At St Mary of the Angels, our core purpose is to instil a sense of curiosity and desire to explore God's creation, both locally and further afield. In doing so, we accept the true wonder of the world we live in and we endeavour to create inquisitive minds driven to protect our planet for future generations.
We believe it is vital that all children have an understanding of the world as a vast physical space and make comparisons between different places globally, those familiar to them and those which are not. To be broadminded individuals, we believe that children must understand how and why the world differs and respect cultural diversity. We strive to give all children opportunities to develop their skills through both practical experience and research.
Geography is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum and is taught in all classes, supported by relevant educational trips and targeted educational visitors. We strive to bring Geography to life; and to relate it to the life experiences of the pupils in our school, including through our Forest Schools programme and our Eco Warriors club. Further opportunities are afforded to our Key Stage 2 children through our JASS experience (Junior Duke of Edinburgh award scheme).
Please find attached our Geography statement; and the end points in Geography, which we use to assess pupils' progress and attainment, at key points in their education. The End Points also help us to provide relevant next steps for all pupils.
Maps are the geographer's most important tool. They help students to access geographical ideas and develop spatial thinking. Understanding maps is an important life skill, not just to aid navigation but to understand the world and how maps can present a particular worldview. At St Mary's the children explore basic maps from Foundation Stage when they develop their interest in understanding of the world they live in and people, culture and place.
In Key Stage 1, our progressive, personalised End Point system ensures the children make a smooth transition from the mapping work they do in Early Years. In Year 1, the children learn about their local area (Little Sutton) and use continent maps to compare where they live with a place in Africa. They progress their mapping skills in Year 2 to use the four compass points and directional language with increasing levels of accuracy. Also in Year 2, the children study famous explorers and are introduced to globes, atlases and different map formats whilst locating oceans, continents and the capital cities of the UK.
In Key Stage 2, more detailed maps are used to locate landmarks and examples of physical geography. In Year 3, the children learn about rainforests and within this topic atlases and online maps are used to locate the tropics, northern and southern hemisphere (as well marking the equator). In Year 4, maps are used to gather more information about the continent of Europe through our topic on Ancient Greece and Rivers and Mountains. Contour lines are introduced to study land elevation when looking at the tallest peaks on our planet. By Year 5 and 6, the children are creating their own sketch maps through observational fieldwork and using four/six figure grid references to explore their community. In Year 5, children learn about the industrial importance of Ellesmere Port whilst mapping the canal routes which link to our local rivers. In Year 6, the children progress their understanding of compass points to 8 figures and are able to use directional language to identify a sector of a broken map of South America.
Pupil Voice - February 2024
I really enjoyed labelling maps of Ellesmere Port and learning about scales - AR
We mapped a route of Chester in our Roman topic in Year 3 and then walked the route on our visit - AQ
In Year 5, we went to the Catalyst Museum and used the observatory to help us piece together an aerial map of Merseyside. It was really hard but we worked together and managed to complete it - CB
We learnt about bridges in Year 4 and worked in groups to build our own bridges out of wooden sticks - JH
During Forest School, we did a session on rivers and mountains and recreated the water cycle using natural resources. It was really good fun! EB
We visited Rivacre Valley and had to map the area we were working in during a trip in Year 3 - BS
In Year 2, we used an aerial map to map the school and had to try and find landmarks which were shown on the map - BS