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Geography at The White House School

“What is our knowledge worth if we know nothing about the world that sustains us,

nothing about natural systems and climate, nothing about other countries and cultures?"

 

Jonathon Porritt.

 

Geography helps us to develop an understanding of places and people and examines the way their development has been shaped by physical and human processes. The study of Geography enables children to understand their immediate surroundings, the wider world and to help them to make sense of it. Children are encouraged to analyse the world around them from a physical and a human perspective and to appreciate the interdependence of the physical environment and human development. Children need to be prepared for a life where they will live and work with a variety of people. Geography can help them to develop tolerant attitudes to differing cultures.

 

The curriculum is designed to interest, enthuse and inform the children as well as prepare them for their life to come. It is based on an investigative approach.

 

Through the rich and stimulating learning environment on offer, we aim to:

 

· provide a range of experiences from which the children can develop the relevant geographical skills, knowledge and understanding

· encourage and develop the children's interest in the wider world through first-hand experience and the complementary use of secondary sources

· develop children's sense of identity, within both local and wider perspectives, thus enhancing their understanding and sensitivity towards the Earth and its people

 

Fieldwork is a purposeful and integral part of the curriculum. Wherever possible we use first-hand experience as an initial stimulus for a new area of study. Field trips include visits to Cardingmill Valley, the local canal, the town of Whitchurch, Tilstock village and Whitchurch Recycling Centre. In addition, visiting speakers (e.g. a representative of Severn Trent Water and the Exotic Zoo) inform the children about the world around them. We encourage the children to question their world and to find out and collect information from primary and secondary sources.

 

The teaching of Geography is achieved through a variety of techniques including individual tuition, collaborative work in small groups, work in larger groups, or whole class tuition.

 

Children learn to develop the following geographical skills:-

 

  1. Making, reading and interpreting maps with an increasing emphasis on accuracy.
  2. Using and interpreting globes and atlases
  3. Fieldwork techniques - compass skills, use of measuring instruments, collecting and recording evidence.
  4. Use of appropriate geographical vocabulary.
  5. Enquiry techniques, such as asking the right questions, drawing conclusions and communicating findings.
  6. Identification of features that give a place its identity.
  7. Interpreting secondary evidence such as aerial photographs.
  8. Using ICT to gain access to information and to assist in handling evidence and data.
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