Geography Curriculum at Mengham Junior School
At Mengham Junior School, we endeavour to cultivate a shared love of the wider world and enable children to make comparisons to their own immediate environment, or personal geography. We encourage the children to explore and value their surroundings and develop a better understanding of nature as well as the human and physical characteristics of their environment. Our hope is that the children will leave us with the confidence to explore and question the geographical world around them and consider, discuss and hold opinions around important issues such as climate change, global warming and our responsibility as humans to look after our planet.
Our geography curriculum is designed to relate to the children’s interests and the vision and values of the school. As such, the first whole school unit of work looks to follow the journeys of our four house team explorers: Admiral Lord Nelson, Sir Ben Ainslie, Dame Ellen MacArthur and Ernest Shackleton. This gives the children a tangible and purposeful introduction to the key areas of geography (locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and enquiry-based learning and fieldwork.) Tasks are progressive, are led through enquiry and build on the skills they have learnt as they develop across the key stage. Children are expected to make predictions and then conclude their findings at the end of each unit. By varying tasks such as pamphlet making, map reading, observational field sketches, collecting statistics and data and using GIS such as digimaps, children at Mengham Junior School are able to practise and apply the key skills that lead to success in this subject. Furthermore, by developing key geography skills through fieldwork projects to local tourist attractions, observations of volcano demonstrations, interactive science domes sessions, use of VR headsets to enhance experiences such as visiting Chernobyl and carrying out public surveys, children are able to learn through doing and observing geography first hand.
The children become successful learners through not only applying these new-found skills, but by taking the results of their findings and analysing them in comparison to different places and cultures around the world. The children themselves become more respectful of their environments as their engagement with, and awareness of, their local human and physical geography develops. They also show better understanding of how their personal geography differs or is similar to that of other people globally. By the end of their time at Mengham Junior School, the children will be able to independently apply key geographical skills such as basic map reading, identifying places and locations on various geographical resources (e.g. Google Maps vs globes), show an understanding of different climates and cultures across the globe as well as understand the difference and impact of both human and physical geography on the planet. Children will leave Mengham Junior School with the ability to think like geographers and be better able to analyse the world around them.