Our geography curriculum at Deer Park School enables our pupils to acquire an understanding of how geographers understand the world and foster a fascination with the world and its people and their roles and responsibility within it.
The topic and content choices are based on the context of DPS and enable the pupils to understand their local area and the world around them and how it is interconnected. Pupils gain specific knowledge that they can then learn to apply as generalisations to other issues and places in the world.
As a result of the careful sequencing and design of this curriculum, we ensure that all pupils understand and access new material when it is taught. Thus, building their geographical knowledge from Reception to Year 6. Pupils are taught substantive knowledge through the 4 interconnected forms: locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical processes, and geographical skills. Pupils make meaningful comparisons using this substantive knowledge. Through disciplinary knowledge the pupils learn how geographers think and work and they themselves learn to question the world around them. In addition, pupils are taught that geography has concepts that flow through and connect the subject: space, place, scale, interdependence, environmental impact, sustainable development and cultural diversity and awareness. The knowledge that is gained is linked through authentic horizontal, vertical, and diagonal links across the whole school curriculum. Many of these links are made through fiction and non-fiction texts that deepen their understanding of the location or the physical or human processes. The pupils from EYFS to Year 6 repeatedly learn through development of geographical vocabulary. Geographical skills and meaningful fieldwork, build on the substantive knowledge the pupils have learnt in previous years. In addition, fieldwork ensures that pupils are immersed in geographical skills to enable them to retain this knowledge and become fluent in areas such as interpreting maps.
At DPS we assess the impact of our teaching through assessment in class and through pupil voice. Pupils have retrieval opportunities as starters for each lesson. Teachers then assess if areas need to be re-visited based on these assessments or whether some pupils need consolidation or support. End of unit assessments ensure that pupils have an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt. This summative assessment feeds into future unit planning. Pupil voice at the end of each unit shows that pupils have acquired the requisite substantive knowledge and can answer disciplinary knowledge questions using their substantive knowledge to support their explanations. Throughout the year, through effective monitoring by subject leaders, areas of development are identified and addressed. At the end of the year the curriculum design decisions are reviewed by the subject leaders and senior leaders to establish if they need to be altered or remain the same.