TEACH NURTURE CELEBRATE
Our Curriculum aims and design have been developed in line with the needs of St James CE Primary School community, promoting the Christian Values we hold dear. Our curriculum is ambitious and well-planned to ensure all pupils gain ample knowledge and skills to succeed in their next stage of education and life after primary school.
The aims are also based heavily on our school vision of Teach, Nurture and Celebrate in order that children should experience ‘Life in all its fullness’ (John 10:10). All stakeholders were involved in creating the vision and aims, including: pupils, parents, PTFA, and staff members at all levels. SMSC is embedded throughout our curriculum design. The aspect of Spirituality is a particular focus for us.
The intended curriculum
At St. James our curriculum is:
- Rich in powerful knowledge, skills and vocabulary, which are specified, taught, assessed and remembered by pupils
- Well-planned and sequenced so that key concepts are built on year by year in a clear and logical progression.
- Rooted in the strongest available evidence about how pupils learn and retain knowledge in the long term.
- A well designed, cumulative curriculum structure, starting with EYFS provision, ensuring prior knowledge is always a pre-cursor to study.
- Taught by expert teachers who make skillful connections to prior knowledge as they are aware of the previous units of study.
- Underpinned by a sharp use of assessment to support and progress learning.
- Supportive of teacher workload, wellbeing and professional development.
- Diverse and forward thinking, enabling children to make connections between their local area and the wider world.
- Reflective of core British values which are embedded within the curriculum ensuring children are taught tolerance, respect and individual liberties through the conscious curriculum choices made.
At St. James CE Primary School we believe that geography stimulates curiosity and imagination and we aim to build upon the child's ‘personal geography’ by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes.
At St. James CE Primary School geography is a valued part of the curriculum as it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. Geography explores the relationship between the earth and its people.
Aims of our Geography Curriculum
- To make sense of their own surroundings through learning about their own locality, and the interaction between people and environment.
- To extend their interest, knowledge and understanding of contrasting localities in Britain, Europe and the rest of the world.
- To develop knowledge and understanding of the human and physical processes which shape places.
- To appreciate similarity and difference in the world about them and to respect other people’s beliefs, attitudes and values.
- To develop the geographical skills and vocabulary necessary to carry out effective geographical enquiry.
- To formulate appropriate questions, develop research skills and evaluate material to inform opinions.
- To develop interest and enjoyment of geographical experiences and build confidence and understanding.
- To recognise and understand issues concerning the environment and sustainable development.
Expectations in Geography
In Key Stage 1, geography is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding relating to the children’s own environment and the people who live there and developing an awareness of the wider world through cross-curricular topics.
In key stage 2, geography is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding relating to people, places and environments at different scales in the United Kingdom and overseas and an appreciation of how places relate to each other and the wider world through cross-curricular topics.
The Implemented Curriculum
We have used the best research to create a well sequenced and progressive curriculum map containing the key concepts children need to be procedurally fluent in to work and think like geographers.
The key substantive concepts in geography we plan a progression for are as follows:
- Geographical skills and fieldwork
- Locational knowledge
- Human and physical geography
- Place knowledge
The key disciplinary knowledge in geography we plan a progression for are as follows:
- Place and space
- Scale and connection (relationships and interdependence)
- Physical and human geography
- Environment and sustainability
- Culture and diversity (Uniqueness)
At St. James CE Primary School geography involves;
- Undertaking fieldwork in the local area
- Comparing and contrasting land- forms, land uses, weather, seasons and ecosystems.
- The use of secondary sources e.g. photos, books, media and videos, to obtain geographical information.
- Following directions using positional and directional language, also using these to direct others.
- Expressing and evaluating views on the attractive and unattractive features of the environment, e.g. tidiness, noise, building on greenbelt land.
- Naming the physical features of places, e.g. mountain, sea, beach, factory, valley.
- Using developing language to talk about their work e.g. route, scale, tide, erosion, climate, temperate, continent.
- Developing geographical skills of; making observations and measuring, recording observations through maps, talk, and writing, taking photographs, sketches and diagrams.
- Using maps, globes, atlases and interpreting photographs.
- Help the children appreciate the variety of responses to the same basic needs (ethnic, cultural and economic) and to imagine what it might be like to experience life in other places.
At St. James CE Primary School we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our geography lessons. We use whole-class teaching methods and we combine these with enquiry-based research activities. We encourage children to ask as well as answer geographical questions.
We offer them the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures, video and aerial photographs, and we enable them to use ICT in geography lessons where this serves to enhance their learning.
At St. James CE Primary School children take part in role-play and discussions, and they present reports to the rest of the class. Children learn about other places through reading stories with settings in different places and in different landscapes. They make outside visits and engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities.
The objectives of geography teaching in the school are based on the requirements of the National Curriculum programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2. We follow the curriculum framework of CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) which fulfils and goes beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum as we believe there is no ceiling to what pupils can learn if the architecture and practice is founded in evidence-led principles.
Children are supported to demonstrate the following geographical skills and knowledge:
- Showing their knowledge, skills and understanding in studies at a local scale.
- Expressing views on the environment of a locality and recognize how people affect the environment.
- Using this information and their own observations to help them ask and respond to questions about places and environments.
- Recognise how people seek to improve and sustain environments.
- Suggest explanations for the ways in which human activities cause changes to the environment and the different views people hold about them.
- Recognise how people try to manage environments sustainably.
