South Farnham SchoolPrimary Geography Quality Mark Application – Gold
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Our vision is to facilitate the learning of young geographers who have a thirst for knowledge.We endeavour to ensure that all pupils are actively engaged in their own learning and achievement so thatgeographical skills and fieldwork are embedded in relevant units of work. There is a great emphasis on providingopportunities for children to be creative with suitable challenges for more able children and facilitating individuallearning styles.
Section One: What is Geography like at our school?. The standard of work produced by pupils is consistently high and this in itself demonstrates a commitment to an enthusiasm for the subject (see following examples of pupil work). All geography taught is differentiated ensuring that all abilities are catered for and that every child is able to access the concepts encountered. For example in Year Five children learn about the different features of a river. Less able children begin by learning the key vocabulary (mouth, meander, tributary) and are taught to recognise these features from secondary sources. Whereas the more able task requires children to explore these in greater detail and explain how these features developed initially. The children are then all offered the opportunity to see these features and systems operating during their residential visit to Osmington Bay allowing pupils to apply what they have learnt to the real world. Within lessons, children are regularly encouraged to share their own experiences that relate to topics being taught for example children in Year Three explore Indian culture and study a locality within this country. Children who have visited, have family who have visited, are originally from that locality or simply have an interest therefore have gained knowledge before the lesson, are able to share this information with the class and have the opportunity to build on prior knowledge especially as the activities are enjoyable then they are remembered most. All staff have a copy of the curriculum map within the geography policy which enables them to clearly see the topics that have been covered by the children in previous years in as well as what the children will be learning in future years. This means the teacher can make links between these topics and make sure the children are equipped with the knowledge they need to gain before they progress to the next stage in their learning.1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progress when considered in relation to age, ability and prior experience
These comments refer tothe following two pages.Year: 4Unit of Work: Studying alocality.Why was it chosen? Thispiece shows how a childhas applied their inquiryskills to create acomprehensive guide to alocality they have studied.The enthusiasm thepupils have for geographycan be clearly seen here.What does it showchildren knowunderstand and can do?This pupil has anappreciation for theimportance of thegeographical location ofthis village. This child caninvestigate places andunderstand how the landuses appeal to differentpeople. 1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progress when considered in relation to age, ability and prior experience
1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progress when considered in relation to age, ability and prior experience1d: Geography is seen as a key subject to engage creative and critical thinking about `people & place’, local and global change and possible futures
Year: 5Unit of Work: Exploring rivers and coastsComplementary work submitted: River Severnfact file.Context: Pupils learn about features of riversand how and why they developed.Why was it chosen? Shows an excellentunderstanding of geographical processes. Thepupil is able to explain the flow of the river usingcorrect geographical terminology.What does it show children know understandand can do? Recognise and explain physicalprocesses using correct geographical vocabulary.The know the effect the physical processes hason the surrounding environment. 1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progress when considered in relation to age, ability and prior experience
Year: 5 Unit of Work: Exploring rivers and coasts Complementary work submitted: Meander and Oxbow lake formation. (Previous slide) Context: Pupils learn about features of rivers and how and why they developed. Why was it chosen? It demonstrates how children are asked to apply their knowledge to real case studies. What does it show children know understand and can do? This child has combined ideas to explain a geographical process in action. This pupil has explained geographical patterns, with reference to a specific locality .1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progress whenconsidered in relation to age, ability and prior experience
Year: 5Year:Unit ofof Work: Rivers and CoastsUnit Work:Complementary work submitted: formation of different physical features.Context: Pupils explore theContext:Why was it chosen? This piece demonstrates the child’s clear understanding of the topic covered and theWhy was it chosen?enthusiasm they have for the subject.What does it show children know understand and can do?What does it show children know understand and can do?BECAUSE...This pupil has an excellent understanding of the formation of the waterfall and can explain the geographicalprocesses that occur.1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progress when considered in relation to age, ability and prior experience
. Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Assessment is key to successful monitoring of pupil progress and planning future lessons. Initially children’s existing knowledge and understanding is assessed through formative assessment. Pupils are asked for their knowledge on a particular subject or in some cases draw concept maps. From here the teacher then understands how to build upon this prior knowledge. This also provides a useful tool for further assessment as the children can add to their concept maps once a lesson is completed enabling the child and teacher to see how their learning has progressed. The lesson itself is also evaluated and the teacher will judge how it can be improved in future. As we are a four form entry school, these improvements will be discussed initially at year group meetings and if it is an aspect that applies to the whole school teaching of geography it will be discussed at staff and curriculum meetings also. This evaluation will then inform the planning for the next lesson. One example of this is the introduction of geography mental starters across the whole school, which is discussed in section two. 1b: Assessment is seen as an essential tool in planning learning and monitoring pupil progress
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? It is essential to ensure that children’s different learning styles are catered for and as mentioned in section 1a that the work is differentiated. When the children in Year Five learnt about rivers they created a river as a class with children taking on the roles of its various features and positioning themselves along the course (a large blue sheet!). The children also held signs to show what feature they were representing and a group of more able children provided a commentary as a water droplet (child) travelled down the river. If children are expected to improve their attainment, they need to be able to recognise how to build on the knowledge they have already. Peer and self assessment is an important aspect of this. Children are encouraged to evaluate their performance and that of their peers. The learning objective and success criteria are shared with the children during all geography lessons so that they can recognise the progress they are making. 1b: Assessment is seen as an essential tool in planning learning and monitoring pupil progress
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Year 3 on a field visit to Wisley Gardens to explore ecosystems and habitats. Year 4 extending their learning outside the classroom and developing their mapping skills. Interpretation of knowledgeYear 4 exploring through synthesis - ecosystems in Year 4 becoming the river tothe school pond. help them to learn new vocabulary.
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Fieldwork and Active Enquiry Learning Throughout the school, hands on experiences in fieldwork are planned in everyyear group. For example, the topic in Year Five on rivers begins with the learning of relevantvocabulary initially through secondary sources, then to be experienced in the real worldduring field trips. Through first hand experience learning becomes purposeful and easier tosee how geographical features affect the surrounding environment and how humans haveimpacted upon these processes. In Year Six, the children learn about different settlements and how they areformed. During lessons they are able to compare localities: Farnham and Shrewsbury(location of their residential visit). They use the knowledge they have gained and apply thisto identify features of these two areas. They are then encouraged to consider the problemsand issues faced within these areas for example traffic. The children then have theopportunity to explore whether the Menin Way has a traffic issue and if it does they are ableto create solutions to these problems. These are just two examples but there are many other opportunities within yeargroups where the children are able to complete fieldwork successfully as a result of theirexisting knowledge from previous lessons then build upon and strengthen this as a result oftheir enquiries.1c: Fieldwork, active enquiry learning and the use of ICT has a clear impact on the way children learn geography
1c: Fieldwork, active enquiry learning and the use of ICT has a clear impact on the way children learn geography Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Year 5 pupils putting their knowledge into place by researching the way river changes at various point along its course. Year 5 learning the key vocabulary before fieldwork Application of Knowledge begins. Exploring the geology of the Displays in school to support site and putting the classroom fieldwork completed at knowledge into practice. Osmington Bay.
Section One: What is Geography like at our school?1c: Fieldwork, active enquiry learning and the use of ICT has a clear impact on the way children learn geography Year 4 using maps and grid reference skills to explore land use and geographical features. These pupils are specifically researching Marchant’s Hill, prior to their residential visit. Pupils identify animals from different habitats and develop their orienteering skills further.
