Upperwood
Academy

Geography

At Upperwood Academy, we are committed to providing all children with learning opportunities to engage in Geography. We believe that our children should have access to a rich, relevant and varied Geography Curriculum. Our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Children investigate a range of places including their local area, the wider region and the UK as well as learning about Europe and the wider world. To ensure maximum progression and repeated coverage of knowledge and skills, we repeat areas of knowledge regularly to embed this knowledge into the long term memory. Termly Geography themes identify the key knowledge and skills of each topic and very careful consideration has been given to ensure progression across other Geography units and indeed other subjects throughout each year group across the school. The 3 regions we have selected to study in Key Stage Two have been selected for their physical and human geographical features to reinforce learning. The Mediterranean group of countries has been selected as a group of European countries with contrasting human and physical features. Additionally, the countries identified within our History learning are also Mediterranean countries (Greece, Egypt, Italy.) A region of Italy is explored and contrasted against in detail. Brazil is the region in South America we study in depth exploring key physical and human characteristics and major cities. 

Geography Coverage Document

Geography Progression Document

When devising our curriculum map and aspects of progression for the teaching and learning in Geography, we identified some key aspects for the teaching of Geography within our curriculum:

Children are taught Geography both as a thematic part of their half termly topic work and as discrete teaching of knowledge and skills.

Teachers are provided with additional planning time on top of their PPA, to plan their curriculum. As part of this planning process, teachers plan the following:

  • A knowledge organiser which outlines knowledge (including vocabulary) children must master; 
  • A cycle of lessons for each subject, which carefully plans for progression and depth; 
  • A low stakes quiz which is tested regularly to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory; 
  • Trips and visiting experts who will enhance the learning experience; 
  • A means to display and celebrate the pupils’ artwork in their class.

Our Geography Education Curriculum is planned to demonstrate progression. If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: 

  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes recorded on an assessment tool (Eazmag); 
  • A celebration of learning for each unit of work evidenced in a folder;
  • Tracking of gains in each quiz; 
  • Monitoring of workbooks;
  • Pupil discussions about their learning.
  • Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one to another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
  • Learning in Year 1 focuses on UK Geography; in the Autumn term this is focused on the local area, alongside our history learning of Darfield now and in the past. We visit local areas of interest including the village church as well as the local museum. We are also introduced to the idea of the country that we live in and its capital city. 
  • In the Spring term in Year 1 we extend our learning from our local village to the town that we live in. We are also introduced to the 4 countries of the United Kingdom.
  • In the Summer term in Year 1, we learn about England as a country within the UK, and we specifically study the capital city. This provides context and locational knowledge for some of our other history elements of learning. For example, our learning on London takes place before our work on Monarchs and Leaders and also provides context for our learning on the Great Fire of London in Year 2.
  • Learning in Year 2, then progressively builds to learning about the wider world. We are introduced to the 7 continents and 5 oceans. We begin to learn the location of some countries, including which continent the UK is in. 
  • We continue to recap our knowledge on the countries and capital cities of the UK. 
  • At the end of Year 2, learning culminates with a comparison study of the local area with a region in Africa. Africa has been selected as our contrasting non-European location as it adds to our pupils’ understanding and appreciation of diversity by providing cultural as well as locational contrast.
  • Yorkshire and the Humber is the region studied in depth in Year 3. Local area Geography and History are taught alongside each other to maximise teaching opportunities. We also exploit local places of interest including Darfield’s Maurice Dobson Museum and Heritage Centre showcasing Darfield’s long industrial and Social history and the nearby River Dearne.
  • The Mediterranean group of countries has been selected to study in Lower Key Stage Two for their contrasting physical and human geographical features to reinforce learning. Additionally, the countries identified within our History learning are also Mediterranean countries (Greece, Egypt, Italy.) In Year 3, we ask why people visit the Mediterranean. We also recap our learning on continents and oceans of the world. 
  • To compare regions with one in another country, we also look at tourism as an enquiry question in Year 3 and 4 to compare our UK region of Yorkshire with another European region. 
  • Physical processes of Mountain formation, Volcanoes and Earthquakes require knowledge of the structure of Earth; teaching of Rocks in Science takes place in Year 3 prior to these more complex scientific concepts.
  • In Year 4 we learn about Settlements. We ask pupils where would be a good place to settle, and what things we need around us to live. We learn about what constitutes a village, a hamlet, a town and a city. This also prepares us for our history learning on the early settlers. 
  • Our pupils are introduced to learning on the water cycle in Year 4. Learning on States of Matter in Science is taught in Year 4 prior to the Water Cycle being taught to provide some key scientific learning to support understanding of this process. Rivers are taught later in Key Stage Two to build on this knowledge. 
  • In Year 4 we also study Derbyshire as another area to maximise our pupils experience of different environments. This embeds our Year 4 residential visit to Castleton within our Geography curriculum by exploring the geographical features of this area including its location and characteristics.
  • Key features of Biomes and climate zones including annual temperature, precipitation data including seasonal change are taught in early Year 5 following Science learning on Living things and their habitats in Year 4. Upperwood Academy has a shared understanding of Biomes to ensure learning builds progressively across the Key Stage. We ensure children have a secure knowledge of how the climate relates to living things to form a Biome by the end of Year 5, as this feeds logically into the Year 6 science objective on plant adaptation. This ensures children are prepared for this learning. 
  • Knowledge of metals through materials and changes of state are useful to learning about Volcanoes. Changes of state are taught in Year 4 and Materials is taught in early Year 5 prior to learning about Volcanoes and Earthquakes in Year 5 to maximise teaching opportunities and build on this scientific knowledge.
  • Learning on the Americas is taught in Year 5 and follows learning on Volcanoes and Earthquakes to provide additional context. A study on Mexico takes place which provides locational knowledge for our history studies. 
  • Orientation lessons on locational knowledge precedes learning in other subject areas. For example, teaching locational knowledge about Greece before a topic on Ancient Greece will ensure children have a good knowledge on the Geography of the Mediterranean. 
  • In Year 6 we learn about Rivers and Mountains. This follows scientific learning on states of matter as well as earlier learning on the water cycle so we can build on this knowledge. We carry out field work visiting our local river, the River Dearne as a starting point for this learning.
  • We continue our learning on Biomes and climate zones by learning specifically about the Rainforest. We learn about South America and specifically about time zones following learning on day and night in Science. 
  • Finally, in Year 6, we bring together a lot of our Geographical knowledge and apply to a unit of work on Tourism and the economy. We look at the importance of Tourism in some parts of our country and also in other countries. We look at what a lack of Tourism could do to a country’s economy.