Crowan uses Cornerstones’ Curriculum 22 as the basis of our whole school curriculum which consists of a series of projects. The geography projects are well sequenced to provide a coherent subject scheme that develops children’s geographical knowledge, skills and subject disciplines. Geographical locations are not specified in the national curriculum, so they have been chosen to provide a broad and diverse understanding of the world.
Due to the relatively remote location of our school (in a UK context) our geography curriculum seeks to place our children’s lives into an increasingly large picture that will ensure they have a solid appreciation and understanding of our world in its vast variety of geographical contexts. We want our children to be secure in their geographical knowledge of the local area and in a global context and to show that they are able to think geographically by displaying the skills needed to understand this subject.
Where there are opportunities for making meaningful connections with other projects, geography projects are sequenced accordingly. For example, children revisit the geography of settlements in the history project School Days after studying types of settlements in the geography project Bright Lights, Big City. All geography projects are taught in the autumn and spring terms, with opportunities for schools to revisit less secure concepts in the summer term. Throughout the geography scheme, there is complete coverage of all national curriculum programmes of study.
Crowan uses Curriculum 22 for mixed ages classes and, as such, there are four distinct two year curriculum cycles: one for Early Years Foundation Stage; one for Key Stage One (Years 1&2); one for lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3&4); one for upper key stage 2 (Years 5&6).
The school is on the path towards achieving the Eco-Schools Green Flag award and, through an Eco-Committee led by staff, the children are developing a meaningful interest in the different geographical features and their futures.
We aim to foster a sense of fascination and wonder at the world around our children and equip them with the knowledge of the hugely diverse range of people, places and environments so that they can go on to explore their role in the world as they encounter further geographical study.
Geography is taught using the Cornerstones pedagogic approach of Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express and using the lesson plans from the scheme as the basis of the lessons so that every geography lesson fits into the planned sequence of learning. This approach ensures that the projects are ‘front-loaded’ with key knowledge which can then be developed and built on as the unit progresses. Although teachers may choose to use resources, activities or experiences from other sources to enhance the lessons, Cornerstones’ approach and lessons will be the foundation of geography teaching.
Throughout or adaptations of Cornerstones’ Curriculum 22, we aim to harness the advantages of our school’s location in Cornwall by giving our children a deep, meaningful and thorough understanding of Cornwall’s unique physical and human geography. For example, the Year 5/6 project ‘Sow, Grow and Farm’ will be tailored to reflect the specific agricultural context of Cornwall; ‘Our Changing World’ will include a localised focused on how climate change is affecting and will affect local areas; the Year ¾ project ‘Misty Mountains Winding Rivers’ will focus on local landmarks and see children exploring the hills around our school.
End of unit assessment opportunities are built into the Cornerstones programme and teachers will use these to assess the children's summative achievement although they may decide to use a different task if it is more appropriate to the project or cohort. These assessments are kept in the subject assessment folder to be reviewed by the subject leader and to assist in future planning.