Geography at Highfield
At Highfield we aim for Geography to inspire in our children a fascination about the world and its people. Children learn about diverse places, people and environments, and to understand the processes that have created them. Classes benefit from lots of opportunities to explore topics in a hands-on way, both indoors and outdoors. We want children to question the way our world is, how it is changing, and their own place within it, and we ask plenty of “What if…?” questions to stimulate their curiosity.
National Curriculum Requirements
The National Curriculum for Geography says that pupils should:
- Develop knowledge of locations, defining their human and physical characteristics
- Understand processes that give rise to the world’s geographical features
- Develop geographical skills (fieldwork, data analysis, interpretation of a range of information sources)
Highfield’s Geography Curriculum
|1||– To name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the UK and its surrounding seas
– To use compass directions (N,S,E,W) and locational/ directional language to describe the location of features and routes on a map (local fieldwork)
|2||– To use aerial photographs and plans to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; use and create a simple key
– To name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans
|3||– To name and locate counties and cities of the UK, geographical regions, human and physical characteristics and key topographical features
– To learn about types of settlement and changes in land-use patterns over time (link to History topic – Stone Age to Iron Age)
|4||– To observe, measure and record human and physical features of the local area using sketch maps, plans, graphs and digital technologies (local fieldwork)
– To learn about the physical features of a region in a European country – study of volcanoes and earthquakes (Mt Vesuvius, Mt Etna)
|5||– To learn about economic activity, trade links and distribution of natural resources through a study of North and South America
– To learn the position and significance of longitude, latitude, the Equator, hemispheres, tropics, Arctic, Antarctic
|6||– A study of human and physical geography – biomes and vegetation belts, rivers and mountains (local fieldwork – River Lea/ New River and a contrasting river study)
– To review their knowledge of European countries and capitals
Children regularly use the school grounds and the local area for fieldwork. We are fortunate to be able to make use of spaces close to our school such as Woodcroft Wildspace and Firs Farm Wetlands Park. We have also been very lucky to have visits from the RNLI and RSPB.
Children’s Geography learning in school is enriched by cross-curricular links to other subjects – for example, work may be linked to a History topic with children considering the features of land in the UK and thinking where Vikings might choose to settle and why. Cross-curricular theme days such as our International Day further enrich children’s learning.
Highfield also has an enthusiastic group of Junior Travel Ambassadors (JTA); please click here for additional information.
Useful Websites and Learning Tools
Highfield has an active and enthusiastic Eco Council whose members meet weekly. Children learn about the impact of our actions on the environment and are encouraged to think about how to make a difference themselves. Some of the activities in which children have been involved are:
- Litter picking in our school grounds and in Highfield Road
- Learning about textile waste and making T-shirt bags and sock puppets
- Making our own paper
- Reusing our unwanted teddy bears – sending them to Syrian refugees (Teddy Aid)
- Learning about food waste. Installing wormeries in Early Years and KS1 classes at Highfield. Meeting the worms!
- A tree survey with Enfield Council to find out more about the importance of trees, and which trees we have in our school grounds
- Planting new tree saplings in the school grounds
- Visiting Firs Farm Wetlands to compare our tree saplings with more established ones
- Poetry writing with Cheryl linked to the new trees
- Seasonal activities e.g. reusing old Christmas cards for tags, making poppies with egg boxes
- A project with “Eco-Active”, during which children learned about waste prevention in lots of exciting ways. This culminated in a trip to the Science Museum for an awards ceremony (our Eco Council won first prize for their scrapbook and £500 to spend on Eco initiatives in the school such as our wormeries)
- Communicating learning and activities to other classes e.g. through Eco Council assemblies
Junior Travel Ambassadors
At Highfield we have an enthusiastic group of KS2 children who make up our school Junior Travel Ambassadors. These children have the important role of considering ways of making our journeys into school safer and healthier.
The JTA were extremely pro active and hardworking last year and this effort lead them to be awarded with the Gold STARs Award. This is a fantastic achievement and something that they are incredibly proud with as are the rest of the school. This year they are planning on continuing their hard work in order to keep up their ‘Gold’ status.
Last year the JTA children conducted a survey as pupils arrived at school along with PC Dorris who supports our local area. The children combined their results and found that many children were not crossing the road safely. They were not holding an adults hand or looking both ways before crossing.
They communicated their findings to the rest of the school in an assembly and decided to launch a campaign to help keep children safer when crossing the road. They created videos and designed their own story book for all children to read. They also created bright, informative posters that were stuck around the school to create awareness.
The children found that there has been an improvement by the end of the Summer Term but there is still more to be done! This year the JTA have decided that they would like to concentrate on crossing the road at safe locations. They are looking forward to getting their new campaign up and running!
The JTA have been very busy and have been working with TFL and Enfield Council. Together they have created Highfield’s very own ‘Walk to School’ map which shows walking routes, public transport routes and also places to park a short distance from the school and then how to walk from there. The map has been a very big success and we are hoping that it will continue to help reduce the congestion outside the school gates at drop off and collection times.
We have been thinking about how we can be healthier as we travel to school. Many children at Highfield entered Enfield’s 2018 calendar competition which had the theme ‘Why the car, school’s not far!’ We were extremely lucky to have 3 winners! Sally came in to award trophies to the winners.
The JTAs also thought of a name for Enfield Council’s Walk to School bear. Their choice of Boots was the winner and we have won a smoothie bike for our school to help us all stay healthy!