At Beechwood, the Geography curriculum is rooted in the school’s underlying aims, ethos and values. It is carefully designed to equip our pupils with the knowledge, skills and vocabulary they need to understand and discuss the world they live in, that will both prepare them for the next stage in their education and enable them to live successful lives in the present and future.
The Beechwood Geography curriculum aims to:
- ensure that all pupils develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the world and different communities at a local, national and international level:
- teach children to understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they change over time;
- equip children with the geographical skills needed to collect, analyse and use a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork to deepen their understanding of geographical processes;
- demonstrate how geographical knowledge and understanding can be applied to impact positively on the world as a part of responsible global citizenship;
- stimulate children’s curiosity and develop an interest in finding out about their world.
We are geographers at Beechwood Primary School
In Early Years, Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world. During our Ourselves topic children became familiar with where they live. They created maps to guide them around our outside area at school and to show their route to school. We used the Bee-bots to follow a route based on our local area. During our Journeys topic, children will experience going on a journey around our local area first-hand.
In their Community topic, Foundation Stage invited different people who help us to find out more about the jobs they do.
They created their own maps after reading the story of Zog using different types of equipment inside and outside the classroom.
As part of the launch of Year 1's new TSU 'Food of Many Nations' pupils looked at atlases to decide which countries they would be interested in finding out more about. They also matched different foods up with the country that they come from.
The children made fantastic 3D maps of the physical human features of the area of South Africa that they are learning about. They also carried out research into different areas of life and created amazing posters about South African houses and beadwork.
Year 2 made their own globes to show their understanding of the 7 continents and the 5 oceans of the world.
As part of the launch session for their new topic in year three, the children used maps at different scales to locate places already studied and to find out more about their own locality. They also used iPads to carry out independent research.
Year 3 visited the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) to help them learn more about how we can help the communities we are part of. They found out what happens to our rubbish and learned more about why we should recycle.
Home learning using maps and atlases to find out more about the world around us.
Year 4 compared and contrasted Seacroft and Leeds City Centre.
Six representatives from Year 4 attended an incredible Fairtrade celebration event at Leeds Civic Hall. They did an outstanding job of representing Beechwood. They listened to speeches from Tom Riordon (Chief Executive of Leeds City Council), Councillor Katie Dye and the Lord Mayor of Leeds. They heard from inspiring lived experience storyteller, Adele A'asante. The group also led a workshop for other children, teaching the bean-to-bar process they had previously studied in TSU. To end the session, the children made climate pledges which will be shared with the broader school community.
On the Lake District Residential, Year 4 developed their understanding of field work. They used a compass, made sketch maps of the area and carried out surveys in Keswick to compare this town to Seacroft and Leeds. Everyone enjoyed interviewing the public to find out why they visited the Lake District as it is a popular tourist destination.
Year 6 took part in a workshop with Hannah from Leeds DEC to learn about migration and why people move around the earth. They learnt that there are many different reasons for people to leave their countries and heard the stories of 9 people who have migrated from around the world to Leeds.
Home Learning Grids
Top tips to help your child be a brilliant geographer
The list is endless and you will have many ideas of your own. Essentially, you can help your children learn by offering them exciting activities and by encouraging them to ask and to try to answer questions about the world in which we live.
- Know your local area – explore it with your children.
- Talk to your child about people, places and environments have time to answer their questions.
- Walk to school/playgroup if possible – rather than go by car –touch the outdoor world – keep a record of what you see on the way. Select a different topic each time – for example – Day 1 How many red objects can we see? – Day 2 – What different types of vehicles did we observe?
- Play 1 – 10 on the way to school, or on another journey. (1 street sign, 2 red cars 3 mummies with buggies etc).
- Play I Spy on the way to school. What a way to investigate the features of places! A for Archway B for Bus etc
- Make up do it yourself jigsaw puzzles of places using calendar pictures – with a cardboard backing. Help your child(ren) to make jigsaws
- Point out the range of maps that we can use to help us unravel the mystery of places. Be map collectors – in places that you visit that give out free maps – shopping centres – country parks town centres – museums etc. Read and explore them with your children – that’s where we went.
- Let children plan the route they want to follow to school.
- Let older children investigate route maps and help them to plan the route places that you visit. If you use public transport talk about types of transport – where they might be going.
- Play with your child with their small world layouts - farm sets, train sets, dolls houses etc – talk about the layouts and rooms etc – what belongs where – where the tractors go etc.
- board games with them, many of which have a geographical context, such as – Snakes and Ladders, or Maze Games.
- Join the public library with your child – go regularly – choose exciting books about people and places – sometimes you can meet the author and listen to them tell stories.
- Go to the art gallery to really look at paintings of places, people and environments such as the work of Lowry and of Monet. The work of contemporary painters.
- Sculpt local features with play dough, plasticine or modelling clay etc.
- Collect postcards and calendar pictures of places – make a place picture scrapbook.
- Take pictures of the view from your back window once each month at the end of the year can we order them together? How has the view changed through the months/seasons?
- When on holidays, help your child to make holiday diaries -artefacts, drawings, postcards and tickets etc.
- Talk about places in films that you watch together – Jungle Book, Lion King, Over the Hedge, Ben Ten, Happy Feet and Ice Age 3 etc.
- Hunt for different signs, signals and logos while on shopping trips. What do they mean? – Which shops are they outside of?
- Look at the food items that you are purchasing – note where they come from – look for the countries together in an atlas at home, or on Internet maps.
- Look at the labels in clothes items – where are the items made?
- On route talk about the landscapes, you travel through. Be car plate, and lorry spotters – company and where they come from in the UK or abroad.
- When at relatives such as the grandparents go for a short walk– talk about how the area is similar and different to the area that your home is in. Get your child to begin to observe similarities and differences between places.
- Go for a walk in a local wood or forest – at different times of the year – springtime or autumn (leaf kicking time). Seasonality is a very important pattern in their lives.
- Watch the weather forecast – even better listen to different radio channel forecasts. Did they get it right? Watch items on dramatic world weather events.
- Give your child a small patch of the garden to plant and tend –the magic of growing their own items.
- Be minibeast or habitat detectives in your back garden. Create your own garden eco-tour. Star watch at night from a homemade den
- Collect stamps or coins from different countries – you can get really cheap selection packs of stamps in many of the charity shops.
- Talk about topic issues highlighted by news programmes such as News Round.