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? ICT having a clear impact on the way that children learn and enjoy geography The majority of children thoroughly enjoy ICT and it is a very powerful tool to extend andenrich the curriculum. Using Virtual World means that teachers are able to show children this with ease. It also offers exciting ways to review their knowledge through games and activities. ICT also refers to the use of equipment to collect data during fieldwork activities. Pupils use data loggers enabling children to collect data regarding sunlight, sound, precipitation and much more. The data can then be transferred to the computer for the children to analyse. Children using Virtual World to locate India and compare position to own locality. Virtual Geography is an excellent resource for explaining concepts and introducing new topics to pupils, they are then able to complete activities that consolidate the new knowledge they have gained. When studying localities, it is essential that children are aware of where it is relation to the locality where they live and are able to compare and contrast them. Both fieldwork and ICT dramatically enhance the enjoyment and enthusiasm childrenshow when learning during geography lessons. 1c: Fieldwork, active enquiry learning and the use of ICT has a clear impact on the way children learn geography
Year: 6Unit of Work: Settlement patterns. Year:Context: Pupils explore the different types of settlements then investigate how and why they develop in the way they Unit of Work:do. The pupils then submitted: Complementary work design their own settlement considering the amenities and facilities the people would require. Context:Why was it chosen? This demonstrates a cross-curricular link with ICT and how the use of ICT supports pupils’ learning of Why was it chosen?geography.it show children know understand and can do? What doesWhat does it show children know understand and can do? BECAUSE...This pupil understands the importance of transport links when developing a settlement. They recognise that linearsettlements form as a result of location along roads and rivers. They are using their geographical knowledge toinvestigate places. 1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progress when considered in relation to age, ability and prior experience 1c: Fieldwork, active enquiry learning and the use of ICT has a clear impact on the way children learn geography
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Within all topics covered children are encouraged torelate the information they encounter to real world examples and casestudies. By developing this thought process, it enables them toconsider outcomes, causes and solutions to problems caused by bothhumans and nature. Furthermore, it encourages young geographers tobecome global citizens and in turn spread the knowledge to theirfamilies and friends. At South Farnham, we achieve this by careful planning ofactivities that the children can relate to for example the Year Six trafficsurvey. The children of Year Six also explore the rainforest; learningabout its beauty and the diversity of flora and fauna that can be foundthere. The children take the time to consider the impact that clearingthese can have on this delicate ecosystem. In addition to this they canexplore reasons why deforestation occurs and the ways in which wecan help at a local level for example recycling. The teaching of geography needs to link all these issues Year Six work detailing the layers of thetogether and encourage the children to consider how these important rainforest. They will consider the effectsglobal issues are related and more importantly encouraging them to human impact can have. They also comparesee how can shape the future of these situations. and contrast living conditions here with their own experiences. Year Six researching their rainforest projects.1d: Geography is seen as a key subject to engage creative and critical thinking about `people & place’, local and global change and possible futures
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Staff view this garden project as pivotal for establishing the children’s connection to the world around them. Each year group is responsible for a plot thus involving all 535 children. Children now have the opportunity to eat the food they grow promoting the idea of sustainable development.1d: Geography is seen as a key subject to engage creative and critical thinking about `people & place’, local and global change and possible futures
Year: 6 Unit of Work: The Rainforest Complementary work submitted: Rainforest Layers previous slide. Context: Pupils begin their topic by researching the rainforest . They extract information then later use this to compare this locality with their own. Why was it chosen? It demonstrates creative thinking and cross curricular links with Science and Art. What does it show children know understand and can do? This pupil can recognise and describe geographical patterns in relation to the weather experienced in the rainforest. They have draw on their own knowledge and understanding to select and present information.1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progresswhen considered in relation to age, ability and prior experience1d: Geography is seen as a key subject to engage creative and criticalthinking about `people & place’, local and global change and possiblefutures
Year: 6 Unit of Work: The Rainforest. Complementary work submitted: Rainforest fact file previous slide. Context: Pupils begin their topic by researching the rainforest . They then use this knowledge to create a fictional creature that will need to be adaptable to the conditions experienced there. Why was it chosen? It demonstrates creative thinking and cross curricular links with science . What does it show children know understand and can do? This pupil can draw on their skills and knowledge to think creatively. This piece shows a sophisticated understanding of the ways that animals adapt and are dependent upon their1a: Achievement is high and pupils make good progresswhen considered in relation to age, ability and prior experience environments.1d: Geography is seen as a key subject to engage creative and criticalthinking about `people & place’, local and global change and possiblefutures
