“The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” – Barack Obama
At St Teresa’s, we believe that Geography is a subject which helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. We seek to inspire in our children, a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We aim to teach the knowledge and skills that will develop children’s understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, and of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
More specifically, by the time our children leave our school we aim for them to have a knowledge and understanding of the following:
- 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
- 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
We aim for our children to be 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.
Geography is a subject that is promoted and celebrated within our school through classroom maps and corridor displays. At St Teresas, Geography is mainly taught as a discrete subject, whilst making cross curricular links when possible. To ensure we provide sufficient coverage of national curriculum requirements for Geography, we follow the Twinkl Planit Scheme of Work for our delivery of this subject. Through this scheme, we provide an inspiring, enjoyable and stimulating Geography curriculum which allows children to achieve depth in their learning. Throughout each of the units that we teach, we provide ample opportunities for regular opportunities to develop their skills within the key Geography subject areas, locational and place knowledge, human and physical Geography and mapping and fieldwork skills. Careful consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. At St Teresas, we recognise the importance of allowing children an opportunity to apply what they have learnt in the classroom to the real world, as a result, we ensure that all year groups go on a field trip each year. Each year group is designated a different area in our local area of Merton to explore and carry out specific field work tasks. To further support the children in the development of their mapping skills, we use an online mapping programme, Digi-maps in mapping based lessons. Digi-maps allows children to access historical maps, view maps at different scales as well as create their own maps in which they can annotate and customise.
Our Environmental Focus
At St Teresa’s, we believe that it is part of our moral duty as Catholics to develop children’s awareness of the environmental issues that are affecting the world right now. Pope Francis highlights the damage currently being inflicted on the Earth by humans in his book titled Laudato si. and calls on ‘every living person on this planet’ to make urgent changes to our lifestyles. Pope Francis implores us to work together to look after our ‘common home’, creating a better future together.
In alignment with Pope Francis’ message, we are working hard to ensure our school is as kind to our environment as possible. Our Eco Warrior Committee, (a group of selected pupils from across school, led by our Geography subject leader), have set up various initiatives within the school which aim to inspire, remind and encourage pupils to follow the Three Rs (Reduce, Recycle and Reuse) in all aspects of the school day and at home. Through organised ECO days, children are given an opportunity to deepen their understanding of a specific environmental topic and a chance to reflect upon how they can make their own positive contribution towards the environment.
Within our most recent ECO day, we focused on the issue of plastic pollution; each year group explored the extremely damaging effects plastic is having on our environment through a range of interesting and stimulating cross curricular activities. We aim to explore other key ecological themes such as Deforestation and climate change within future ECO days. Ultimately, we aim to teach children that although our world is facing some major environmental problems, each and every one of them has the power to make a positive difference. We hope our pupils leave our school as environmentally conscious individuals who have a deep appreciation, love and respect for which Pope Francis calls our ‘common home.’