At Bridgelea we are geographers! We want our children to love geography. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be cartographers, town planners, conservationists, or weather forecasters. The geography curriculum has been carefully crafted so that our children develop their geographical capital. We want our children to remember their geography lessons in our school, cherish these memories, and embrace the geographic opportunities they are presented with!
We want our children to use the vibrancy of our great city to learn from other cultures, respect diversity, cooperate with one another, and appreciate what they have. We achieve this by providing a strong SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural) curriculum, with British Values, rights, and our core values placed at the heart of everything we do. For example, our children have been on trips exploring Manchester's amazing range of buildings and architectural features, such as Manchester Town Hall, the city's museums, and galleries. Our children have been on the Metrolink and explored how this system helps connect us together. Our children visited the city's war museum and made links with its unique design and its connections with world conflicts.
At Bridgelea we know that learning is a change to long-term memory. Our aims are to ensure that our children experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each key stage, long-term memory of knowledge and skills.
At Bridgelea we want our children to know more, do more, and remember more. Thinking is the process that precipitates such a change, a process involving our working memory. Many of the children at Bridgelea present with working memory deficits, as part of their SEMH (Social Emotional and Mental Health), and it is crucial that we understand how this impacts children’s learning and how our curriculum and its implementation can limit the impact of these difficulties. Many of our children also have attention and concentration difficulties which can be a further barrier to effective learning.
Cognitive science tells us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if children are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory. Cognitive science also tells us that for children to become creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding, they must first master the basics, which takes time. Foundations cannot be rushed, but by securing them, children will establish an excellent basis for progressing beyond basics toward greater depth. At Bridgelea children join at different points in their primary years, having experienced different curriculums in their previous schools. Ensuring that these foundations are secure can be a challenge.
As we begin the 2023 academic year, we are introducing the Kapow scheme. Which has a strong focus on:
- Developing both geographical skills and knowledge.
- Critical thinking, with the ability to ask perceptive questions and explain and analyse evidence.
- The development of fieldwork skills across each year group.
- A deep interest and knowledge of pupils’ locality and how it differs from other areas of the world.
- A growing understanding of geographical concepts, terms, and vocabulary.
The national curriculum organises the attainment targets for Geography under Locational knowledge, Place knowledge, Human and physical geography and Geographical skills and fieldwork and the Kapow Geography curriculum has these strands running through every unit.
The Kapow scheme of work is a spiral curriculum with the following key principles in mind:
- Cyclical: Pupils return to the key knowledge and skills repeatedly during their time in primary school.
- Increasing depth: Each time a skill is revisited it is covered with greater complexity.
- Prior knowledge: Prior knowledge is utilised so pupils can build upon previous foundations, rather than starting again.
- Cross-curricular links are included throughout each unit, allowing children to make connections and apply their Geography skills to other areas of learning.
Each unit contains elements of geographical skills and fieldwork to ensure that fieldwork skills are practiced as often as possible. Fieldwork includes smaller opportunities on the school grounds to larger-scale visits to investigate physical and human features. Developing fieldwork skills within the school environment and revisiting them in multiple units enables pupils to consolidate their understanding of various methods. It also gives children the confidence to evaluate methodologies without always having to leave the school grounds and do so within the confines of a familiar place. This makes fieldwork regular and accessible while giving children a thorough understanding of their locality, providing a solid foundation when comparing it with other places.
Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical hands-on, computer-based, and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. Each lesson provides guidance for teachers on how to adapt their teaching to ensure that all pupils can access learning, and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are also available if required. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging the recall of key facts and vocabulary.
An enquiry-based approach to learning allows teachers to assess children against the National Curriculum expectations for Geography.
We hope to shape children into curious and inspired geographers with respect and appreciation for the world around them alongside an understanding of the interconnection between the human and the physical.
The expected impact of following the Kapow Primary Geography scheme of work is that children will:
- Compare and contrast human and physical features to describe and understand similarities and differences between various places in the UK (United Kingdom), Europe, and the Americas.
- Name, locate, and understand where and why the physical elements of our world are located and how they interact, including processes over time relating to climate, biomes, natural disasters, and the water cycle.
- Understand how humans use the land for economic and trading purposes, including how the distribution of natural resources has shaped this.
- Develop an appreciation for how humans are impacted by and have evolved around the physical geography surrounding them and how humans have had an impact on the environment, both positive and negative.
- Develop a sense of location and place around the UK and some areas of the wider world using the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and keys on maps, globes, atlases, aerial photographs, and digital mapping.
- Identify and understand how various elements of our globe create positioning, including latitude, longitude, the hemispheres, the tropics, and how time zones work, including night and day.
- Present and answer their own geographical enquiries using planned and specifically chosen methodologies, collected data, and digital technologies.
The impact of Kapow Primary’s scheme can be constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities.
Formative Assessment- Every lesson begins with the ‘Recap and recall’ section which is intended to allow pupils retrieval practice of key knowledge relevant to the upcoming lesson. This section also provides teachers with an opportunity to make informal judgments about whether pupils have retained prior learning and are ready to move on. Each lesson contains the ‘Assessing progress and understanding’ section which helps teachers to identify those pupils who are secure in their learning or working at a greater depth in each lesson.
Summative Assessment- Each unit of work assesses children’s understanding and retention of key knowledge using an assessment quiz with nine multiple-choice questions and one open-ended question. In addition, each unit uses either a skills or knowledge catcher, depending on the key strands covered in the unit. This can be used at the beginning and/or end of a unit and gives children the opportunity to further demonstrate their understanding of the key concepts covered. Assessment quizzes, and skills and knowledge catchers provide teachers with a record of summative assessment as evidence of progression throughout the year and as pupils move between key stages.