Geography at Garfield

The study of Geography at Garfield, begins in the Early Years as children begin developing their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Children develop a sense of place and are taught key geographical vocabulary. This continues developing each year through to Year 6.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the children begin to develop their geographical knowledge by exploring features of their own environment and local area. The children begin looking at simple maps, describing familiar routes and exploring the natural world. They learn to explain some similarities and differences between life in the UK and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and maps. Throughout the year, the children observe and discuss the weather and seasonal changes.

At Garfield, Geography is introduced through indoor and outdoor activities, role-play, big books, special weeks and first-hand experiences where new and familiar vocabulary is taught. This helps the children to foster an understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world.

Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1, teachers have designed creative, detailed planning which links with the Geography National Curriculum. Pupils develop locational and place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and fieldwork. The children learn about seasons, weather, continents, cities and climates. They work with maps and atlases and learn about countries around the world. Both inside and outside the classroom, children are encouraged to develop their geographical enquiry as they are taught key skills such as observing and recording, asking geographical questions, analysing evidence and drawing conclusions.

For example, in Year 1 the children complete a local area study where they explore their own/ the school’s locality. This is then built upon in year 2 where the children explore how they could improve the safety of the local environment. Children are given the opportunity for observational fieldwork and to complete surveys. In Year 1, the children complete a UK study where they name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities. They also identify physical and human features and develop their knowledge of seasonal and daily weather patterns. In Year 2, the children then develop their knowledge of the UK and begin exploring and locating islands of the UK. They also complete a European study on France and a non-European study on India.

At Garfield, we exceed the requirements of the National Curriculum as we develop and repeat key concepts and build on vocabulary and geographical skills, knowledge and understanding.

Key Stage 2

In Key Stage 2, we follow the Haringey Education Partnership (HEP) curriculum. This curriculum provides knowledge-rich, vocabulary-rich in depth planning and resources which covers a range of geographical knowledge and skills. It has a coherent structure that ensures that links are made across each of the units covered. This means that knowledge is built upon and children make explicit connections using their previous knowledge.

For example, in Year 3, children learn about rivers and in year 4, children learn about the Rhine and the Mediterranean. In Year 5, children develop their knowledge about oceans and compare and contrast two regions.

Each unit includes attractive, illustrated booklets, vocabulary lists and PowerPoint presentations, which supports the teaching and learning of each lesson.

At Garfield, we understand the importance and value of fieldwork as it allows children to learn directly in the real world, outside the classroom. It is one of the distinctive features of geographical education and feeds children’s curiosity about the world. Lots of our fieldwork in geography is completed in the local area and often within the school grounds. Through fieldwork, children are given the opportunity to learn skills of enquiry, such as observational and investigative skills, data collection and analysis and map work.