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
– 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)
– 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
– 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)
– 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)
– 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
– 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.
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.
We have an active and enthusiastic Eco Council whose members meet weekly; please see here.
For information about Highfield’s Junior Travel Ambassadors please click here.
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
As JTAs, the Eco Councillors consider ways to make our journeys into school safer and healthier.
In 2016 the children conducted a survey as pupils arrived at school and found that many cars parked on the zigzag lines, a number of children were not wearing seatbelts in cars and few used the zebra crossings.
They communicated their findings to the rest of the school in an assembly and later conducted a second survey, together with Enfield police, to establish whether there had been any improvement in road safety outside our school. With the police, the JTAs used the speed gun to find out how fast drivers were moving along Highfield Road. They spoke to drivers stopping on the zigzag lines and those not wearing seatbelts/ with passengers not wearing seatbelts.
The children found that there has been an improvement but there is still more to be done! In July we arranged for a theatre group to visit KS2 to help consolidate road safety messages.
We have been thinking about how we can be healthier as we travel to school. Cycling and walking are two great ways! JTA Monika Nikolova in 5S designed a winning entry into the Enfield 2017 calendar competition that conveys this message:
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!