Why is Geography part of the RFA curriculum?
At RFA, we aim for our pupils to develop a good understanding of Geography and foster a wide spanning curiosity of the world we live in. We aim to keep Geography exciting and relevant to ensure that pupils are motivated and enjoy the subject throughout their time at RFA. We want our children to both understand the geographical features of the locality that they live in as well as being able to enter into a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind. We aim to equip pupils with knowledge of diverse places and people – from life in Africa, to that in China, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and the wider world, as well as being able to develop an understanding of their own locality and make comparisons based on their experiences and knowledge. When our pupils leave, we want them to be fully prepared to embark on the next stage of their school career and access geography fluently and knowledgably at secondary school.
What is taught as part of the geography curriculum at RFA?
At RFA we follow carefully designed topics that ensure the development of geographical skills and ensure that pupil knowledge consolidates, develops, and extends over their years at primary school. The topics we have planned aim to ensure that the component knowledge builds up to ensure a deep knowledge that can be easily remembered and accessed from long term memory on:
- Locations of the world’s countries including cities, locations of the UK including counties and cities, geographical regions, and their human and physical characteristics.
- To be able to identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night).
- To know the features of human (including types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals, and water) and physical (including climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle) geography.
- To use this knowledge to compare various parts of the world using the features we understand.
- To use maps, atlases, globes, and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied, use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols, and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the UK and the wider world use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area.
How do we teach geography at RFA?
At RFA we teach geography discreetly through engaging Geography topics. Each year group completes two topics per year with additional opportunities to revisit and review previous learning. Across the key stages children carry out fieldwork to develop their understanding of the local area further.
We also celebrate international week where each class studies a different country. This includes using atlases and globes to identify the country, its position in the world and explore its key human and physical features, including landmarks and places of interest. In May, we celebrate London History Day, this also allows us to look carefully at the city of London and explore key physical and human features of the city.