Shaping Learning For Life

Stockbridge - Primary and Pre-school

A Stockbridge Geographer

Geography at Stockbridge is alive with conversations that allow children to develop their confidence with subject specific vocabulary. We aim to inspire children to enquire about the world in which they live and set alight a flame of curiosity and fascination about the similarities and differences between Stockbridge, their area of Hampshire, the United Kingdom and the wider world. We practise skills that give children the capacity to independently collect, analyse and interpret information in order to learn from maps, globes, graphs, photos, GIS systems, fieldwork data, people and more in order to make sense of the interconnections and patterns that exist.

Our topics fully support the understanding of key physical and human processes and the formation of landscapes and environments. We aim to enrich our curriculum as much as possible by immersing children in first hand experiences and quality sources of information. Their knowledge and application of skills progresses through the school from a simple interactions with the physical world and their community to a deep understanding of the local area and beyond to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features.

Early Years & Lower School

Early Years Explorers

Geography starts at a young age here at Stockbridge.  Pre-School children visit places in their local environment through small group trips out and about; the post office, the local green grocers, the church, town hall and of course the park, are all within walking distance, even for little legs.  Children grow confidence through these visits and speak to members of the public and shopkeepers, finding out how their local environment is used by people and shaped by demand.

Reception children keep up this deep exploration of the local environment but also venture slightly farther afield.  They visit the beach, the Hawk conservancy and even Windsor Castle in their first year of school and find out how people use these places as well as some common geographical features, both human and physical.  We are developing their place knowledge each time we venture outside the gates of school by sharing maps and leaflets with them to help them understand where places are in relation to their school and home.

Geography in our EYFS curriculum

Lower School learning

In lower school, we continue with the excellent work begun in the early years; building on the skills children have learned and continuing to encourage them to explore their immediate surroundings as well as starting to look farther afield.

We choose topics that will allow our students to draw on their prior knowledge to further their understanding of the subject and to experience it practically whether it be river studies in the world renowned River Test, exploration at Danebury ring, photography at Leckford Water Gardens or observing seasonal changes and mapping within our school grounds.

Lower School LTP

Progressive learning

Year A gives the children three different opportunities to learn about the world’s continents and oceans. They also examine the differences and similarities of a particular region of the UK; for this, they’ll need to draw on their expanding knowledge of the country. Children will lightly touch on using maps to identify the countries of the United Kingdom as well as heavily concentrating on creating their own maps.

“On our doorstep” and “Lighthouse keepers lunch.” allows children to examine the differences between physical and human geography, as well as how one influences the other and vice versa. Further geographic knowledge, specifically about coasts and fieldwork studies are consolidated here.

A brand new topic ‘tell us a tale!’ encourages children to draw on their forest learning but look closer the home than the Amazon by focusing on the Black Forest in Germany and making geographical comparisons across the UK, South America and Europe.  Children will spend time studying specific regions of the globe, with a strong emphasis on using atlases and basic geographic terminology to discuss the rainforest’s environment.

Lower school Geography MTP

Upper School Geographers

A shift forwards

The children put a lot of effort into further refining and developing the skills they acquired in lower school into their work in upper school. Due to the nature of our class mixes it is not always possible to cover the curriculum in chronological order, our long term plan shows how we plan and seize the opportunities this presents. Our long-term strategy makes sure that we provide the children with the chance to comprehend and imbed the crucial geographical ideas of place, scale, and space.

The children are given the opportunity to develop and learn new skills in year A by exploring the topic Mamma Mia! The children are able to continue developing their knowledge of the world, this is done through an increase in map work as well as using globes/atlases to identify a range of countries around the world. As well as working on these skills the children will begin to understand the spread of biomes and physical features of our planet.

Year B gives the children a chance to shine when looking at our topic a river run through it. This allows the children to continue to build on their knowledge of locating countries around the world, this topic also introduces them to identifying the counties and cities of the UK as well as key topographical (Hills, mountains, coasts and rivers) features. The children will also use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area.

Upper School LTP

Broadening horizons

In Upper school, our geography curriculum is complemented with a broad, deep and progressive residential programme which exposes children to different geographical environments and allows us to put into real practice, all of the vocabulary, knowledge and skills that they learn in the classroom and on field trips locally.

Crag y Dinas rock in the Brecon Beacons, the mining industry, decline in jobs, moves to the city a successive series of dams and conquering glacial mountains in the Brecons as well as native woodland in the New Forest, coastal developments and tidal timetables are just some of the features we exploit and explore in Years 4, 5 and 6 on residential.

In addition to this, Year C children will be learning about the significance of the lines of the earth (longitude, latitude, equator, northern/southern hemisphere, tropics of cancer and Capricorn, the arctic/Antarctic circle, the prime/Greenwich meridian and time zones) this will help bring together their knowledge of the world and how these invisible lines impact the countries of earth. The final topic of year C is summer seas, children will use and improve their geographical map skills using physical and digital versions. In this ever changing world, preparing our children for the range of technology that can be used to travel is of vital importance to us.

Read more about our residentials here