Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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Intent: Introduction, Vision and Philosophy
At Harris Primary Benson, we want our children to be inquisitive and to question the information they are presented with to further their geographical understanding.   We want children to understand: where they are located within the world as well as within the British Isles, to be able to use a range of tools to understand their location and the landscapes of contrasting environments, to appreciate, describe and have a desire to conserve the differing environments of the world.

Geography is an exciting, enquiry led subject that helps us better understand the people, places and environments in the world. The programme of study for Geography states “a high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives”.

It is a subject that seeks answers to fundamental questions such as:

  • Where is this place?
  • What is it like? (and why?)
  • How and why is it changing?
  • How does this place compare with other places?
  • How and why are places connected?

Geography draws on its vast range of vocabulary to identify and name places, the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there. Such core knowledge provides the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding; providing entry points to geographical conversations about the world. We describe this as ‘thinking geographically’ and explicitly teach this to our pupils through our use of knowledge organisers.

What does geography look like at HPAB? Overview:
To ensure this happens, we deliver a geography curriculum that focuses on developing a sense of place that is underpinned by core knowledge of facts, locations and vocabulary.  Our curriculum is designed to allow children to build on their geographical knowledge and skills as they progress through the school.  Teacher have a clear understanding of the progress of knowledge making reference to past learning and making links with previous knowledge. Our children will access their immediate environment and to gather first-hand experience to enhance their learning and develop a deeper understanding of their local area and to be able to make accurate comparisons with contrasting locations.

At HPAB we have a wonderfully diverse community and we use this to learn about different places around the world. We encourage all children and families to come in and share information about their culture. This can be as simple as teaching us how to answer the register with a ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’, or it could involve reading a story in their home language. As such, our children leave EYFS with a strong sense that their immediate experience is not the same as everyone else’s, and that there are many countries to visit!

Our curriculum is based around talk and this leads to lots of discussion about the natural world and all its wonders. At HPAB children learn to discuss the features of their immediate environment and talk about why processes and changes happen.  We investigate natural materials such as leaves, water and twigs and talk about how they might have got to our classroom.

During KS1 pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They develop an understanding of basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

During KS2 pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. Pupils develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

We have specific whole school learning opportunities, such as environmental art week, which support our children to discuss the impact that humans can have on the natural world. The teaching and activities allow the children to develop an understanding of the impact of human actions on the local and wider world community.

Key: LK- locational knowledge, PK- place knowledge. HPG- human and physical geography, GSF- geographical skills and fieldwork

Across all stages of teaching and learning we endeavour to create strong and appropriate links with other subjects to enhance the curriculum and learning experience, predominantly but not exclusively with literacy, music, PSHE, art and design and history. 

Evidence and Assessment
At HPAB children have the opportunity to record their learning in a variety of ways, which is recorded within their Geography books. Evidence of the learning is dependent on the lesson outcome, year group and the skills and knowledge being developed.  This can be in the form of: shared learning folder (KS1), extended writing, photographs of practical activities, use of world maps and local maps to identify features and areas, speech bubble comments on relating the learning. 

Core knowledge of each unit is supported by a knowledge organiser which details the key learning points, vocabulary and key questions. It is our expectation that the knowledge on our organiser is known by all.  

Our teachers rely on a range of assessment tools to provide data on the knowledge and skills pupils have, their progress and their development points.  

This includes: 

  • assessment for learning 
  • challenge tasks 
  • enquiry tasks   
  • standards of learning in books 
  • end of unit questions and quizzing 
  • pupil voice 

Recording of learning in teacher books is used to monitor progress and impact.  Throughout the course of the lesson the class teacher (and support staff where present) will move around the class, offering support/challenge where needed so that each child is receiving direct feedback during the lesson, with notes recorded to monitor understanding and progress.

There will also be a quiz at the end of every unit to assess the knowledge learnt, these tests will be revisited throughout the year to ensure that learning 'sticks'.


Click on page downloads to see the curriculum overview for Geography

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