I even managed to squeeze in a bespoke CPD session with Sarah Brown, a newly appointed Geography Subject Leader at Christ Church C of E (VC) Primary School in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire (https://www.christchurch.wilts.sch.uk/), this afternoon before the start of the summer holidays … one very busy week!
Sarah attended our virtual Primary Humanities Network meeting a couple of days ago and afterwards approached me to see if I could give her some support with the development of the school’s geography offering.
Sarah had provided me with a copy of their current long term plan for geography prior to the session. I had spent time looking at this and adding some comments and questions to initiate some in-depth discussion.
Firstly, we explored the new EYFS Framework, focusing on ‘Understanding the World’ and the ‘ELG: People, Culture and Communities’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-adopter-schools-eyfs-framework). Although the school are not one of the ‘early adopters’ of this framework, they will be implementing it from September 2021, so it is important to think ahead. We then unpicked the National Curriculum Programme of Study for Geography (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239044/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Geography.pdf) to familarise ourselves with its content at both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. I had produced a curriculum map template for Sarah to complete as our discussion ensued and left room for her to make notes about suggested web-links and resources that she could investigate further at a later date. I proposed that we identified what had worked well this academic year and the aspects that the school wished to retain. We then ‘filled in the gaps’ and tweaked the sequencing to ensure coverage and progression were clearly evident throughout the school’s new long term plan. I directed Sarah towards some FREE resources that she could download, items that I would recommend purchasing and organisations that I might approach to make teaching and learning more engaging and exciting. Fieldwork opportunities were identified as well; making use of the school grounds and immediate vicinity at Key Stage 1 and travelling a little further afield at Key Stage 2. We also discussed how we could raise the profile of geography in the school; regularly setting a teaching and learning ‘mission’ for staff; awarding geography badges to the ‘geographer of the week’ in each class or year group and linking with the school’s values curriculum/SMSC via a ‘geography in the News’ focus.
Sarah felt far less daunted about the prospect of developing the school’s geography curriculum at the end of the session, which made my last minute diary juggling all the more worthwhile.
I am really keen to see Sarah’s final long term plan in a few weeks and look forward to hearing and witnessing it in action over the next academic year.