What do we know?
At The Dolphin School, our children come from a variety of backgrounds, bringing with them a diverse range of knowledge and experiences of the world around them. A significant proportion of our students speak English as an additional language; many may have lived or visited families in other countries. Conversely, a large percentage of our pupils are from disadvantaged backgrounds, meaning they may have limited opportunities to experience geography and being a geographer outside of school.
What do we want?
We believe that children’s experience of the world around them should be enhanced by a rich understanding of their physical and human environment. We want our students to be curious about and care for the world and its people; to enjoy being geographers who confidently use key vocabulary, can locate human and physical features and explain how some were formed; ask questions about, explore and appreciate places. We want to equip our children with disciplinary knowledge, including how to interpret data and maps to enhance their understanding of the world around them; describe and compare places using geographical terminology and observational and fieldwork skills which they can use for the rest of their lives.
How will we achieve it?
From EYFS (with our Understand of the World curriculum) through KS1 and KS2 (with our enquiry-based curriculum), we equip our students with lifelong geography knowledge which help them to understand, navigate and be curious about the world in which they live. Rather than just ‘doing’ geography lessons, students at The Dolphin School learn how to be geographers through the teaching and learning of locational, physical and human geography. The curriculum is mapped out to ensure clear progression of substantive and disciplinary knowledge year on year, so that new learning builds on prior learning, links are made and children can talk about being a geographer using subject-specific vocabulary.
Our enquiries are blocked so that children get to be geographers almost daily for several weeks in a row; this allows for more regular geography lessons which enables the learning to ‘stick’ and keeps children engaged in learning which is relevant to them. Through lessons which include plenty of opportunities for oracy, digital technology, atlases and physical resources to bring the subject to life, children develop an understanding of where geographical features (such as cities, countries, continents and oceans) are located and make comparisons between places in terms of climate, physical/human features and land use. They develop map skills and learn how to collect, organise and analyse data. In every year group, our students enjoy rich field work opportunities, exploring the local area and further afield, applying their substantive and disciplinary knowledge as geographers in a real-life context.