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Schemes of Work
QCA

Geography at key stages 1 and 2


QCA

Teaching geography at key stages 1 and 2

Aims and purposes of geography

Geography teaching offers opportunities to:
  • stimulate children's interest in their surroundings and in the variety of human and physical conditions on the Earth's surface;
  • foster children's sense of wonder at the beauty of the world around them;
  • help children to develop an informed concern about the quality of the environment and the future of the human habitat; and
  • thereby enhance children's sense of responsibility for the care of the Earth and its people.

Content of geography at key stages 1 and 2

Key stage 1

In key stage 1, geography is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding relating to children's own environment and the people who live there, and developing an awareness of the wider world.

Children:
  • investigate and learn about the physical and human features of their own environment and appreciate how their locality is similar to and different from other places;
  • focus on geographical questions like What/Where is it? What is it like? How did it get like this?;
  • develop and use geographical enquiry skills, including fieldwork skills, geographical terms, making and using maps, and using photographs.
Key stage 2

In key stage 2, geography is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding relating to people, places and environments at different scales, in the United Kingdom and overseas, and an appreciation of how places relate to each other and the wider world.

Children:
  • study places and themes at different scales from local to national in the United Kingdom and overseas, and investigate how people and places are linked and how they relate to the wider world;
  • study how and why physical and human features are arranged as they are in a place or environment, and how people are influenced by and affect environments;
  • focus on geographical questions like What is it like? How did it get like this? How and why is it changing?;
  • develop and use geographical enquiry skills, including fieldwork and IT skills, geographical terms, making and using maps, and using photographs.
Language and communication

Children:
  • develop language skills through talking about their work and presenting their own ideas using sustained and systematic writing of different kinds;
  • use geographical language and draw maps and diagrams to communicate geographical information;
  • read fiction and non-fiction, and extract information from sources such as reference books, CD-ROMS, e-mails and the internet.
Values and attitudes

Children:
  • work with others, listen to each other's ideas, and treat them with respect;
  • have opportunities to consider their own attitudes and values, and those of other people;
  • develop respect for evidence and critically evaluate ideas which may or may not fit the evidence available;
  • develop a respect for the environment and be encouraged to evaluate their own and others' effect or impact on it.

Building on children's earlier experiences

Many children will have attended reception and nursery classes where they will have had opportunities to find out and learn about the world they live in. These experiences are likely to have included:
  • an increasing awareness of their surroundings;
  • focusing on the variety and diversity of human and natural resources;
  • being introduced to moral responsibility;
  • developing ideas of citizenship and challenging stereotypes;
  • learning mapwork skills.
This scheme aims to build on these early experiences.

Expectations

Broad issues of progression can be expressed as expectations for each key stage. By the end of key stage 1, most children will be able to:
  • describe the main features of localities and recognise similarities and differences;
  • recognise where things are and why they are as they are;
  • express their own views about features of an environment and recognise how it is changing;
  • find out about places and environments by asking and answering questions, by using their own observations and other geographical enquiry skills and resources.
By the end of key stage 2, most children will be able to:
  • explain the physical and human characteristics of places, and their similarities and differences;
  • know the location of key places in the United Kingdom, Europe and the world;
  • explain patterns of physical and human features;
  • recognise how selected physical and human processes cause changes in the character of places and environments;
  • describe how people can affect the environment and explain the different views held by people about environmental change;
  • undertake geographical investigations by asking and responding to questions and using a range of geographical enquiry skills, resources and their own observations.

Features of progression

Progress in geography can be characterised by:
  • an increase in breadth of studies: the gradual extension of content - places, themes and environments - to be considered;
  • an increasing depth of study: the gradual development of general ideas and concepts and deeper understanding of increasingly complex and abstract processes, patterns and relationships;
  • an increase in the spatial scale of study: the shift in emphasis from local, smaller scale studies to more distant, regional, national, continental and global scales;
  • a continuing development of skills: to include the use of specific geographical skills such as mapwork and more general skills of enquiry matched to children's developing cognitive abilities;
  • increasing opportunities for children to examine social, economic, political and environmental issues: the chance to develop greater appreciation and understanding of the influence of people's beliefs, attitudes and values on alternative courses of action relating to people, places and environments.
'Aspects of progression' and 'Progression in patterns and processes and geographical enquiry' below describe in more detail how progression can be characterised. This may be helpful to teachers in drawing up their own plans or modifying this scheme.


