At Sudbourne we are Geographers!
Our Geography curriculum recognises that building pupils’ knowledge of locations, or ‘where’s where’, helps them build their own identity and sense of place. By zooming in on locations and then out pupils are able to develop a sense of scale and distance from their own locality of Brixton, London. We aim for our pupils to see the Geography all around them daily and develop lines of enquiry or analysis about why things are the way they are. We desire for our pupils to leave us prepared to be global citizens, who are aware of the interconnectedness of the World and the challenges it faces.
Cumulative progression and coherent substantive concepts
A guiding principle of CUSP Geography is that each study draws upon prior learning. For example, in the EYFS, pupils learn about People, Culture and Communities or The Natural World through daily activities and exploring their locality and immediate environment. This is revisited and positioned so that new and potentially abstract content in Year 1 can be put into a known location and make it easier to cognitively process. High volume and deliberate practice are essential for pupils to remember and retrieve substantive knowledge and use their disciplinary knowledge to explain and articulate what they know. This means pupils make conscious connections and think hard, using what they know. CUSP Geography is built around the principles of cumulative knowledge focusing on spaces, places, scale, human and physical processes with an emphasis on how content is connected and relational knowledge acquired.
CUSP Geography is planned so that the retention of knowledge is much more than just ‘in the moment knowledge’. The cumulative nature of the curriculum is made memorable by the implementation of Bjork’s desirable difficulties, including retrieval and spaced retrieval practice, word building and deliberate practice tasks. This powerful interrelationship between structure and research-led practice is designed to increase substantive knowledge and accelerate learning within and between study modules. That means the foundational knowledge of the curriculum is positioned to ease the load on the working memory: new content is connected to prior learning. The effect of this cumulative model supports opportunities for children to associate and connect with places, spaces, scale, people, culture and processes. CUSP fulfils and goes well beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum as we believe there is no ceiling to what pupils can learn if the architecture and practice is founded in evidence-led principles.
Substantive knowledge concepts - CUSP has defined substantive concepts that are the suggested vehicle to connect the substantive knowledge. These are defined at the start of every study in the Big Idea.
Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of that knowledge and how children become a little more expert as a geographers by thinking Geographically.’ The features of thinking geographically are below;
Specific and associated historical vocabulary is planned sequentially and cumulatively from the outset of our pupils' learning journey. High frequency, multiple meaning words (Tier 2) are taught alongside and help make sense of subject specific words (Tier 3). Pupils are required to not only analyse, connect and define words but also to use them in the correct context. Relevant idioms and colloquialisms allow us to connect learnt and be agile in approach to reflect our community and close the vocabulary gap.
CUSP EYFS supports children’s understanding of Geography through the planning and teaching of ‘People, Culture and Communities’. Core foundational knowledge is identified and embedded in daily practice for example through the use of daily language, during structured story time or delivered within provision helping pupils to understand their locality, the wider world and phenomena, such as the weather and seasons.
Phase 1 - 3
Our two year cycle ensures that children meet all of the National Curriculum objectives by the end of the phase / key stage. At the start of each cycle, we deliver a ‘Strong start’ lesson. This is focused on a core disciplinary concept to promote pupils to think more like a geographer. Blocks have a reference lesson to secure foundational knowledge and ensure pupils all start at a shared point.
Our Geography overview can be found below.