The intent of our Geography curriculum is to engender the excitement, curiosity, critical thinking and fascination about the world that will equip young people to make sense of and find their own way in it, and to inspire a sense of responsibility for the environments and people of the world in which we live through increased knowledge and awareness.
Children develop a core knowledge of locations, patterns and processes and environmental change, both human and physical. These are related to real issues, people and places, therefore having geographical significance to ensure that they begin to think geographically. We take a holistic approach to make connections between place (territories and regions), space (location and links) and environment (human and physical relationship), and their interactions, to gain a deeper understanding.
Children acquire and develop the skills and confidence to undertake investigations, problem solving and decision making and also gain an increasing competence in specific geographical skills. We ensure that it is delivered in such a way that the needs of all pupils will be met.
EYFS: Our school
The work here is focused on the school building, playground and field where the children are easily able to experience their immediate surroundings. They can make comparisons, identify places and state preferences.
Year 1: Holmes Chapel. The countries and capitals of the United Kingdom
Year 1 begins by expanding the work from EYFS to cover the immediate village area in which the school is placed. This is the area in which the children are most familiar and, after the school itself, can be most easily accessed to study first hand. The study of Holmes Chapel then provides a concrete point of reference for the children’s comparisons with other locations studied throughout the rest of the year and beyond. The children then further expand their radius as they study the four countries and capitals of the United Kingdom. They then focus, in greater detail, on the similarities and differences between Holmes Chapel and London.
Year 2: Mexico
In Year 2 the children further expand their horizons through the study of Tocuaro in Mexico, a ‘small area in a non-European country’. The work carried out in Year 1 provides the foundation for exploring the similarities and differences between Holmes Chapel and Tocuaro and the area covered is then extended beyond the area of the village.
Year 3: Wonderful World
Year 3’s focus is on climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts and the significance of the lines of latitude to these. Trade links (including fair trade), settlement, land use and natural resources within (and between) these areas are explored as are significant human and physical features. They start their work on contrasting climates with the study of rainforests, focusing primarily on the Amazon Rainforest and those found further north in Central America, including Mexico and The Caribbean. This further develops the work begun in Year 2 looking at the hot areas of the world in relation to the Equator. These forests are compared with the temperate forest in Macclesfield including through a visit to this location. Work then continues with the study of desert regions, predominantly those in the north of Mexico and the United States, and then the Polar regions including the Inuits of Canada and Sami in Scandinavia.
Year 4: Rivers and Coasts
The water cycle, rivers and coasts are the focus for Year 4’s work. The processes and features of these environments are studied along with the associated settlement, land use, economic activity and natural resources. The River Dane, in Holmes Chapel, is looked at along with other major British rivers (including the River Thames as identified in Year 1) and European rivers. Links are also made with the work covered in Year 3 with the Amazon and Colorado Rivers. The work on trade from both Mexico in Year 2 and The Caribbean in Year 3 is also referred to when looking at the importance of our coastal ports.
Year 5: Mountains
Year 5 cover mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes. Again, the processes and features of these environments are studied along with the associated settlement, land use, economic activity and natural resources. The hills of the United Kingdom are identified and related to the sources of rivers studied in Year 4. Snowdonia is studied in detail, including the use of fieldwork during the year group’s residential in this locality, and then compared with other mountainous regions of the world including The Alps and The Rockies.
Year 6: Regions of the United Kingdom
The regions of the United Kingdom focuses on the counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their human and physical characteristics, key topological features and land-use patterns. This unit brings us full circle, taking the children back to Year 1 where they had initially looked at the 4 countries of the United Kingdom and their capital cities but taking this to a more sophisticated level through a greater use of enquiry and with a deeper understanding. It also builds on the rivers in Year 4 and the hill and mountain areas of Year 5.