At Gawber School, we firmly believe that having a strong knowledge of geography can help children to understand the world they live in and know the important roles and responsibilities they have in it. By exploring the here and now of the world's people, places and environments, we tackle any misconceptions about the world that our children may have heard about people's lives in the United Kingdom and across the world. We know that by securing a good knowledge of geography, our children can help strengthen their comprehension of other subjects too.
"The study of geography is more that just about memorising places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together."
The Gawber Geography curriculum is designed with three key focuses -
A local study
Our knowledge of the world
Raising environmental awareness.
Our local study is designed to inspire our children to have a curiosity and fascination about the area that they live in. We begin with a focus on our school environment and gradually expand our focus geographically, looking further afield and broadening our local knowledge. This local knowledge is closely linked to other areas of our curriculum. For example it compliments knowledge our children acquire in our local history curriculum, allowing them opportunities to draw on and revisit what has been taught, applying it to assist in understanding and appreciating our local area of Gawber and Barnsley and how it has changed over time.
Each class also has a focus entitled 'Knowledge of the world.' As well as developing a love for the community that we live in, children at Gawber are inspired to explore the world beyond. Children at Gawber acquire knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments as well as deepening their understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. They are also given opportunities to see how our own town has impacted on the wider world through a study about James Hudson Taylor - a English missionary from Barnsley who founded one of the largest Christian movements in the world, creating long lasting links between Barnsley and China. By adding studies like this to our Gawber Geography curriculum, we aim to inspire our children with the notion that they too can have an impact on the world beyond.
As one of our Gawber Rules is to ‘love and care for our planet’ building environmental awareness is also one of our key focuses in the Gawber Geography curriculum. Throughout this focus, children at Gawber become increasingly aware of how and why our planet can be cared for, giving them tools to make positive changes and helping them to understand how they have the power to change the world for the better.
There are three key concepts that run throughout all of our focuses:
At Gawber, we know that many high-level concepts are integral to the Gawber geography curriculum.
- A knowledge of place.
Children at leave Gawber School with a good knowledge of different places around the world. They have a good cultural awareness and understand cultural diversity with regards to the places studied. They understand how humans, animals and environments depend on each other to survive (interdependence).
- A knowledge of space.
Children leave Gawber with a good knowledge of where places are in the world. They understand how places interact with each other and can view different places around the world using a variety of means (scale).
- A knowledge of climate.
Through a secure knowledge of physical and human processes, children at Gawber become increasingly aware of the environmental impact on the world. They become aware of the role they can place in sustainable development and begin a journey to adulthood with a knowledge of how to improve the world they live in for future generations.
The National Curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:
The Gawber Geography curriculum not only matches but exceeds the aims of the National Curriculum as it provides our children with the drive, passion and inspiration to make a positive change to the world that they live in. It teaches them to appreciate the community they are already a part of and, by exploring the world, being introduced to local figures who have made changes worldwide and by deepening their knowledge of climate change, children at Gawber are given the tools they need to ensure that they grow up making positive changes to the world.
Key Knowledge for a Geographer
Knowledge of the Earth's environmental, physical and human processes
- From the Earthy Years onwards, the geography curriculum at Gawber develops so that by the end of KS2 children can describe their own and others environments, recognising the similarities and differences between the world around them and contrasting environments. They understand the important processes and changes in the world around them including those affecting the land, bodies of water, the air, people and wildlife.
Knowledge of people, places, resources, natural and human environments
- Place knowledge is prioritised at Gawber. The curriculum is planned to build knowledge of place by linking places that children are familiar with with other areas of the world and allowing children to make meaningful comparisons about places over time.
Knowledge of their location in relation to the wider world.
- At Gawber, children gain a secure knowledge of distance, orientation, scale and positioning systems which begins in the early years and progresses to the end of KS2, providing the children with the knowledge they need for their secondary education. This knowledge supports their understanding of geographical processes as well as contributing to their sense of place. Over time, children at Gawber become confident at identifying specific locations.
Knowledge of geographical skills and fieldwork
Gawber children can:
- 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.
Through the repetition of geographical skills, our children improve their geographical fluency and accuracy.