Geography at Toner Avenue

Rationale:

At Toner Avenue Geography is an essential part of the curriculum, it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. Geography explores the relationship between the Earth and its people through the study of place and environment. It contributes to the cultural, social and moral life of children as they acquire knowledge of a range of different cultures and traditions, and learn tolerance and understanding of other people and environments. Geography is the subject in which pupils learn the skills of understanding a locality and how and where people fit into its overall structure. Developing geographical skills is essential as children live in a world that is available to them. With opportunities to travel and work in different cities and countries across the world, pupils need to efficiently use maps, charts and other geographical data. We aim to open our pupil’s eyes to understanding and appreciating the world around them.

The aims of Geography are:

  • To stimulate children’s interest in their surroundings and develop a knowledge and understanding of the physical and human processes which shape places.
  • To provide learning opportunities that engage and motivate children to learn and foster a sense of curiosity and wonder at the world around them.
  • To make sense of their own surroundings through learning about their own locality and the interaction between people and the environment.
  • To develop the geographical skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps of different scales, and the vocabulary necessary to carry out effective geographical enquiry.
  • To be able to apply map reading skills to globes and atlas maps and identify geographical features.
  • To formulate appropriate questions, develop research skills and evaluate material to inform opinions.
  • To increase children’s knowledge of other cultures and, in so doing, teach respect, tolerance and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multicultural country; embedding fundamental British values.
  • To inform children about sustainability & encourage them to make a commitment to sustainable development.

Early Years 

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, geography is included as part of Knowledge and Understanding of the World. Pupils learn to investigate similarities and differences, the local environment and cultures and beliefs, fostering the skills essential to developing historical understanding. This is set out in the early year’s curriculum as children needing to: observe and identify features in the place they live and the natural world; Begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people;  Find out about their environment, and talk about those features they like and dislike.

Key Stage One 

During Key Stage 1, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps and photographs.  Through our ‘Big Question’ teachers will ensure that links between subjects are maximized.

Key Stage Two

During Key Stage 2, pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. They find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. Pupils carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT. Children will develop geographical enquiry skills, including asking geographical questions, collecting and recording information and identifying different views. They will acquire the appropriate practical skills associated with Geography, including using suitable vocabulary, fieldwork techniques and maps, plans and atlases. Pupils will use secondary sources of information with accuracy, including aerial photographs, satellite images, etc. As well as making its own distinctive contribution to the school curriculum, geography contributes to the wider aims of primary education. Through our ‘Big Question’ teachers will ensure that links between subjects are maximized.

Impact 

As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation of their local area, and its place within the wider geographical context. We focus on progression of knowledge, skills and subject specific vocabulary. We support progression using a range of resources, which also form part of the units of work.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Formative assessment through marking and feedback.
  • Continuous assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning.
  • Moderation where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
  • Regular check ins with staff.

 

History at Toner Avenue

History Intent:

Toner Avenue’s Curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced experience to all children, accessible to all, which widens their lived experiences, enhances their feeling of self-worth and power and promotes a life-long curiosity and love of learning. We want to motivate and support pupils to take responsibility and ownership of their learning, making links and considering their role within the wider world. Through the use of carefully chosen, philosophical ‘Big Questions’, we aim to link topics of knowledge, build upon and develop existing skills through coherent planning and sequencing of lessons, and support pupils in using these skills and knowledge to make a positive difference to the world around them. We want to enable our pupils to live as responsible, aspirational young people who see themselves as ‘able to’ make a difference.

 

The aims of History are:

  • To stimulate children’s interest in their surroundings and develop a knowledge and understanding of how history has shaped the world we live in today
  • To provide learning opportunities that engage and motivate children to learn and foster a sense of curiosity and wonder at the world around them.
  • To make sense of their surroundings through local history and apply their skills to national and international historical periods
  • To develop the historical skills, and the vocabulary necessary to carry out effective historical enquiry
  • To formulate appropriate questions, develop research skills and evaluate material to inform opinions.
  • To increase children’s knowledge of other cultures and peoples and, in so doing, teach respect, tolerance and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multicultural country; embedding fundamental British values

 

History Implementation:
Early Years 

Within the Early Years Foundation Stage, history is included as part of Understanding the World: People and Communities, Past and Present and the Natural World. Children’s chronological understanding is developed through visual timetables to represent daily activities and encourage talk around daily routines as well as offering opportunities for comparison, e.g. between yesterday and today. They recount news of their weekends and school holidays, including special events for themselves and family members or friends, e.g. birthdays, christenings, etc. A constantly evolving role-play area within the classroom provides children with opportunities to explore their own experiences, and those of their peers, through play in order to consolidate their developing understanding.

 

Key Stage One 

During Key Stage 1, pupils learn about changes within living memory, events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally, the lives of significant individuals in the past (comparing aspects of life in different periods) and significant historical events, people and places in their own locality. Pupils develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They begin to build a chronological framework of the people and events they study and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. Pupils ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of key features of events. In doing so, they use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented. Links between history and other curriculum subjects are maximised through use of the ‘big question’.

 

Key Stage Two

During Key Stage 2, pupils learn about changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain, Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots and the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England. Pupils undertake a local history study and a study of an aspect of British history that extends their chronological knowledge beyond 1066. They are taught about Ancient Greece, the achievements of the earliest civilisations (including a depth study) and a non-European society that provides contrast with British history. Pupils continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They learn to recognise connections, contrasts and trends over time and develop the appropriate use of historical terms. They both address and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance. Pupils construct informed responses by selecting and organising relevant historical information. They understand that our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. Links between history and other curriculum subjects are maximised through use of the ‘Big Question’. 

Our curriculum is enriched through a range of experiences and visits which are designed to help the past come alive for the children. We are lucky to be able to visit local historical places of significance such as Arbeia Roman Fort and Durham Cathedral. Children will also have the opportunity to visit local museums such as the Great North Museum and the Discovery Museum in Newcastle. Where visits are not possible in person due to ongoing Covid restrictions, we have endeavoured to arrange alternative enrichment for the children, such as virtual workshops with the Great North Museum.

 

 
History Impact:

The impact of our history curriculum is measured through formative assessment by teaching staff and recorded throughout the year to demonstrate our children’s progress. Through a combination of book looks and conversations with the children, the history coordinators are able to monitor the teaching and evidence of the subject, as well as children’s own learning and opinions.  Children are enthusiastic about the subject and are able to discuss their learning, making links to previous topics and periods they have studied.

 

History End Points

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Please see below our Geography and History Knowledge and Skills overviews for each year group.

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