At Aston St Mary’s, in line with our Christian values, we aim for all of our pupils to:
- inspire pupils’ curiosity to discover more about the world that God created;
- appreciate how and why we should look after our world;
- think like geographers by asking as well as answering questions;
- enable children to locate the world’s continents, countries, cities, seas and oceans;
- appreciate the diversity of cultures within the countries and regions studied and develop a non-stereotypical sense of place;
- develop the skills of interpreting a range of sources of geographical information in order to make geographical enquires;
- help children understand how the human and physical features of a place shapes it location and can change over time.
Teachers plan engaging lessons which use the enquiry based approach. Children are encouraged to discover new knowledge and piece together understanding for themselves by using different sources of information. Several lessons can be spent solving an enquiry and most lessons feature aspects of enquiry based learning in some way. Each lesson begins with a “Learning Question” which children should then be able to answer by the end. We understand that children need to be supported to appreciate how enquiry is a common thread throughout their study of Geography. Therefore we created our own “process for geographical enquiries” which is displayed in each classroom and referred to during planning and lessons. Enquiries also provide children with the valuable experience of making links across their learning and drawing upon their knowledge from several lesson. For example, “Should a new pier be built on the Isle of Coll?” and “Where would a good place be to put a school bench in our school grounds?” The use of key vocabulary and field work skills is also embedded throughout our planning and teaching of Geography using our progression skills ladders. We endeavour for children to see the relevance of Geography in the outside world and so make use of our rural school rounds, village, nearby town and physical features such as The River Beane in order to conduct observations and field work enquires.
In order to develop children’s fluency and curiosity of locational knowledge, we place a high importance on frequently revisiting map skills. Our learning environment supports this as world and UK maps are displayed and regularly referenced.
The impact of our Geography teaching and learning shows that standards in Geography are high and match standards in other subjects such as English. Children are encouraged to research independently to further their own enjoyment and understanding through choosing home learning “projects”. Teachers make judgements and assess progress using our progression skills ladders and report to subject leaders termly.