Geography at Sandwich Junior School is fundamental to the learning of locational knowledge, place knowledge and key aspects of human and physical geography at Key Stage 2 building upon the skills gained at Key Stage 1. Children about place knowledge and expand out into the wider world, as the scale of their understanding broadens and intensifies to include fieldwork within the local area so that children can observe, measure and record.
Within the school, library and classrooms, learning is supported by key resources: atlases, globes, large wall maps (both inside and outside), Ipads which contain mapping tools (digital compasses, ArcGis, Google Maps and Earth), interactive white boards and an incredible array of human and physical geography texts including National Geographic for children which contains all the latest current affairs connected with this subject used to supplement the diet of text types available.
With passionate teaching and subject knowledge from across the school, children love to learn about the realms of geography within the National Curriculum and the links it provides into and with other subject areas such as the Sciences, Maths and extended writing openings to combine and home in on both geographical knowledge and skills via research and reading opportunities.
I really enjoy learning about other places in the world and comparing these to where we live!
One key event in the school calendar at Sandwich Junior School, is our annual Multicultural Week where children study a country in greater depth: Year 3 look at the West Indies; Year 4 delve into India; Year 5 explore Canada; and Year 6 uncover Malaysia. These case studies, combined with the teaching of Key Skills, allow for comparisons and contrasts to be made - particularly local links and understanding of the United Kingdom - thus ultimately celebrating a love of culture and traditions across our global Wolf Pack. Not only are some geographical skills covered but each year group will use other subjects during this period of learning: Art and Design, Music, Maths (data handling) and Languages (associated with the country of study) are all featured and provide children with a broad range of learning.
Getting the chance to dress up and experience another culture is amazing.
Having the chance to get a feel for and experience other places makes me want to explore the globe more.
Being creative in Art and Design when looking at India and using the chalks to design the national bird, which is a peacock. was really fun.
DEVELOPMENT OF VOCABULARY
Across the year groups, different vocabulary is introduced as a new topic is covered. Each year, the vocabulary evolves to provide a broad, balanced and rich offering to expand the depth of understanding. Vocabulary choices build upon the previous year and may link to a particular area of study. Such vocabulary is modelled and encouraged to be used within verbal explanations, written notations and within Geography books. For example: Continent/s (global term for large areas of land mass), Africa (area of wider study: a continent), country (smaller scale case study) and desert biome (land and habitat found within a region).
GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION WITHIN THE WIDER CURRICULUM
Geographical education and skills have linked to a number of subjects throughout the school: Languages (Language - French) through identifying places around the World using map knowledge (including comparisons between Christmas celebrations); R.E. with faiths such as the Christmas Story; 'Abstractica' fantasy island using abstract nouns and location keys in English; History linked to the Sandwich History Society with local locational knowledge from around Sandwich; extended writing opportunities to apply a range of geographical subject knowledge alongside English writing skills; Mathematical opportunities shown via use of graphs and data; and with Reading Week children looked at locality within the U.K. using maps and stories from the four nations.
We try to use the history on our own doorstep within the Curriculum at Sandwich Junior School. With this in mind, our teaching takes advantage of the fact that the town was one of the original Cinque Ports (this fact is developed and made relevant during Year 5 work with the Sandwich History Society (which has given expert knowledge) where maps of the local area are incorporated. Similarly, visits to local sites such as Richborough Castle to show land change/usage and Dover Castle and its strategic positioning are utilised to give the children hands-on experiential opportunities.