A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching 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. As pupils progress, 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. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Geography makes both a distinctive and a wider contribution to the curriculum. It is an essential component in preparing young people for life in the twenty-first century. As the pace of change quickens, communications get faster and challenges to the environment multiply, a knowledge and understanding of geography is more vital than ever. Geographical education is indispensable to the development of responsible and active citizens in the present and future world. Geography can be an informing, enabling and stimulating subject at all levels in education, and contributes to a lifelong enjoyment and understanding of our world. Learners require global geographical awareness in order to ensure effective cooperation on a broad range of economic, political, cultural and environmental issues in a shrinking world. Geography addresses the major challenges that the global community is facing. The resolution of major issues facing our world requires the full commitment of people of all generations.
At Dr South’s, geography is taught both as a discrete subject, particularly when the children are learning specific geographical skills, and also as part of an enriching cross-curriculum topic. There is significant emphasis on practical, outdoor learning, particularly to develop a respect for the natural world. Much of this is done through Forest School; the children in KS1 spend a day each week during the summer term outdoors, and an afternoon each week for half the year for all of KS2. These sessions are led by a specially trained Forest School teacher. Outdoor learning is complemented by rigorous academic study, and the children learn about geographical processes and different locations around the world.