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Margaret Wix Primary School


What does a geographer look like at Margaret Wix Primary School? 

  • An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
  • An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.
  • An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
  • Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.
  • The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.
  • Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.
  • Highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.
  • A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
  • The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.

Intent – why are we teaching this?

At Margaret Wix, it is our intention to provide our pupils with a rich geography curriculum that inspires a lifelong curiosity about our world and our role in sustaining it.  With the support of Connected Geography, the curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils recognise their contribution to, and responsibilities for, their locality, their country and the global community.


Children are given opportunities to compare and contrast their local environment at Margaret Wix with other places in the world, helping them to become more reflective citizens, and develop an awareness of the importance of their own positive commitment to the environment and future of the planet.


Our geography curriculum is logical, relevant and balanced in terms of subject content. For example, children study topical issues, such as climate change, flooding and trade.  The curriculum becomes progressively more challenging in terms of subject knowledge and critical thinking. Children are able to build on previous knowledge and understanding as they tackle more complex enquiries. For example, in KS1 children observe the geographical features of the local area of the school and compare and contrast them with a school in Borneo. In KS2, this knowledge and understanding is extended when children investigate the nature of environmental change in their local area and consider the cost and benefits such change brings.


The Margaret Wix community is diverse and we understand the vital need for representation within our teaching. We ensure diversity across the curriculum: careful thought and planning has gone into selecting whose stories we tell and how they are told. Our curriculum has been re-examined and we have endeavoured to reduce the western bias. We strive to ensure that BAME pupils see themselves reflected in our curriculum, all year round. We call our personalised curriculum ‘The Wix Way’. In geography, this includes learning about a diverse range of explorers.



The EEF 'five-a-day' underpins all we do for our SEND learners in geography. As part of The Wix Way this means that small tweaks to the way we teach geography for all children could make a significant, positive difference for the pupils with SEND in our school.





Implementation – how are we teaching this?

With the support of Connected Geography, our geography curriculum is delivered through an enquiry focused approach to learning which allows children to build on subject knowledge and understanding and to become increasingly adept at critical thinking. 


To engage and immerse the children in their learning experiences the classroom environment reflects the theme the children are learning about with a display or role play area on that topic.


Fieldwork opportunities are provided in geography, such as visits to habitats in the local environment and trips to sites which enrich the learning process for all our pupils. Pupils in KS1 are encouraged to compare their local area with other environments. In KS2, pupils are encouraged to express views on real issues, and frequent discussions allow the opportunity to express themselves through challenging and engaging questioning.


Teachers create a positive attitude to geography learning within their classrooms and re-inforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards. They use a variety of teaching methods to cater for all our learners. Children may use books and ICT to support their learning. They may work individually or as part of a team to present their findings orally, in writing, through Art, DT, ICT or role play.


Marking and feedback provides ongoing assessment which is used to address misconceptions and gaps in learning for future teaching and planning. Regular opportunities are provided for our pupils to rehearse newly acquired skills and knowledge, transfer these across different contexts and identify gaps in their learning.


Regular opportunities for retrieval practice enable children to deliberately rehearse newly acquired skills and knowledge, transfer these across different contexts and identify gaps in their learning, ultimately strengthening long term memory. Children are frequently given opportunities to ‘have a go’ at applying their learning in new contexts and encouraged to recognise mistakes as a useful, positive part of the learning process. Our whole school culture promotes creativity, resilience, individuality, questioning and deep thinking.


We implement the 'five-a-day' strategy from the EEF within the teaching of geography in variety of ways. The five strategies identified as having strong evidence for their effectiveness in supporting pupils with SEND which we use to underpin The Wix Way:


1. Explicit instruction

Explicit instruction refers to a range of teacher-led approaches, focused on teacher demonstration followed by guided practice and independent practice. Explicit instruction is not just teaching by telling or transmission teaching


  • Worked examples with the teacher modelling self-regulation and thought processes is helpful. A teacher might show a pupil how to locate a grid square on a map using a four figure grid reference. They would then give the pupil the opportunity to practise this skill.

Using visual aids and concrete examples promotes discussion and links in learning.


2. Cognitive and metacognitive strategies

Cognitive and metacognitive strategies are skills like memorisation techniques or subject specific strategies to help pupils plan and evaluate their learning, such as knowledge organisers and chalk boards with key vocabulary.



  • Chunking the task will support pupils with SEND – this may be through instructions on a whiteboard, step by step modelling, real life examples  which helps reduce distractions to avoid overloading working memory.
  • Prompt sheets that help pupils to evaluate their progress, with ideas for further support.


3. Scaffolding

‘Scaffolding’ is a metaphor for temporary support that is removed when it is no longer required. Initially, a teacher would provide enough support so that pupils can successfully complete tasks that they could not do independently.


  • Support could be visual, verbal, or written. 
  • Knowledge organisers, modelled examples and sentence starters can all be useful.
  • Reminders of what equipment is needed for each lesson and classroom routines can be useful.
  • Scaffolding discussion to promote prediction, questioning, clarification and summarising
  • Including a variety of oracy rich opportunities throughout the lesson. For example, use of sentence stems, speaking frames, concept cartoons, discussion prompts, talk tactics to enable pupils to access learning.



4. Flexible grouping

Flexible grouping describes when pupils are allocated to smaller groups based on the individual needs that they currently share with other pupils. Such groups can be formed for an explicit purpose and disbanded when that purpose is met


  • Allocating temporary groups can allow teachers to set up opportunities for collaborative learning, for example to work with a learning partner, mixed ability group work, independently carry out a skill, developing a new concept.
  • Pre-teaching key vocabulary to be used in geography lessons to enhance group discussion is helpful when learning new skills.


5. Using technology

Technology can assist teacher modelling. Via the use of the internet online maps and a wealth of videos of different places around the world can be shared with children.


  • Use a visualizer to model worked examples, modelling or sharing good examples from peers.
  • Use digimap to explore maps from the past as well as human and physical features of different areas and different climate zones.


Children are encouraged to embrace our Learning Powers and Values at Margaret Wix: resilience, self-belief, curiosity, kindness and respect for others; all of which underpin our geography learning.


Impact – what is the effect on the pupils?

The children at Margaret Wix Primary will have the confidence to demonstrate their knowledge they have retained over time and demonstrate a readiness for the next stage of their learning. They will show a positive attitude to learning and use and apply skills across the curriculum, making meaningful connections in purposeful contexts. Their engagement of the local environment ensures that children learn through first hand experiences of the world around them; they will have an understanding that geography impacts upon our lives daily.


Each half termly enquiry sets clear objectives and outcomes for the children in terms of knowledge and understanding and skills acquisition. The EEF five a day are utilised to make certain that all pupils make measurable progress. When assessing each child evidence is drawn from wide range of sources, such as interaction with pupils during discussions and related questioning, practical activities such as model making and role play drama, the communication of field work data and writing in different genres. The outcomes of each enquiry inform the teacher's understanding of each child and help them to plan future learning accordingly. At the end of each year we make a summative judgement about the achievement of each pupil against the subject learning goals for geography in that year, deciding upon a 'best fit' judgement as to whether the pupil has achieved and embedded the expected learning goals, exceeded expectations or is still working towards the goals. This is used as the basis of reporting progress to parents.




Aspirations For The Future

Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.

Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as a Geographer:

. Town Planner
· Marine Biologist
· Helicopter Mission Controller
· Forester
· Farmer

. Environmental lawyer

. Weather person on television

. Teacher

. Lecturer


Geography in action

Pupil voice