Aspects of progression

From To
Location and scale of study greater emphasis on small-scale/local, eg school grounds ===> more emphasis on the larger scale; contrasting and distant places, eg localities in the UK and overseas
Breadth and depth of focus narrow focus, eg local stream or shopping area ===> wider focus, eg major river system or city centre
Complexity of ideas simple links, features, eg local journeys, use of resources ===> generalised, more abstract, eg transport systems, sustainability
Precision of subject language basic terms, eg stream, hill ===> precise, subject specific terms, eg tributary, relief
Progression of map skills simple, basic, eg coordinates ===> wider range, precise, eg four or six figure references
Development of values and attitudes personal views, eg likes and dislikes ===> critical evaluation, conflicts and solutions, eg response to local issues
Enquiry skills responding to questions, eg what, where, why? ===> initiating questions, eg what, where, why, how?
Fieldwork skills simple/basic field techniques, eg observe and identify which way a river flows ===> more precise measurement, eg river measurement at different sites - width, depth speed
Secondary sources simple/basic skills, eg observation of features on a photograph ===> complex skills drawing on subject knowledge and ideas, eg identification and explanation of features
Use of ICT Simple/basic skills; teacher directed, eg spreadsheets for weather data, using representational symbols ===> Precise, complex skills; greater independence, eg spreadsheets for numeric data (weather variables), use of simple formulae



Progression in patterns and processes and geographical enquiry skills

Developing knowledge and understanding of patterns and processes through selected units

Reception:
  • children show an awareness of their immediate locality, eg they can find important places in the nursery area, eg the sand pit, the toilets

  • children show an awareness of the purposes of some of the features of the area in which they live, eg they tell you what you can buy in some of the shops, or the things you can do in the local park
Year 1

Around our school - the local area

  • to recognise where things are, eg recognising where the resource area is in relation to other areas

  • to recognise why things happen, eg recognise that the road outside is busiest when people are going to school and to work
Year 2

Going to the seaside

  • to make simple observations about where things are, eg observing that gift shops are in the main street

  • to make appropriate observations about why things happen, eg observing that the car parks can fill up quickly in the summer because of the very large number of tourists
Year 3

Weather around the world

  • to begin to offer appropriate observations about locations and patterns, eg observing on an atlas map that some places have more rain than others

  • to begin to offer reasons for the way things are, eg suggesting that the sunny side of school is warmer than the shady side
Year 4

A village in India

  • to offer appropriate observations about patterns in places, eg noticing themselves that on a map of the village the houses are strung out along the road

  • to begin to explain processes, ie why things are like that, eg suggesting that the market is near the centre of the village because this is easiest for people to get to because the paths and roads meet there
Year 5

A contrasting UK locality - Llandudno

  • to make appropriate observations about locations and patterns, eg observing the distribution and location of banks and finance functions in the high street

  • to offer explanations for a number of processes, eg explaining why certain activities cluster around the sea front and pier in a seaside town
Year 6

Should the high street be closed to traffic?

  • to begin to offer explanations about locations and patterns, eg explaining why a town grew up at a river crossing

  • to know about a number of physical and human processes and their importance, eg knowing that settlements tend to grow outwards from a central point and that this puts pressure on surrounding farmland

Developing geographical enquiry skills through selected units

Reception:
  • children begin to record geographical information, eg they collect different coloured leaves on a nature walk and put them on a model of the walk

  • children begin to develop an understanding of maps and plans, eg they identify everyday objects from their outlines

  • children begin to develop way-finding skills, eg they do 'maze' puzzles

  • children begin to use ICT, eg they use a programmable toy and direct it through a maze
Year 1

