Geography can and should be one of the most interesting subjects in the curriculum. It is a subject with which children can easily identify. It is the study of the world which we all live in and is therefore easy to incorporate children’s own thoughts, beliefs and opinions into lessons. On a simple level it is possible to draw on children's experiences of the local area and countries and places they have visited. However, Geography has the ability to introduce children to different societies and cultures, enhancing awareness of global interdependence. Through the study of physical and human processes, topical events and issues related to sustainability and development, Geography can help pupils to make sense of the world.
The course at Hereward House aims to stimulate curiosity about the world and help to answer questions about the world we live in. It is designed to prepare students thoroughly for the ISEB Common Entrance examination by studying a wide range of themes, places, patterns, processes and people. It will involve an understanding of maps and promote investigative and problem-solving skills. Some boys choose to sit tougher scholarship exams in Form CE1. At Hereward House we prepare those boys by providing an enriched curriculum and plenty of opportunity for deeper learning.
At Common Entrance, students should demonstrate their ability to:
- Use geographical enquiry skills when developing knowledge and understanding of people, places, patterns and processes, environmental awareness and sustainable development
- Ask geographical questions and undertake enquiries inside and outside the classroom about people, places and environments
- Analyse evidence, make decisions and evaluate information, ideas and opinions
- Use skills specific to Geography, including those of fieldwork and map work
- Draw on many different sources and resources, such as maps and atlases, photographs, written and visual materials, including the use of ICT
How it is taught at Hereward House?
The Head of Geography writes the Hereward House Geography curriculum from Form 1 to CE1. The subject is taught by Form Teachers up until Form 3. From Form 4 upwards, the subject is taught by a subject specialist. In lessons the children engage in a variety of activities using a range of skills.
At Hereward House we enrich the children’s learning by organizing exciting fieldwork opportunities, both locally and further afield. We visit the City of London to look at changing land use and interview workers on their shopping habits. We visit Sky Studios to get an idea of the world of work and to use technology. We visit the Natural History Museum to learn about Plate Tectonics and go to The Olympic Park in East London to look at the sustainability of the site. The older boys carry out a microclimate enquiry on Hampstead Heath and do a weathering enquiry in the school grounds. We also undertake a river enquiry in Surrey and visit the South Downs National Park to learn more about protected area management.
Geography at Home
The best foundation is of course an attention to the subject aims in children’s own homes and daily lives. Atlases and books, films and DVDs are a traditional means of becoming better acquainted with the world. Nowadays there are also a myriad of games and apps that allow children to engage interactively with the subject. Travelling and exploring, locally or further afield, will also enrich children’s lives and enable them to draw parallels between lessons and real life. Perhaps the most important thing we can do outside school is to always encourage children to be curious and to ask questions. Frequent conversations and debates on interesting topics will, of course, aid this.