At Thames Ditton Junior School, we aim to ensure that geographical enquiry and skills are taught and developed through the children’s knowledge and understanding of different places, patterns/processes and environmental change/development. We will help pupils to make sense of their surroundings and the wider world (with an awareness of both physical and human features) and promote sensitivity towards their own environment. Current themes include the impact and causes of volcanic eruptions, differences in and changes to global climate, a study of our local area and the implications of deforestation in the Amazon.
Children will experience a wide range of activities both inside and outside of the classroom through relevant fieldwork, group tasks and written accounts. They will learn to research, collate and interpret data, use primary and secondary sources of evidence such as maps / aerial photographs and widen their use of accurate geographical language. Very often, residential activities contribute to the taught curriculum by giving children opportunities to observe environmental changes in coastal regions or try new and exciting outdoor adventure sports such as orienteering. This is in addition to more local trips which may include an analysis of land use in our local village or an investigation regarding habitats in nearby wooded areas. Furthermore, children are encouraged to make links across the curriculum and use skills learnt in English, History, Computing, Mathematics and Science to further their learning, e.g. creating line graphs to track daily temperatures, researching the history of a local town when exploring the impact of immigration or writing a newspaper report regarding a recent earthquake in Japan.
Looking forward, we wish to develop international links with other schools in order to further enrich the children’s learning experiences across the school as they compare and contrast their own locality with those identified in Europe and the wider world. Classes will be encouraged to make better use of the local area to promote the children’s understanding of location, identifying how and why places change, issues surrounding sustainability and the extent to which they can play a part in this; further developing the key skills. We feel it is vital that children are inspired to take an interest in different cultures and places worldwide, helping them to develop into caring and well informed adults of the future – all achievable through this diverse and interesting subject.