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Becoming Geographers


Geography Curriculum Statement of Intent
It is our intent at Five Islands for the Geography element of our school curriculum to inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Teaching geography throughout the school should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Teaching about places, scale and location are integral to a child becoming more aware of the world in which they live in and in doing so grow up to become an adult fully aware of their place and role in not just local society, but also nationally and globally.
As pupils progress through the key stages, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments.
We want all our children at Five Islands to gain confidence and practical experiences of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. It is essential that living in an island community is a positive geographical learning environment, but one which does not limit the scale of learning and experience. Regular field trips locally, regionally, nationally and further afield are an essential learning opportunity which pupils should have.

It is important that in this ever changing world, children do not become reliant on technology instead, utilise it in order to question, learn and investigate geography. Developing questioning minds can only be enhanced through the correct balance of technology and real life investigation.


Key Disciplinary Concepts: 


Place and Space


The understanding where places are located, their physical and human characteristics/culture, as well as the interactions between various different places.



The way geography can be examined at different levels- local, national, international and world



The understanding of the physical and human environment and how each of these areas influence each other.



The links and connections between countries and regions of the world that have become essential. The idea that everything has been caused by something and the connections between the cause and the effect is often to do with human activity



The understanding of the use of resources at various scales and how we can use these in a cyclic system rather than a linear system.



The economic and quality of life of countries and regions of the world.



A group of interconnected parts that work together to form a process or landscape in the physical world. eg. ecosystems and hydrological cycle



Awareness of different people, cultures and religions, as well as how this creates geographical diversity. Diversity relates to our focus on a complex and varied world - places and environments are diverse between and within themselves. 

Primary Key Concepts


Exploring concepts through topics, and topics through concepts

The questions below exemplify the various conceptual angles from which children look at each topic over the course of the term, and show how our sequence of topics broadens and deepens the children’s understanding of the second order concepts outlined above. 







Change: What’s the weather like today? What do the different seasons feel and look like?

Diversity: How are the people we know the same and different? How should we treat each other?

Interaction: Who are the people who help us and keep our archipelago home going?

Perception & representation: What makes up our home? How do the different elements make us feel?



Change: How can we record weather? How do our records compare with those from Shetland?
Diversity: How can we map the different places we know on Scilly? Where have we been in the UK and what was it like? Who’s ‘British’ and how can we talk about and honour our similarities and differences?

Interaction: How can we travel to and on the mainland? What places in the South-West/wider UK matter to us?

Perception & representation: How can we represent our favourite aspects of Scilly, so as to tell others? How do other people feel about their home areas around the UK?



Change: How does our changing weather over the seasons compare with equatorial/polar patterns?

Diversity: What’s the same and different about Scilly, a part of Syria and a part of Estonia?
Interaction: What benefits and challenges does migration bring? Should people be allowed to move anywhere?
Perception & representation: What are human rights? Why is the language we use about people important?


Land Rights

Change: What forces shape the Earth? What is the water cycle and is there a comparable ‘soil cycle’?

Diversity: How do we use land in different ways? Where are the world’s most valuable natural resources? 

Interaction: How would we solve a water pollution problem on Scilly? Who should control our shared resources?
Perception & representation: What points of view create the Dakota Access Pipeline conflict? Who’s ‘right’?



Change: How has land use/employment changed on Scilly? How might AI affect our own employment options?

Diversity: How do employment patterns differ across Scilly, Penzance and Plymouth? Why has population decline in the Faroe Islands reversed, and how does this compare to Scilly’s past and possible future?

Interaction: Where does our food and clothing come from? What benefits and challenges does tourism bring? 

Perception & representation: How do residents feel about tourism and how do we ‘market’ Scilly? 


Climate Change

Change: How has the Earth’s climate changed over time and what’s different about the rate of change now?
Diversity: How will climate change be experienced by countries in Asia, particularly coastal Vietnam, in our lifetime? How does that compare with Scilly’s outlook?

Interaction: What does climate change mean in terms of the Earth’s systems? What are the main human factors?

Perception & representation: How does the idea of ‘geological time’ change our perception of climate change? Should we act as if ‘the house is on fire’? What holds us back?


Global Citizenship

Change: Is life getting better or worse? What changes has Tanzania undergone since her independence in 1961?

Diversity: How can we quantify quality of life? What picture do these data paint of global equality?

Interaction: What is the UN and how does it aim to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? What are disaster relief and foreign aid? What is the UK’s aid relationship with Tanzania, a former British colony, and how will the UK’s 2020 foreign aid policy shift affect people there?
Perception & representation: What is privilege? How can we overcome bias in personal and political contexts?