Section One: What is Geography like at our school?It is essential to make links between what is taught to the children’s experiences of the real world.geographical knowledge is the foundation to many experiences encountered in everyday life. It isessential that from a young age children develop their basic geographical understanding for examplethe location of countries and capital cities within the world. The geography team also recognises that there are many other opportunities where this knowledgecan be developed outside of the geography lesson for example asking children to name the capital of acity as part of a class game. ‘Geography in the news’ Screen shot of our MLE reporting further destruction in the Amazon rainforest. It is also important to draw children’s awareness to geographical issues that are covered in the news. On our virtual learning environment we have an area where children can explore these news stories as they develop. In addition to this we share news stories within lessons if they occur in a locality being studied. 1e: Core geographical knowledge underpins children’s learning about the world 1c: Fieldwork, active enquiry learning and the use of ICT has a clear impact on the way children learn geography
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Developing global citizens Creative displays help to keep other During International club, children enjoy a Japanese cultures at the film whilst others prepare forefront of the Manga drawings to send children’s minds. to our link school. Throughout the year, children enthusiastically collect resources to send out to schools in Malawi. The children learn that their contribution has had such a huge impact on children whose lives are less fortunate than themselves thousands of miles away.Also see section three for Eco-school and International work which areboth whole school initiatives.1f: Geography supports other curriculum areas, contributes to the enjoyment and achievement of learners and to whole school initiatives
Section One: What is Geography like at our school? Geography is able to support other curriculum areas whilst maintaining its own distinct character. Science: Pupils consider the how animals adapt to theirrainforest habitat. Art: Children create batiks of rainforest Science: animals. Pupils explore food webs in the rainforest. Art and DT: Children created aLiteracy and ICT: new creature within Newspaper the rainforest by article on the drawing on their discovery of a existing knowledge. new creature.1f: Geography supports other curriculum areas, contributes to the enjoyment and achievement of learners and to whole school initiatives
Section 2: How effective is subject leadership and management? Our Vision: Within our geography curriculum we aim to develop children’s understanding of the features and conditions that make up the physical environment. We aim to stimulate their interest in their surroundings and develop their skills through first-hand experience and geographical enquiry. At South Farnham, we hope that our children develop an informed concern about the quality of their world and leave the school with a clear understanding of what it means to be a global citizen (See Geography Policy). Geography is highly valued within the school. The planning is reviewed in line with the school policy, school development plan and National Curriculum. The policy itself has been written and prepared by the teaching staff and SLT so the vision for geography is a shared one. A range of teaching approaches are embedded throughout the Geography planning in all year groups in order to deliver high-quality geography lessons. This is underpinned by auditory, visual and kinaesthetic methods as well as the use of higher order questioning skills illustrated by the Bloom’s taxonomy. (See Medium Term Plans).2a: There is a `vision’ for geography that is helping to shape the way that the subject is taught. This vision informs thegeography policy and guides the writing of schemes of work based on the NC. It has the clear support of the HT and SLT.
Section 2: How effective is subject leadership and management? Subject meetings take place once every half-term. Within them, the team are able to review the effectiveness of any new resources that have been implemented and discuss the outcomes or new ideas gained from attending network meetings or courses. In addition to this they can review the policy and School Development Plan before it is shared with the rest of the staff.(See meeting minutes and School Development Plan for Geography). Assessment for learning is a key strength at South Farnham. Each term a piece of work from each core and foundation subject is levelled which, over the year, is collated as part of a portfolio of evidence for each individual child. This work is then levelled and recorded on the school network. Teachers have found that this levelling drives improvement forward in a positive way as teachers are able to identify what a child has achieved and provides a clear direction for how to improve both within the current class and when the child moves to the next. The portfolios are then passed on to the child’s secondary school at the end of Key Stage Two. Evaluation of the provision of resources is an ongoing project. A resource audit will occur before the final curriculum meeting of the year. The subject leader provides the teachers with educational publications to explore which resources they feel would enhance the curriculum in their year group. Resources are held in central location for all staff to access. Resources specific to a year group are to be held by the year coordinator. ICT resources are available on the school network so all staff have access.2b: The subject leader formulates clear and relevant development targets to guide teaching in the school. Subjectmonitoring is focused on ensuring curriculum provision has a clear impact on pupil progress, identifies the professionaldevelopment needs of staff, supports transition within and beyond the school and ensures adequate resources are availablefor geography.
Section 2: How effective is subject leadership and management? Our vision is that the teaching of geography is engaging, challenging and interesting for the children. The geography team decided that the introduction of mental starters similar to those used in other subjects like maths would create a way to engage the children instantly at the beginning of a lesson. These have since been incorporated throughout the school and all staff have a set of starters they can refer to for each of their geography lessons. These starters may range from ‘walking ’ around a locality they may be studying using Google maps or playing ‘Just a Minute’ which requires the children to define a geographical term without repetition, hesitation or deviation (See attached starters list). Plenary sessions offer a valuable time when pupils can reflect on their new knowledge and make links to what they will be learning in future. Teachers will use this time to explore what helped a child when they were stuck, to consider the new information they have learnt and to think of strategies to ensure they retain the new information.2b: The subject leader formulates clear and relevant development targets to guide teaching in the school. Subjectmonitoring is focused on ensuring curriculum provision has a clear impact on pupil progress, identifies the professionaldevelopment needs of staff, supports transition within and beyond the school and ensures adequate resources are availablefor geography.
