Why is Geography important to teach?
Geography is a versatile and dynamic subject that better helps us to understand aspects of the world including its people, places, environments and the interactions between them. Through teaching geography as part of the curriculum we are keen to encourage a desire for discovery and questioning.
We aim to develop and strengthen children’s awareness of the world around them by looking at both physical and human geography. How they are interrelated, through the study of the natural and man-made features of the world. Geography can be taught as a stand -alone subject or through meaningful links with a creative curriculum linking to other subjects such as science and history.
Skills we can learn in Geography
Teaching geography encourages children to develop inquiry skills through questioning:
Where is this place?
- What is it like? (And why?)
- How and why is it changing?
- How does this place compare with other places?
- How and why are places connected?
Through this questioning children develop a sound knowledge and understanding of places, patterns and processes. Children can further develop these skills through the use of resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT when investigating physical environments such as mountain ranges, rivers and weather patterns. As a subject geography also draws on a vast range of vocabulary to identify and name places the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there.
Difference in Key stages
Both key stages make use of the local environment together with a wide range of secondary sources including video clips, research books and the internet.
In early years and key stage 1 the building blocks of all learning are first observed, recognised, examined and ‘played’ with. In particular the area entitled ‘Understanding the world’ presents the opportunity for children to reflect on the events and routines that they and their peers experience. Through role-play the children can learn experimentally about the different environments that different professions operate in and explain why some things happen the way they do in both the physical and human world.
In Key Stage 1 pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area, finding out about the environment and people in both areas and carrying out geographical inquiry inside and outside the classroom. In Key Stage 2 pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environment at different locations in the United Kingdom and abroad looking at the similarities and differences. Children are also able to conduct field work and surveys using the local environment to support their learning.