At Half Acres Academy, the national curriculum is taught through a theme based approach. Where possible, opportunities for cross curricular links are highlighted giving a meaningful context for the learning. Teachers make it explicit to children that they are learning geography skills and that they are being ‘Geographers’. Wherever possible, we aim to build upon the child’s ‘Personal Geography’ by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes.
Our curriculum is based on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and vocabulary with a focus on children knowing more and remembering more. With clear progression across year groups, as demonstrated in the progression model, this allows children to revisit and recap prior learning in order to embed skills and knowledge. This allows children by the end of year 6 to have the cultural capital to be successful in Geography in secondary school.
At Half Acres Academy evidence of the children’s learning can be found in their topic files in Key Stage 1 or in topic books in Key Stage 2. Topic books in KS2 enable the children to make cross curricular links. Leaders conduct pupil conferencing and interviews with the children to discuss their learning and establish the impact.
During a geography based topic, a knowledge organiser is sent home to parents/guardians. These have information that children are going to be learning or should already know. They also feature subject specific vocabulary. The children take part in knowledge organiser quizzes to test what they know and remember. This is then glued in the front of KS2’s topic books so that they can refer to key vocabulary.
Each classroom features a working wall that has key vocabulary that the children can refer to. The teacher adds to this each lesson.
The children’s knowledge and understanding are assessed against the 2014 National Curriculum statements for Geography. This is both ongoing, to inform future planning, and summative to share with staff, leaders and parents. This ensures the pitch of lessons is well matched to need and that, by the end of each key stage, required content within the National Curriculum is adequately covered to prepare pupils for the next phase.
The quality of work in children’s books demonstrates appropriate pitch and challenge. It is evident that children’s knowledge has increased compared to previous years. Children are now able to apply the knowledge and beginning to think like ‘geographers.’
Through pupil voice, it is evident that children are beginning to know more and remember more. They are able to articulate key vocabulary appropriately.