Our learning of Geography is achieved through the vehicle of 'Mantle of the Expert': a creative and stimulating approach which enables children, through their natural propensity for imaginative role play, to understand how physical processes have shaped our planet over time and affected the growth and development of humanity. Within each Mantle of the Expert 'commission', our teachers ensure that the integrity of each curriculum subject is maintained through clear learning objectives linked to our progression maps. Essential geographical knowledge, key questions and topic vocabulary are contained within Knowledge Organisers. These provide children with a useful learning aid, parents with a summary of how they can support their child's learning and the school with an additional tool for assessment. Please see the Mantle of the Expert section for examples of children learning and teaching each other about Geography.
Within the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, one of the four specific areas of learning is titled 'Understanding the World'. This involves the children making sense of their physical world and their community. At Our Lady of Hartley, children begin to develop their geographical knowledge and skills by studying similarities, differences, patterns and change in their own environment and that of others. They begin to learn about diversity within communities, similarities and differences between families and their own uniqueness as human beings. The children begin to draw information from a simple map, beginning with our school site before extending into the local area, where the children learn that some places are special to members of our community. We learn about seasonal changes within our own environment before extending our understanding by studying winter conditions in the Arctic. The children begin to think about environments and how to protect them through our Eco Hero topic. We begin to look at the differences between countries by exploring the countries of Great Britain and Ireland followed by France and Italy.
Through our 'Mantle of the Expert' approach to learning, we enable the children to appreciate and use the connections between geography and other areas of knowledge and skill. Cross-curricular links are developed with subjects including history, art, PSHE, design and technology, literacy and maths.
In particular, we explore the fascinating connections between history and geography as the children begin to understand how human development has been shaped by our environment and how we can gain a deeper understanding of our role in society through exploring the experiences and legacy of people who lived before us. Many of the tasks our children tackle in Geography lessons draw upon this understanding.