At St Peter’s, we believe that Geography underpins a life long ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind. Geography fascinates and inspires: the beauty of the earth, the terrible power of earth-shaping forces – these things can take us out of ourselves. Geographical investigation both satisfies and nourishes curiosity. Geography deepens understanding: many contemporary human challenges – climate change, food security, energy choices – cannot be understood without a geographical perspective and we aim to cover all of these issues within our curriculum.
By learning Geography at St Peter’s, pupils will understand the key physical processes which form, develop and influence the physical features of our planet. They will recognise that those features throughout time have influenced human decisions and civilisations, and continue to do so. They will be encouraged to consider our role as the future stewards of our planet, from local through to global perspectives.
Our Geography curriculum incorporates fundamental geographical knowledge and skills, allowing pupils to build on a firm foundation in future years. The children’s geographical learning starts with what is familiar to children before extending outwards. It is developed to make meaningful links with other subjects where these are relevant. Throughout their time at St Peter’s we envisage that certain threads will continue to emerge so that new knowledge is built on prior learning.
The thread of settlement, migration and land-use begins in year 3, where we build on their knowledge and experiences from KS1 by looking at the features of our local community and how it may have changed over time. It is developed in Year 4 through study of the movement of people as a result of the growth of the Roman Empire, then European exploration in Elizabethan times. Year 5 examine the home nations (supporting the Anglo Saxons in History) in detail and study the human geography of the Peak District (and Hathersage in particular) as a contrasting location to Ruddington. Finally, Year 6 will expand their view to establish a global perspective, reflecting upon the thread of sustainability and the use of natural resources.
Years 3 to 5 each focus upon a physical Geography topic in depth. Year 3 study rivers, linking that to learning about the Nile via the Egyptians in History. The formation and features of water courses are introduced before their impact upon a population, and our impact upon them, is examined. The subject of Water, Weather and Climate builds upon this in Year 4, consolidating understanding of the water cycle (to dovetail with States of Matter in Science). Preparation for a field visit to Hathersage in Year 5 includes the study of mountain formation (plus related topics of earthquakes and volcanoes) and relates prior learning to the course of the rivers Derwent and Trent. Year six apply their understanding of content in the previous three years to their study of North America.
The understanding of the range of different biomes across the globe is a thread which runs through the year groups. India and Egypt are considered in year 3. In following years, those biomes are compared and contrasted with Italy and the Mediterranean in year 4, the United Kingdom in Year 5 and North America in Year 6.
Geographical skills and fieldwork at St Peter’s includes the use of maps, atlases, globes and digital sources to progressively build locational knowledge and are applied to topic areas, regions, countries and continents. Children explore Ordnance Survey maps in years 4 and 5, moving from 4 figure grid references in Year 4 to 6 figures in Year 5. Children in year 4 are encouraged to generate questions about their local area that can be investigated, including measurement and recording of data. Digital technologies are used to apply research skills to comparisons of climate across the countries studied thus far.