‘By following in the footsteps of Jesus,
we are making the heart, mind and spirit soar’
Our actions and words of today are the footprints of our future.
At St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, our geography curriculum provides children with the knowledge, skills and understanding to inspire them to become global, sustainable citizens. We aspire for children to be curious and passionate geographers, who understand the current human and physical challenges to our planet and to appreciate their role in ensuring a sustainable future.
By following the EYFS Framework, 'Understanding the world', St Thomas Aquinas aims to ensure that all pupils are taught to:
3 & 4 year olds:
- Use all their senses in hands-on exploration of natural materials.
- Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.
- Know that there are different countries in the world and talk about the differences they have experienced or seen in photos.
- Mathematics (Pre map skills)
• Understand position through words alone, For example, “The bag is under the table”, - with no pointing.
• Describe a familiar route.
• Discuss routes and locations, using words like ‘in front of’ and ‘behind’.
- Draw information from a simple map.
- Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.
- Explore the natural world around them.
- Recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live.
Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.
Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other counties, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and (when appropriate) maps.
Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons.
At St Thomas Aquinas we follow The National Curriculum and through the teaching of Geography we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
- understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
- are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 children will develop their knowledge about the United Kingdom and their own locality. They’ll learn how to use maps, atlases and globes as well as learn simple compass directions. The children will also study seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and look at the hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the equator and the North and South Poles.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 the children will look to extend their knowledge to beyond their local area and will study Europe as well as North and South America. They will begin to look at similarities and differences of human geography such as types of settlement and land use. They will also study physical geography elements such as climate zones, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes. Children will continue to use maps, atlases and globes and will use the 8 points of the compass in their work. They will start to consider the use of four and six figure grid references and ordinance survey maps.
Throughout the school, Geography is taught through a cross-curricular approach where applicable and appropriate, so that children are immersed and gain a deeper insight into the topic they are studying. We enhance the children’s learning of Geography through educational visit opportunities and providing our pupils with outdoor learning experiences with Peak District survival schools.
KS2 Virtual Reality Day
To start their new topics, Year 3 and Year 6 had the amazing opportunity of experiencing a virtual reality session. There were screams, there was laughter but most importantly there was a lot of learning (and that was only from Mrs Alaimo!) The children had an incredible day and are now fully engaged with their future learning! All of this was possible with the wonderful efforts of Raminder from https://primevr.co.uk/
Year 4 Outdoor Learning
Year 4 have completed some incredible orienteering work. They have added geographical features to a map of the school grounds which will help people locate different areas more easily. They have then learned about 2-figure grid references and plotted these on a map. Using their plotted locations, they were able to complete an orienteering course in record time! Mr Fox and Mr Nolan were incredibly impressed. Well done Year 4!
Year 1 Outdoor learning
We really enjoy our afternoon outdoor sessions with Mr Fox and Mr Nolan. We developed our mapping skills and by the end of the lesson we could sketch our own simple map and identify the physical and human features of our school and it's surrounding grounds. We even created our own key! Mr Fox and Mr Nolan were so impressed with us.
We have really enjoyed our outdoo
r learning sessions. Our map skills have really developed. One week, it snowed and it didn't stop our outdoor learning session. Once we created our own simple maps and symbols we given the opportunity to explore the snow and have fun in it! We will always remember this session!
Year 2 Outdoor Learning
We enjoy our outdoor learning sessions with Mr Nolan and Mr Fox. We used aerial maps to explore the school grounds. We created our own keys of features within the school grounds and plotted them on an aerial map. Then we used a map of the school to explore the school grounds and locate the numbered flags.
Year 2 have also drawn maps of the school grounds and added a key. They have been learning about compass points and learning the directions of North, South, East and West.
Year 5 Outdoor Learning
We had great fun being explorers in our outdoor learning session with Mr Fox and Mr Nolan where we used map skills to find the hidden letters. By the end of the lesson, we made fantastic progress in our orienteering skills and added a key to the map of the local area.
At St Thomas Aquinas we want the Geography learning experiences provided to our pupils to encourage them to think;
'Geography at St Thomas inspires us to be curious and passionate geographers'
'We love learning about Geography'
'Geography lessons are practical, engaging and exciting'
'We have a wide variety of geographical experiences'
'Learning about Geography inspires me to become a global, sustainable citizen'