I had a lovely drive to Chalford Hill Primary School this morning to work alongside their Geography Subject Leader (who also has responsibility for EYFS and Outdoor Learning), Kate Lewis, for the first of two bespoke CPD sessions (https://www.chalfordhillschool.co.uk/).
Kate has attended several virtual Primary Humanities Network meetings that I have delivered. She wrote to me just before Christmas, requesting some guidance for a whole school geography moderation task and I pointed her in the direction of several articles. Kate decided to focus on the ‘geographical skills and fieldwork’ section of the National Curriculum programme of study for geography and an enquiry-led task based around their school. In early February, a staff meeting was held where teachers agreed on what they wished to pursue and considered how they would then moderate this across the school. I had previously suggested that Kate and colleagues dipped into Julia Tanner’s fantastic article published in the Geographical Associaion (GA)’s Spring 2021 edition of their Primary Geography journal entitled ‘Progression in geographical fieldwork experiences‘, which includes a very comprehensive framework for progression in geographical fieldwork experiences towards the end. I also shared a diagram explaining the ‘enquiry process’ in more depth, extracted from the Geography Plus series of books available via the GA’s online shop (https://www.geography.org.uk/Shop).
Following this staff meeting, it is Kate’s intention to encourage staff to identify areas of this framework that they can deliver in their locality and adapt their whole school curriculum map accordingly. This was one of the items for discussion today too. Kate also wished to review their whole school geography curriculum map with me to check coverage, make any necessary amendments and gain some insight into how best to resource it. Easy!
When working with a school in this capacity, I do not tend to prepare any lengthy multi-media presentations in advance, but simply bring my laptop and many numerous books to showcase a wealth of outstanding resources and websites that they can tap into in order to ensure rigorous, relevant and vibrant geography is taking place within their establishment. I try to be as flexible as possible too and directed by teachers’ specific interests and needs. No question is ever too big or too small. In addition, I am more than happy to answer as many questions as teachers have.
Kate’s concluding comments after our first bespoke CPD session were very complementary:
‘Thank you so much Emma for all your support and advice, it was really useful.’
I am looking forward to our next session later in May when we can build on some of the developments made today.