Lead Teacher: Mrs Bond
Geography lessons at Hertford St Andrew should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that we hope will remain with each child for the rest of their lives.
Our pupils learn about diverse places, people, resources and environments, with a deepening understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes and of the formation of landscapes and environments over time.
Through the International Primary Curriculum units, links are made between geography and history, and beyond to other subjects. Units may have overarching themes (eg Chocolate) to contextualize and motivate learners; the learning objectives of each lesson draw from geographic knowledge and skills included in the National Curriculum.
We are guided by the principle that if you explore something yourself it will ignite your interest, therefore we try to take a trip whenever we can, even it is simply a local walk. We are extremely lucky to have Panshanger Park just a short distance away, and regular trips there are an education in themselves – the changing seasons, the farming year, the wide variety of British wildlife. In our geography lessons we might make a model of the environment- a 3D map! We may use role play to become the person (maybe an early settler in America or Shackleton or a weather reporter), providing a really memorable learning opportunity. To improve the children’s sense of direction we might do orienteering or treasure hunts (in any topic), all involving map making and map reading. Linking with our Computing learning in Key Stage 1, we may program electronic Beebots to find their way around a map, making the children become more familiar with directional language. We use a variety of equipment to study the weather, exploring what we might learn from getting wet or cold or hot – safely. Going beyond the immediate locality we learn about contrasting environments in Europe and the wider world, learning to name and locate the different continents and countries within them.
Geography gives pupils a very good understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected. Pupils are given opportunities to carry out increasingly complex geographical enquiry, apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques in a wide range of contexts.
Through the Global Learning Programme of which we are now a part, we learn about our connection with the rest of the world as global citizens. We celebrate global events such as World Food Day and Water Week to increase our children’s understanding of other countries and the issues that they face. By taking part in projects like painting portraits of children in Syria to give as gifts, we form meaningful relationships linking us to the world beyond Sele Farm, beyond Hertford, beyond Hertfordshire, beyond the UK. These relationships provide a rich, and real, context to learning about national and global issues.
At Hertford St Andrew, we believe that our children have excellent experiences of geography as an active subject, essential to understanding, describing and caring for our planet and all its peoples.