Around our school - the local area

  • to investigate their surroundings, and to know that the world extends beyond their own locality, eg carry out a fieldwork investigation of the school grounds

  • to ask and respond to geographical questions in straightforward terms, eg saying what a feature is on a photograph of an area when asked

  • to use appropriate vocabulary, eg shop, church, road, park, playground

  • to make, use and interpret globes, maps and plans, eg labelling places on a plan of the school and its grounds

  • using ICT where appropriate, eg word processing the name of their school or settlement
Year 2

Going to the seaside

  • to investigate their surroundings and to know that the world extends beyond their locality, eg knowing where their locality is and where the seaside is in relation to it

  • to ask and respond to geographical questions on the basis of information and their own observations, eg asking what the pier, groynes or beaches are used for

  • to use appropriate geographical vocabulary, eg seaside, beach, holiday, postcard

  • to make, use and interpret globes, maps and plans, eg using letter and number coordinates to locate features on a plan of the coast

  • use ICT when appropriate, eg drawing a picture/map of the beach and coast using a Draw/Paint programme
Year 3

Weather around the world

  • to investigate places and themes at more than one scale, eg investigating the school's microclimate and the weather in other places

  • to begin to ask geographical questions, eg What is the weather like? How do the school's buildings affect the weather?

  • to use appropriate geographical vocabulary, eg temperature, rainfall, windspeed

  • to make, use and interpret globes, maps and plans, eg marking temperatures onto a site plan of the school without assistance

  • use ICT when appropriate, eg presenting rainfall statistics as bar charts using an appropriate software package
Year 4

A village in India

  • to investigate places and themes at more than one scale, eg the different types of shop found in the villages, main towns, and cities of India

  • to begin to ask geographical questions, eg Where is this settlement? What is it like?

  • to use appropriate geographical vocabulary, eg village, town, city, field

  • to make, use and interpret globes, maps and plans, eg drawing a simple sketch map of the village

  • use ICT when appropriate, eg recording building size, material and use on a database
Year 5

A contrasting UK locality - Llandudno

  • to investigate places and themes at more than one scale, eg land use in Llandudno, functions of the main towns and cities of Wales

  • to suggest geographical questions, eg How did this town get like this? How is it changing?

  • to use appropriate geographical vocabulary, eg market town, resort, industry, agriculture

  • to make, use and interpret globes, maps and plans, eg drawing a sketch map of Llandudno from an Ordnance Survey map to show site and situation

  • to use ICT when appropriate, eg presenting (with appropriate software) a settlement study by combining text, maps, graphs, diagrams and pictures
Year 6

Investigating rivers

  • to investigate places and themes at more than one scale, eg the local river, atlas search of major world rivers

  • to suggest geographical questions, eg What changes are taking place to the river bank at this meander?

  • to use appropriate geographical vocabulary, eg erosion, deposition, source, tributary, current

  • to make, use and interpret globes, maps and plans, eg annotated sketch map of local river, relating world rivers to national boundaries, mountain ranges and coastlines

  • to use ICT where appropriate, eg recording river flow and converting data to a spreadsheet; search for information about rivers on the Internet


Units

Unit 1. Around our school - the local area
Unit 2. How can we make our local area safer?
Unit 3. An island home
Unit 4. Going to the seaside
Unit 5. Where in the world is Barnaby Bear?
Unit 6. Investigating our local area
Unit 7. Weather around the world
Unit 8. Improving the environment
Unit 9. Village settlers
Unit 10. A village in India
Unit 11. Water
Unit 12. Should the high street be closed to traffic?
Unit 13. A contrasting UK locality - Llandudno
Unit 14. Investigating rivers
Unit 15. The mountain environment
Unit 16. What's in the news?
Unit 17. Global eye
Unit 18. Connecting ourselves to the world
Unit 19. How and where do we spend our time?
Unit 20. Local traffic - an environmental issue
Unit 21. How can we improve the area we can see from our window?
Unit 22. A contrasting locality overseas - Tocuaro
Unit 23. Investigating coasts
Unit 24. Passport to the world
Unit 25. Geography and numbers