Progression of Geographical Enquiry
We endeavour for children to see the relevance of geography in the world around us, to explore the range of diversity and to develop a natural curiosity. Therefore, we place a large emphasis on geographical enquiry which runs as a common thread throughout our geography curriculum, regardless of the topic covered. We understand that children need to be supported to appreciate how enquiry is a common thread throughout their study of geography. Teachers plan engaging lessons which use an enquiry-based approach. Children are encouraged to discover new knowledge and piece together understanding for themselves by using different sources of evidence. Several lessons can be spent solving an enquiry and most lessons features aspects of enquiry-based learning in some way. The enquiry process is made explicit so that children can use it with increasing independence as they mature and progress through the school.
Therefore, we created our own “process for geographical enquiries” which is displayed in each classroom and is referred to during planning and lessons. Each geography lesson begins with a “learning question” which children should then be able to answer by the end. Enquiries also provide children with the valuable experience of making links across their learning and drawing upon their knowledge from across several lessons. For example, “Should a new pier be built on the Isle of Coll?” and “Where would be a good place to put a picnic bench in our school grounds?” The use of key vocabulary, locational knowledge and field work skills are also embedded throughout our planning and teaching of geography using our progression of skills and knowledge document.