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Lydney Church of England Community School (VC)

Lydney Church of England Community School (VC)

A caring Christian community where every child achieves a love of life and of learning

Luke 10:25-37

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How is Geography taught at Lydney Church of England School?

How is Geography taught at Lydney C of E School?

Our Geography teaching and learning follows a spiral curriculum model, with essential knowledge and skills revisited with increasing complexity, allowing pupils to revise and build on their previous learning. Locational knowledge, in particular, will be reviewed in each unit to coincide with our belief that this will consolidate children’s understanding of key concepts, such as scale and place, in Geography.


Where possible, cross-curricular links are included throughout each unit, allowing children to make connections and apply their Geography skills to other areas of learning. Our enquiry questions form the basis for our units, meaning that pupils gain a solid understanding of geographical knowledge and skills by applying them to answer enquiry questions. We have designed these questions to be open-ended with no preconceived answers and therefore they are genuinely purposeful and engage pupils in generating a real change. In attempting to answer them, children learn how to collect, interpret and present data using geographical methodologies and make informed decisions by applying their geographical knowledge.


Each Geography unit that we plan and teach at Lydney C of E contains elements of geographical skills and fieldwork to ensure that fieldwork skills are practised as often as possible. We follow an enquiry cycle that maps out the fieldwork process of question, observe, measure, record and present, to reflect the elements mentioned in the National curriculum. This ensures children will learn how to decide on an area of enquiry, plan to measure data using a range of methods, capture the data and present it to a range of appropriate stakeholders in various formats.


Fieldwork includes smaller opportunities on the school grounds to larger-scale visits to investigate physical and human features. Developing fieldwork skills within the school environment and revisiting them in multiple units enables pupils to consolidate their understanding of various methods. It also gives children the confidence to evaluate methodologies without always having to leave the school grounds and do so within the confines of a familiar place. This makes fieldwork regular and accessible while giving children a thorough understanding of their locality, providing a solid foundation when comparing it with other places.



Within our EYFS classroom, children are encouraged to explore and understand the world through engaging with their immediate environment. Through observation, discussion, stories, maps, the outdoor environment and exploratory play, students will learn how to describe the world around them and understand the lives of people in our community and further afield. Throughout the year, children look at seasonal changes and changes in the natural world and begin to learn about some of the similarities and differences between different places they have been introduced to through texts read in class.


Key Stage 1

Students in KS1 complete a question-based Geography unit each ‘long’ term in  KS1,  with a high-emphasis placed on securing a strong sense of time and place at this age. Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical hands-on, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. As much as possible, our Geography sessions in KS1 are visual and practical and work towards equipping children with a good understanding of our locality and a strong understanding of key basic geographical vocabulary.


Key Stage 2

At Key Stage 2, students continue to actively participate in increasingly complex enquiry-based geography learning. Again these units usually span each ‘long’ term, although opportunities for incidental geography learning and ‘simmering skill’ activities are used by teachers in between units of work. Geography lessons in KS2 also incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical hands-on, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. Our progressive, spiral Geography curriculum allows for children in KS2 to revisit key vocabulary and knowledge and build upon this year by year.


Inclusion, Quality First Teaching, Support and Assessment:

A ‘can do’ attitude is adopted by both staff and students in Geography sessions and the belief is that everyone can achieve and succeed in Geography, especially fieldwork. Children are encouraged to persevere and learn from mistakes.


Our Geography curriculum at Lydney C of E School is designed to be a positive and inclusive experience for every student within our community. All children are given opportunities to explore and investigate key enquiry questions and our teachers provide the time, resources and support for students to develop a curiosity for the world around them. Differentiated guidance through the Kapow scheme is available for every lesson to ensure that all pupils can access learning, and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary. Staff also have access to CPD and supporting subject knowledge videos to enable them to confidently support a range of learners when teaching various areas of Geography.


Formative assessment is a key part of Geography lessons at Lydney C of E School and teachers observe, listen to and question their students to check understanding and to move learning forward. Teachers record end of unit judgements for Geography on our school tracking system Insight. 


Extra-Curricular Provision

Lydney C of E School is a member of the Geographical Association and we work closely with our local Gloucestershire Humanities network to ensure children receive quality Geography provision and education and that our teachers are kept abreast of the latest updates and guidance in Primary Geography. Within the curriculum, children have regular opportunities to complete fieldwork and to engage with local geography. Staff advocate students pursuing this outside of the curriculum too, encouraging them to take advantage of the interesting and diverse Geography that Lydney and the Forest of Dean has to offer.


In addition to geography lessons, there are opportunities throughout the year for our children to celebrate Geography and to engage with global and environmental issues. In recent years, these opportunities have included events such as ‘World Awareness Week’, Organised Litter Picks, Woodland Explorer sessions, Traffic monitoring with local PCSOs and assemblies based around local, national and international affairs, as well as visitor assemblies from charities such as Water Aid.


Throughout the year, the school organises opportunities for children to learn more about Geography through day excursions and residential trips. In the past, this has included visits to Gloucester Waterways Museum, Viney Hill Christian Activity Centre, Over Farm, Barry Island and Blakeney Straights. At the end of Key Stage 2, students also have the opportunity to patriate in a residential visit to France, where the children are able to explore and experience the history, geography and culture of a different country first-hand. The school has also run an after-school eco club for students in KS2, encouraging them to actively engage in environmental issues locally and further afield.