Geography is the study of people, places and environments throughout the world. It develops an understanding of the human and natural world, maps, and a range of investigative and problem-solving skills.
Through geographical enquiry children can learn to evaluate the world around them. The study of geography enables children to understand local, national and international issues by studying the socio-economic and geographical aspects of various contrasting localities. It offers children the opportunity to engage in field work activities and to consider how their own actions may have an impact on the environment.
Our intent is to inspire children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world that we live in and its people, which aims to ignite a love of learning. We intend to equip children with geographical skills to develop their knowledge through studying places, people and natural and human environments. Through our teaching, we intend to provoke thought, questions and to encourage children to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research to enable them to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of the world and their place in it.
Our Aims and Objectives
Geography teaching offers opportunities to:
- stimulate pupils’ interest in their own surroundings and other localities, both in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.
- give pupils the opportunities to make observations and to form opinions about their immediate environment and other localities.
- understand how physical features such as climate, rivers, and volcanoes affect the lifestyles of different peoples throughout the world.
- foster pupils’ sense of wonder at the beauty of the world around them.
- develop an understanding of the relationship between people and the environment and how people’s actions affect the quality of the environment.
- enhance the pupils’ sense of responsibility with regard to caring for the Earth.
- develop an awareness and appreciation of cultural and economic diversity.
- acquire and develop skills necessary for making geographical enquiries.
Teaching and Learning in Geography
The teaching and learning of geography in our school should be both stimulating and motivating. Pupils should enjoy developing their skills and knowledge and begin to perceive the world as an interesting place. It should involve encouraging children to ask questions, to identify ways in which they might find the answers and finally to search for those answers.
The scheme of work for Geography at West Hampstead is based upon the National Curriculum. It is topic-based, and has links with other areas of the curriculum where it makes sense to do so. However, teachers ensure that the geography key skills are covered for their year group. Each year group teaches a number of key facts which build on the knowledge of previous years, and which are designed to increase pupils’ understanding of geographical concepts such as cities, continents and capitals. Resources provided for lessons include I.C.T., photographs, aerial photographs, posters, books, artefacts, videos, maps and visitors/experts.
Geography is taught as an integral part of the child-initiated and adult led activities. The children have the opportunity to find out about the world around them, including the weather, transport and the local area. Geography makes a significant contribution to developing a child’s understanding of the world through activities such as taking care of butterflies, walking around the local area, looking for signs of the changing seasons and learning about the lives of others compared to their own lives.
Key Stage 1 Pupils should be taught about:
- Name and locate the seven continents and five oceans.
- Name and locate the four countries and capitals of the United Kingdom, and its surrounding seas.
- Identify the characteristics of the four countries of the United Kingdom.
- Identify the characteristics of the four capital cities of the United Kingdom.
- Understand geographical similarities and differences between a small area of the United Kingdom (local) and a small area in a non-European country.
HUMAN AND PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
- Identify seasonal weather patterns in the United Kingdom.
- Identify daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom.
- Locate the Equator, North and South Poles.
- Identify hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and North and South Poles.
- Use geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical features including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather.
- Use geographical vocabulary to refer to key human features including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop.
GEOGRAPHICAL SKILLS AND FIELDWORK
- Use maps, globes and aerial images to identify the UK and its countries, as well as countries, continents and oceans studied at KS1.
- Use simple compass directions (North, South, East, West) to describe the location of features and routes on a map.
- Use directional language (near and far, left and right) to describe the location of features and routes on a map.
- Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features.
- Devise a simple map.
- Use and construct basic symbols in a key.
- Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of the school and its grounds.
- Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the key physical and human features of their local area.
Key Stage 2 Pupils should be taught about:
- Name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom.
- Locate geographical regions of the United Kingdom and identify their human and physical characteristics.
- Name and locate key topographical features of the United Kingdom (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers).
- Name and locate regional land-use patterns across the UK.
- Understand how some of the aspects of the geography of the UK have changed over time.
- Locate the world's countries, using maps.
- Name and locate countries within Europe (including Russia) and major cities.
- Identify the key physical and human characteristics of Europe.
- Name and locate countries within North America and major cities.
- Identify the key physical and human characteristics of North America.
- Name and locate countries within South America and major cities.
- Identify the key physical and human characteristics of South America.
- Identify the position of the Equator, Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle.
- Understand the significance of the Equator, Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle.
- Use latitude and longitude to locate places.
- Identify the position of the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and different time zones.
- Use a map of time zones around the world to calculate the time of day in different places.
- Understand similarities and differences between the human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom and a region in a European country.
- Understand similarities and differences between the human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom and a region within North or South America.
HUMAN AND PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
- Describe and understand key aspects of mountains.
- Describe and understand key aspects of volcanoes.
- Describe and understand key aspects of earthquakes.
- Describe and understand key aspects of rivers.
- Describe and understand key aspects of the water cycle.
- Describe and understand key aspects of biomes and vegetation belts.
- Describe and understand key aspects of climate zones.
- Describe and understand key aspects of types of settlement and land use.
- Describe and understand key aspects of the distribution of natural resources (energy, food, minerals and water).
- Describe and understand key aspects of economic activity including trade links.
GEOGRAPHICAL ENQUIRY - SKILLS AND FIELDWORK
- Use fieldwork to observe measure and present the human and physical features in the local area (using a range of methods including sketch maps, plans and graphs, digital technologies).
- Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate and describe countries studied.
- Use the eight points of a compass.
- Use four-figure grid references to locate places within the UK on an Ordnance Survey map.
- Use six-figure grid references to locate places in the wider world on an Ordnance Survey map.