Starting the week with some bespoke CPD

Consultancy

I received the following request from the Geography Subject Leader at St. William’s Catholic Primary School in Ince, near Wigan, Lancashire (https://www.saintwilliams.wigan.sch.uk/new-homepage) towards the end of Term 3:

I am looking for some bespoke CPD to support me with developing the geography curriculum at my school. We are using Oddizzi as a scheme, but I have swapped out some of the units for our own which I feel are more appropriate for us. For the units we have kept, I am also trying to adapt these so they are specific to our school whilst also ensuring clear progression of skills and knowledge.

It was suggested to separate the required bespoke CPD into two x 1.5 hour sessions a couple of weeks apart. This would allow time for a degree of reflection, further exploration of the suggested websites and resources, as well as an opportunity for discussion with colleagues.

To begin with, we (myself, the Geography Subject Leader and Assistant Headteacher) accessed the EYFS framework and National Curriculum geography programmes of study for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/65aa5e42ed27ca001327b2c7/EYFS_statutory_framework_for_group_and_school_based_providers.pdf and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a7c1ecae5274a1f5cc75e97/PRIMARY_national_curriculum_-_Geography.pdf) to familiarise ourselves with their content. I also referenced the Geographical Association (GA) ‘A framework for the school geographical curriculum’ and its comments regarding substantive and disciplinary knowledge, as well as key geographical and organising concepts (https://geography.org.uk/ga-curriculum-framework/). Their Geography Subject Leader had attended our previous virtual Primary Geography Subject Leader Network meeting when we had delved into this, so was aware of these terms to some degree. I also referred to the latest geography subject report, published by Ofsted in September 2023 and entitled ‘Getting our bearings‘, revisiting its recommendations relating to the curriculum in particular (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/subject-report-series-geography/getting-our-bearings-geography-subject-report and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/subject-report-series-geography/getting-our-bearings-geography-subject-report#recommendations).

Next, we viewed St. William’s Catholic Primary School whole school curriculum map for geography to check coverage, sequencing and progression. There was clearly an appreciation that progression must start from EYFS, that it is possible to go beyond the National Curriculum too once all of its content has been addressed and the importance of adapting the curriculum for the cohort and school’s surroundings. Whilst coverage was generally very good, it was the sequencing that needed to be tweaked slightly to ensure it was logical and would enable all pupils to progress. We identified a few aspects that could be improved and I directed their Geography Subject Leader towards a number of free resources. Some time was also spent considering progression in terms of subject-specific vocabulary.

Afterwards, we began discussing how we might take learning beyond the classroom. I provided several ideas for local fieldwork activities, as well as potential speakers that the school might approach (it is well worth engaging with your wider community as they can often be a very valuable asset), but this required more time. I will endeavour to give further attention to this at the start of our second session.

I paused to answer any questions that their Geography Subject Leader and Assistant Headteacher had, although there were very few (good, since it showed that the initial request for support had been met). They both now need to go away and discuss these plans with other members of the Senior Leadership Team and classroom teachers.

Next time, we will contemplate other equally important themes, such as reading across the curriculum, cultural capital and EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion). Furthermore, I will respond to any queries/concerns that have arisen in the interim.

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