The review begins!

Consultancy

Today was the first of two bespoke CPD sessions with members of staff at Mitcheldean Endowed Primary School in the heart of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire (https://www.mitcheldeanschool.co.uk/). Unfortunately, as these sessions were being delivered virtually, I did not get to fully appreciate the beautiful surroundings of the school. However, having visited the Forest of Dean on a number of occasions recently, I was familiar with the school’s setting. It was suggested that we had two sessions approximately ten days to two weeks apart, so that teachers had time to reflect and discuss the options in between. They could then come back to me with any further questions or concerns that they might have at the start of our second session.

Prior to our bespoke CPD, I had liaised with the Headteacher to establish the focus for each meeting and gain some insight into the school’s expected outcomes. We agreed that we needed to first review their existing whole school curriculum map and reflect upon its coverage, sequencing and progression of the National Curriculum programme of study for geography at Key Stages 1 and 2. We must also explore the school’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum plans, especially where it relates to ‘Understanding the World’ and its associated Early Learning Goals (ELGs), since progression begins here. We would then look at how best to resource this revised curriculum, ideally with as many FREE and up-to-date resources as possible.

I referred to Ofsted’s latest publication entitled ‘Getting our bearings: geography subject report‘ and its findings and recommendations in particular ((https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/subject-report-series-geography/getting-our-bearings-geography-subject-report). I also mentioned the Geographical Association (GA)’s new ‘A framework for the school geography currriculum‘, which is also referenced within the former documentation (https://geography.org.uk/ga-curriculum-framework/). After some discussion, it was decided that the best approach would be to have a blank template and build a whole school curriculum map for geography. This may integrate elements from previous curricula that had worked well, but would include fresh material to invigorate teaching and learning. We delved into the EYFS Framework and the National Curriculum programme of study for geography at Key Stages 1 and 2 to increase teachers’ awareness of the content of these documents. Next, we concentrated on coverage, sequencing and progression from EYFS to Year 6, before contemplating resourcing. From their comments, I think I directed staff towards plenty of new and useful websites and resources! Now, they required time to digest what had been suggested and to explore such links at their leisure.

I advised teachers to jot down any questions or highlight any gaps that they may have and I would endeavour to answer or address these at the start of our next meeting before looking at embedding ‘reading across the curriculum’, subject-specific vocabulary, ‘cultural capital’ ‘equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI)’ and ‘taking learning beyond the classroom’.

Happy perusing!

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