Curriculum timetabling and design
Our curriculum model has been designed in response to the challenges faced from the disruption of COVID. It is designed to be both responsive to the needs of our children given the challenges of the pandemic and proactive in our approach to providing St. James pupils with the opportunities and experiences they need.
The increased frequency model has:
- Given balance and proportionality to Science.
- Geography is taught weekly to allow for regular revisiting of new skills and a chance for children to build upon new learning regularly.
- This takes into account some key research and evidence including:
- Forgetting curve - we want to make sure we ease the forgetting curve by coming back to those key learning points after a shorter period of time
- Retrieval and spaced retrieval practice - powerful toolkit to strengthen learning and memory
To support excellent teaching we consider five points of effective provision:
Metacognition, retrieval and evaluation
Teachers use resources
These resources directly support the POINT OF EXPLANATION. Teachers understand the subject knowledge and are able to explain it in multiple ways, which leads to thinking carefully about task planning.
CUSP – CPD videos, progression documents, explicit links to prior learning, planning support
Explicit instruction techniques are used at the POINT OF DELIVERY, where teachers model and explain foundation concepts and knowledge.
e.g. Quality first teaching, modelled learning, worked examples etc.
Carefully designed learning tasks underpin the POINT OF PRACTICE. Pupils are expected to draw upon prior learning. Generative learning tasks support deliberate practice of taught content enabling pupils to become fluent and automaticity is increased.
CUSP – range of opportunities to support the teaching of substantive and disciplinary knowledge including thinking tasks
The POINT OF REFLECTION is carefully deployed through specific and deliberate techniques, such as self-questioning, retrieval practice like word paths and application tasks alongside low stakes quizzes and assessments. These directly support metacognitive development and enable pupils to plan, monitor and evaluate their learning with structure and depth.
At St James CE Primary School to enhance teaching and learning of all curriculum areas within the school, teachers employ a range of strategies, including:
- ask and answer questions;
- use new vocabulary in context
- memorise words;
- interpret meaning;
- understand new knowledge and apply in different ways;
- use ICT;
- work in pairs, and groups to communicate understanding and learning
Reference – Content
At St. James CE Primary our curriculum is supported by well researched schemes and scaffolds to ensure a clear progression and sequenced delivery of substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
Our curriculum meets the minimum standards as set out by the National Curriculum and looks to go beyond it to ensure that pupils leave St. James having a strong foundation for the next step in their education journey.
CUSP is used to support the delivery of geography teaching at St. James CE Primary School.
Our whole school approach to geography teaching and learning is in line with the recommendations of the National Curriculum and the requirements outlined in the Department for Education Geography Programme of Study for Key Stage 1 and 2.
Explanation – Subject Knowledge
Teachers at St. James are supported to ensure that their subject knowledge allows them to deliver high quality lessons allowing all pupils to achieve. Subject leaders provide clear skills and knowledge progression documents and regular opportunities for CPD occur for teachers at all stages of their professional development.
- Lesson Plans
- Teacher support notes
- Knowledge organisers
- Progression maps
- Vocabulary development maps
- Knowledge notes
- Vocabulary units
Delivery – Explicit Instruction
Our curriculum delivery at St. James follows a carefully agreed structure and will look broadly similar in all subjects. In Geography you will see –
- Unit title page – with an overarching question for the unit
- Knowledge organiser – covering substantive knowledge for the unit
- Cumulative knowledge quiz
- Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary sheets
- Knowledge notes – key knowledge for each lesson
- Thinking tasks – disciplinary knowledge tasks using a range of key skills e.g. deducing, classifying etc.
- End of unit quiz completed a couple of weeks after the completion of the unit
The curriculum is recorded in individual pupil books with a range of written outcomes and verbal outcomes (recorded by QR codes or photographs). Big Books (floor books) are used to capture investigations and additional learning for the whole class.
Practice – Metacognition
To enable children to develop their learning, tasks are designed to support deliberate practice of taught content enabling pupils to become fluent at a task e.g. group work, paired work and individual work to learn new vocabulary and content.
Pupils are encouraged to tackle a learning objective in different ways to showcase their understanding of the key knowledge. The carefully planned for tasks allow for children to build on their understanding of the substantive knowledge and apply it to disciplinary tasks. This carefully sequenced progression through lessons, steps or learning intentions, allows for children to apply new learning in different ways therefore promoting transition of key knowledge into children’s long term memory.
Reflection – Metacognition, retrieval and evaluation
Teachers at St. James plan for a range of opportunities for pupils to develop retrieval skills, self-questioning and personal awareness of their own next steps.
This looks like –
- Cumulative quiz questions
- Give one, get one
- Remember two things
- Word paths
- Word connections
- Vocabulary instructions
- Image cues
- Low stakes quizzes
At St. James CE Primary School, we have a concise whole school shared definition of learning: ‘Learning is a change in long term memory.’ In order to identify the impact our curriculum is having on our pupils, teachers employ a range of assessment strategies both at the point of teaching and after.
Regular assessment of pupil needs and understanding plays a vital role here as does the provision of appropriate resources, the internet and our whiteboards offer a wealth of materials that can be matched to suit individual or group needs, enabling all pupils to develop their science knowledge and skills.
At St James CE Primary children should be assessed against their progress in understanding and applying geographic knowledge and skills against the curriculum map. This will be self-evident from the work produced in a situation where no teacher support is given once a task has been assigned.