geography skills are explored in the area of ‘Thinking’. Pupils will engage with activities to build foundations linked to geographical skills and understanding. This journal is linked to ‘Development Matters’ and the Early Years Statutory Framework where Geography is part of ‘Understanding the World’.
Key Stages One and Two
Geography takes on more of a formal lesson structure when moving onto Key Stages One and Two and the National Curriculum principles and guidelines are adhered to. Geography is taught on a weekly basis and follows a 4-year curriculum overview of topics e.g. Italy and Volcanoes.
Key Stage One pupils begin by exploring their local area and where they are in the world. They then begin to study other areas of the UK and aspects of the followed e.g. seas and oceans or poles and equators.
Key Stage Two pupils then enhance this knowledge further by gaining a more in-depth understanding of the UK and such as coasts and forests. Pupils will also explore aspects of Europe and the World.
Key Stage Three
Key Stage 3 pupils follow the National Curriculum principles and guidelines for Geography. Geography is taught on a weekly basis and follows a 4-year curriculum overview of topics. Curriculum should build on prior knowledge and skills developed in prior key stages.
Students in the 14-19 provision study Geography on a weekly basis. The curriculum uses the National Curriculum as a benchmark which is extended to meet the needs of all students.
Students follow a rolling programme of accreditation. This includes ASDAN Short Course, ASDAN Towards Independence and NCFE Entry Level 3 Occupational studies.
Geography is taught as a discrete subject. Pupils work at their own pace, at a level suitable to each pupil. Main methods of delivery are kinaesthetic with visual and auditory prompts, to support learning and progression in a safe and controlled environment.
Within Geography lessons, students will be encouraged to develop their geographical skills and understanding. All lessons are individualised and personalised to the students’ needs and abilities. All students have access to high quality resources to enhance their learning.
As geographical skills and language become more abstract and classification becomes more of a challenge, students will revisit key language and concepts throughout their learning to strengthen recall and memory. These abstract concepts are taught in practical ways to ensure students develop a robust understanding and to make the concepts as concrete as possible.
The curriculum is mapped via a progression model to develop knowledge, skills and understanding, however in rare cases some complex pupils including those with degenerative conditions, may have planning which aims to sustain.
Formative assessment is in the form of quick quizzes, recalling knowledge and skills developed in previous lessons and displaying understanding of key vocabulary and concepts.
Progress of all students is monitored using B Squared and judged on individual targets as part of our holistic REAL assessment method.
The Geography Coordinator monitors the planning, participates in regular learning walks and work scrutinies, and moderates’ pupil work giving feedback to class teachers each term. The subject coordinator aims to meet with other geography teachers across County Durham to look at work from pupils in different schools and moderate work together.