The Intent, implementation and Impact of our Curriculum
At St Nicholas Catholic Primary school, we have developed our Geography curriculum to ensure it is fully inclusive to every child, regardless of their home background.
Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography by providing a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum and by ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills. Finally, we strive to develop and instil an enjoyment and love for Geography.
Children at St Nicholas are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. As the community of St Nicholas is a very diverse one, we feel it is essential that the children’s own home background and experiences play an important part in their Geography learning. Each classroom has a world map with indications as to which country the children are from. This helps to ensure that the children have an understanding of where in the world they are from and where they are now in comparison.
St Nicholas Catholic Primary School holds a very favourable location in the centre of Liverpool. In Geography, we aim to utilise this to our advantage by using the educational facilities and visits/visitors to enhance our Geography curriculum. It is our aim to ensure all children have at least ONE local enrichment per year for Geography to enhance and enrich their curriculum. Some of our enrichment activities include: Chester Zoo, local area walks and studies of the changing city landscape and trips to various parks/greenspaces around the locality.
Naturally, Geography is a subject which allows children to explore their curiosity about the world around them – the human and physical features of the place they call home. The curriculum at St Nicholas enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other subjects alongside developing an understanding of Geographical concepts, vocabulary and skills that they can use to pose and answer their own Geographical questions.
Here at St Nicholas, we aim to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will stay with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, alongside developing a deeper understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes which will enable them to explain their Geographical thinking.
At St Nicholas, Geography is taught discretely from a scheme called Voyagers. The topics taught in each class show clear progression through the year groups and help to support pupil’s development in Geographical vocabulary as this becomes more complex as the children move through the school.
At the start of each topic, children are given an opportunity to explain or revisit their previous learning by completing a ‘previous knowledge’ grid, they will then move on to posing their own questions about the topic as a way of encouraging their curiosity. Further down the school, this will be done as a class, scribed by the teacher/LSA. At the end of the topic, children are given the chance to revisit their learning and their questions. They will then fill in the ‘learn’ part of their knowledge grid to show what they have learned during the topic.
With regards to our high mobility of pupils in school, staff are aware of the need to revisit and recap Geography learning at the start of each lesson, this is also essential to our aim of encouraging children to embed their learning and understand the sequence of lessons as the previous lessons learning will have an impact on the present and subsequently, their future learning.
As vocabulary is a key area of development for our school, staff are aware of the need to identify, use and explain key vocabulary each lesson and all encourage their children to use this new vocabulary accurately throughout their lessons and in their work.
A high proportion of our learners have English as an Additional Language and this is catered for through our Geography teaching. Teachers are fully aware of the need for differentiation in Geography and this is done effectively through the use of varied adapted resources, adult support, questioning and use of visual and practical materials to help support children’s understanding of the Geographical concepts.
Cross curricular outcomes in geography are specifically planned for, with strong links between geography and various other subjects – maths, science and history. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice.
With regards to implementing a range of enrichment activities to enhance our Geography curriculum, we have a number of annual trips organised for each of our year groups. For example, Year 5 and Year 2 visit Chester Zoo to support their topics of ‘The Amazon’ and ‘Where do animals live?’ It is our aim that all classes will have at least one enrichment activity for Geography each year. We have particularly strong links with the University of Liverpool and John Moores University where we are regularly invited to participate in sessions that link with our curriculum. All of these will be evaluated by staff and pupils and rebooked or adapted for the next academic year group.
As children progress throughout the school, we aim for them to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding and an appreciation of their local area (Liverpool) and its place within the wider geographical location.
The impact and measure of this is to ensure that children at St Nicholas are equipped with the essential geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world.
We want the children to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about geography, therefore encouraging them to undertake new life experiences now and in the future.