Twice within the space of a month! It was, once again, time for some CPD for me, delivered as competently and enthusiastically as ever by David Weatherly and with a little help from Sheena Wright, an EYFS specialist.
The theme of today’s CPD was ‘Effectively sequencing geography and history provision: EYFS – Year 6‘.
After formally welcoming everyone and introducing himself, David outlined the format and aims of the day.
Next, he touched upon the following themes: establishing high quality subject provision; sequencing, including quotes from Mark Enser (HMI Geography) and Tim Jenner (HMI History); sequencing, incorporating both continuity and progression; what exactly we are sequencing; why sequencing provision is so important; cumulative learning; mastery and schema.
We then proceeded to explore a Key Stage 1 Year 2 geography enquiry together entitled ‘Where in the world is home to Denise and how does it compare with where I live?‘. David invited us to complete a few of the activities with him, before putting us into ‘breakout rooms’ to consider the prior learning in EYFS and Year 1 that the children may now be consolidating and how we might extend learning in Key Stage 2. I led the discussion within our ‘breakout room’ and shared a number of useful links with teachers too. David’s enquiries are always extremely detailed and we felt this one to be particularly challenging for Year 2 pupils; there were elements that delved into the National Curriculum programme of study for geography at Key Stage 2, i.e. eight points of the compass; use of GIS (digital/computer mapping). However, we should never underestimate what pupils are capable of achieving and always ensure that we provide sufficient challenge.
After a short break, the session resumed to discuss progression in more depth. David dipped into an EYFS investigation: ‘Out and About‘, a Key Stage 1 Year 1 geography enquiry called ‘How does the weather affect our lives?‘ and a Lower Key Stage 2 Year 4 enquiry named ‘Beyond the Magic Kingdom: What is the Sunshine State really like?‘ to highlight this clearly.
David then walked us through a Upper Key Stage 2 Years 5 and 6 history enquiry, ‘Who were Elizabeth’s Sea Dogs and why did they make Phillip so angry?‘. We were, subsequently, allocated to our ‘breakout rooms’ to contemplate the prior learning in EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 that the children may now be consolidating. On our return to the main room, David demonstrated this by tapping into an EYFS history investigation known as ‘The Queen’s Crown‘ (which he suggested should, perhaps, now be changed to ‘The King’s Crown‘), a Key Stage 1 Year 1 history enquiry entitled ‘How do we know so much about where Sappho used to live?‘ and a Lower Key Stage 2 Year 4 history enquiry named ‘How did the arrival of the Romans change Britain?‘. He concluded by reviewing exactly what we are sequencing and summed up what progression should look like from EYFS to Year 6.
Rumbling tummies meant it was time for lunch and a screen break. I do prefer in situ training as this provides an opportunity to chat with other delegates over lunch, sharing best practice and facilitating a degree of networking. However, the virtual option can be more time- and cost-effective for many and helps us all reduce our carbon footprint (something we need to be conscious of in light of the current discussions taking place at COP-27).
Afterwards, it was time for the highly experienced Sheena Wright to update us on all things EYFS-related. Sheena is a real pleasure to listen to; so natural and warm. She referenced the statutory framework for the EYFS; seven areas of learning and development, new Educational Programme for Understanding the World (UtW); new Early Learning Goals (ELGs) for Understanding the World; geography and history in Development Matters; National Curriculum programmes of study for geography and history at Key Stage 1; the world to an EYFS child; key changes of EYFS reform and considerations for Subject Leaders and SLT.
The final session of the day focused on assessing outcomes – are the pupils learning what is intended in the curriculum?. David emphasised that there should be evidence of inclusive and holistic formal assessment linked to clear end points of learning. He shared a number of examples of this and projected images of pupils’ work, ranging from EYFS to Year 6 and referring to both geography and history.
Another very useful and thought-provoking training, David, giving me several points to raise with teachers at our next Subject Leader Network meetings later this month and in early December. Many thanks for inviting me along. I hope my contributions proved valuable as well!