At Brightside Nursery Infant school our geography curriculum seeks to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about their surroundings. It is designed to provoke and answer questions about the natural and human world. We aim to develop knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps, and a range of investigative and problem solving skills both inside and outside the classroom. We endeavour to provide pupils with key knowledge about the world which leads to them developing their understanding of the environment and physical and human processes.
We encourage children to recognise and feel the beneficial impact, of exploring and appreciating the natural world, to their mental and physical well-being. We intend to provide all children with a broad and balanced geography curriculum to enable them to make valid contributions to our Brightside community and wider world.
We believe that the best way to learn geography is through direct, first hand experience which includes using our local environment and planned educational visits. The children also need to be provided with opportunities to apply what they have learnt to different situations where they can access equipment with ease and confidence.
Wherever, possible geography will be integrated within and across the Early Years (EYs) curriculum and National Curriculum (NC). Planning is differentiated to meet the range of needs in any class including those children who may need extra support, those who are in line with the expected level and those who are working at greater depth.
There is on-going, continuous work in every class, which might include weather studies, seasonal drawings, environmental concerns as they occur, learning map skills, orienteering skills and developing vocabulary, etc.
Local, national and worldwide events and issues are discussed as they occur in class or assemblies.
Over the academic year we also have whole school events such as 'Cultural Diversity Day' and 'International week'.
The Early Years Framework is followed in nursery and reception. Geography is planned for within the area of Understanding the World (UtW). Children learn basic geographical knowledge and skills through planned activities in indoor and outdoor continuous provision. They learn to identify different types of weather and the four seasons. They learn to identify and name different features of different environments such as farm, jungle, under the sea, arctic areas etc. They begin to use and create their own simple maps within their play. They look closely at their local area and visit the local River Don to learn about their immediate environment.
Key Stage 1
The National Curriculum is followed in year 1 and year 2. Geography is used as the main driver several times during the year to enable children to immerse themselves within the subject as well as experience meaningful links with other subjects such as reading, maths and science. Lessons build on previous skills that have been learnt in nursery and reception. They continue to identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the UK and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and North and South Poles. Children increase their geographic vocabulary. Children learn to name and locate the world's seven continents and five oceans. They learn to name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the UK. They also look at the similarities and difference of these countries as well as compared to contrasting non-European countries. Children learn how to use and ready maps, atlases and globes, as well as create their own maps. They learn simple compass directions and use them within other subjects such as orienteering in PE.
Our children make good progress from entry into Foundation Stage and, by the end of Key Stage 1, achieve extremely well in geography. Children leave Brightside with the basic map reading skills. The children develop a sense of identity through finding out about their own environment, about the UK, and other parts of the world. They develop positive images of other places in the world and the people who live there. They are able to show a range of geographical skills by using geographical vocabulary, undertaking fieldwork, orienteering, using globes, maps, atlases, photographs, satellite pictures and site plans. They can interpret a range of sources including maps, diagrams, globes and aerial photographs. They are able to ask questions, observe, record and express their own views about people, places and environments.