My name is Mr. Wall and I am the leader of Geography at Laycock.
I believe that Geography iassists students in developing their own understanding of the world around them and their place within it, such that they become active and informed citizens. It allows students to discover and understand interactions between natural and human environments, and to understand how these interactions change over time and place. Students will explore their world and learn that they have the ability to influence its future.
The Laycock community is diverse in culture and heritage with a significant proportion of its members coming from various locations throughout the United Kingdom and the wider world. The Geography curriculum at Laycock has been designed to reflect this diversity and equip pupils with a sense of curiosity and fascination about the wider world, its people, and their place within it as global citizens. We have created a curriculum that places careful consideration on the real-world experiences of our entire student population accounting for the deaf provision, EAL and BAME pupils.
Learning in Geography lessons at Laycock will always focus on the pupil and build on understandings from the inside out or the outside in, so that pupils are able to develop an appreciation of the own local area and understand how it fits within a much larger geographical context. By structuring learning in this way the Geography curriculum at Laycock will provide students with lifelong skills and cultural capital that they can use as active citizens in their everyday lives.
With the support of the British Council and The United Nations, students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is supported and encouraged. Links will be formed with international partner schools which will inspire students to break barriers, understand similarities and differences in different geographical contexts, and extend the values which underpin all activity at Laycock beyond the school community. Celebrations and themed days/weeks will deepen pupils’ understandings of the interactions between the physical and human processes in our world and highlight the impact that their actions can have on current and future generations.
In its most basic form Geography is the world around us that appeals to the senses of our pupils every single day. As such the curriculum at Laycock will be immersive and allow the students the opportunity the see, hear and feel their learning. Technology and concrete resources will be used in the classroom to strengthen learning, and pupils will be given the opportunity to deepen understandings and skills through cultural trips and experiences.
At Laycock Primary, we follow parts of the Learning Challenge Curriculum. The Learning Challenge Curriculum has been created with a strong sense of enquiry at its heart inspiring and allowed a child-led approach to learning. The question-led units encourage pupils to research and present information taking full account of their ability to retain key knowledge and skills for the long term. It uses the National Curriculum as its reference point, but also takes account of pupils’ context, including their locality. We have used the materials provided as a starting point to enable us to create a curriculum that is bespoke to us!
Our curriculum is built based on having a ‘driver subject’ each half term. This unit of work drives the learning for that term and other subjects support and compliment it. For example. in Year 3 a term’s driver is ‘Why do so many people go to the Mediterranean for their holidays?’ and other subjects link to help immerse children in their learning. Some examples of these are: ‘Light’ in Science- looking at the equator among other things, designing sun protective outfits in Art for Edward Enningful at Vogue, and writing letters from a holiday in English.
We start the driver with a knowledge harvest so we can assess what children already know to best inform our planning. A knowledge harvest is an activity that children complete and it looks like this:
Our unit of work is then planned for the six week term. Each of the units are supported with a knowledge mat the children use every lesson to support them. It looks like this:
Each lesson, we work on children’s meta-cognition to help their long term memory by repeating routines, vocabulary and activities. Here is an insight in to the pattern of each lesson across the school:
Every lesson starts with a discussion photo/ link/ video. We encourage the children to ask questions using this matrix. You may notice ‘easier’ questions would fall in the top left quadrant. More detailed, difficult questions would fall towards the bottom right quadrant. This allows all ages and abilities to take part in this starting activity to launch the lesson. Teacher will mark what questions have been asked and monitor children’s participation, support and challenge individuals.
We then introduce the lesson’s Learning Intention (L.I.). Some lessons have an extra LI to incorporate English or Maths where it is appropriate and helpful. This gives the class an extra opportunity to revisit a learnt skill in a core subject and encourages children to understand that skills are transferrable.
All lessons have a success criteria, here you can see that the red LI is linked to the red success criteria.
This is a completely interactive page where teachers can explore the lesson’s LI or country with their children based on their interest. For example, they could click on ‘Rome3Rio’ and find out how many different ways they can travel to the Amazon rainforest, how much it costs, what carbon footprint it has, etc. What fun!!
A big emphasis is put on vocabulary and so a slide is dedicated to revisiting vocabulary and introducing new vocabulary. Children are encouraged to read it aloud, spell it, put it in to a sentence, and challenged to use it throughout the lesson! Most of the words are linked to the knowledge mat also (see below).
Lessons are then created to teach the Learning Intention. Here is an example debate lesson…
We put a big emphasis on communication and language so not all lessons are a written outcome. Checkout our Twitter Page and search for #LaycockGeography to see what we get up to!
And finally, in order to assess the progression of children’s knowledge in the unit, we challenge them to creating their own knowledge mat using everything they have learnt over the 6 week unit.