Where next? The geography team are always seeking opportunities to improve and further develop the teaching of geography and in turn the experiences our young geographers encounter. The geography team are always seeking opportunities to improve and further develop the teaching of geography and in turn the experiences our young geographers encounter.1. We are very proud of the extensive fieldwork opportunities that are available to the children. In the future we aim to incorporate even more into the curriculum which are relevant to the children’s own lives and consider real-life issues they could face in their lifetime.2. Through our ‘Bright Futures’ program, professionals in various fields of work have been able to discuss their life experiences and careers with the children. We are aiming to encourage more speakers from a geographical background to draw the children’s attention to the possible careers that await them within this subject teaching them how to turn their enthusiasm into a career.3. The school has very much enjoyed developing a close partnership with our Japanese link school. With the guidance of the British Council, we hope to be able to experience exchanges and visits to each others’ schools.
Section Three: Geography at our school Originally the reason for entering the Quality Mark was as a result of a desireto raise the profile of geography within the school. Having successfully achievedthis, the new target was to maintain geography’s developing status and continueto encourage children to enjoy and achieve through its teaching. During the past three years, since obtaining the award, the geography teamhave been encouraged by the enthusiasm and support of the staff to maintainthe high standards reached within the teaching of this subject. Although the school has much to be proud of, one of the key reasons for itssuccess is its desire to continually ‘pursue excellence’. With this in mind theposition of geography has been continually reviewed by the staff to identifyareas for further development.
Section Three: Geography at our school In order to raise the profile of children’s awareness of world geography, a strong partnership has been developed with a school in Japan. The children regularly exchange information about their school life and experiences of living in their countries so that they can compare and contrast geographical differences in surroundings between the two schools. Children are able to draw comparisons between the two different geographical settings: our school and theirs. An area of the school has been dedicated to the sharing of this information so that children are able to explore the pieces of work at their leisure. We are also in the early stages of a new partnership with a school in France and a similar area has been created to display that correspondence.
Display celebrating the work received from our link school in France. A map encourages children to considerthe location of the link school. They are then able to use the largecanvas map to explore the location of the country in relation to where they live.
Section Three: Geography at our schoolThe overall profile of geography within theschool has been raised. Beautiful, interactivedisplays within classrooms and corridors area regular sight. In addition to the centrallylocated three metre by two metre worldmap a large globe hangs impressively in anarea where it is seen on a daily basis.Recently a new canvas map of the BritishIsles has also been carefully positionedwhere children are able to take the time toconsider the position and location of certaintowns and cities. All three are enjoyed andused by staff and students alike as part oflessons and general discussions about theworld’s countries.
Both children and staff are regularly seen researching the locations of different countries. The globe hangs proudly in a stairwell passed by the majority of students daily. This prominent feature encourages talking points surrounding geographical issues.
Successful geography displays inspire childrento explore topics further. Interactive displays pose thoughtful questions to engage the children. Displays also support children who may need help to retain or access the information explored.
Section Three: Geography at our school One of the aims of the geography team was to encourage children to relate the knowledge they learn to world issues and to consider what can be done to help at a local level. With this in mind, the geography co-ordinator and team set up an eco-council who meet on a regular basis to discuss the ‘green’ needs of the school and local community. The Eco-School Action Team is run by the children with the support of parents, teachers and the governing body. These ambassadors for geography have been part of many successful projects including the re-development of the pond area, ways to increase the diversity of species found within the school grounds and are embarking on an exciting project to re-design the school courtyard so that it can become an area to facilitate geographical enquiry. These children take pride in what they do and regularly share their ideas with the other children within the school.
The children are creating bug boxes as part of the re- development of the school These areas then provide pond. an opportunity to for the children of Year Four to directly study different habitats within the school grounds.This encourages the children to consider theimportant issue of sustainable development.Through the use of recycled materials they are able to consider howthis benefits the environment around them. Putting the creations into place.
Geography continues to prosper and develop within our school; theprocess of reviewing targets and setting new ones is continual.All staff at the school are keen to continue to ensure that Geographyremains a focal point of learning within day to day school life.