Geography at Cotsford
At Cotsford Primary School, we shape our geography curriculum to ensure the children develop a secure knowledge of the world around them. We intend to inspire children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world that we live in and its people. Through the teaching of geography, we provoke thought and questions, while encouraging the children to discover and explore the answers.
Please click the link for Geography National Curriculum Information
Reception have been lucky enough to have a visit from Captain Chemistry this half term. They looked at the different habitats on the beach and who they might find at the seashore. The children know from their trip to Tynemouth Aquarium, that some animals prefer to live in rockpools, sand, cliffs and the sea. They explored how to take care of our beaches and how litter can make lots of our sea creatures very poorly.
While in Geography in Year 1 , the children have been learning about the United Kingdom and the four countries that make it up. They have learnt about physical and natural features of the UK, found these on the map in an atlas and placed these on a map of the UK. They also learnt about capital cities in the UK, placed these on a map and looked at the landmarks seen in each. The children then looked specifically at London and the landmarks that can be seen there, choosing their favourites to visit if they travelled to London. Lots of the children wanted to go on the London Eye!
Year 2 have loved exploring Saltburn by the Sea and Kenya. They began by recapping on the continents, oceans, compass directions and the equator. The children enjoyed finding out about a mystery place and used all their geographical skills to identity Saltburn. They were able to explore human and physical features and draw these on a map with a key. Everyone enjoyed researching the different places to see and visit. From this they created a leaflet for visitors to the area. The children then used PicCollage to create an information piece on Kenya. They were amazed at the size of the Maasai Mara as well as the tribes that lived near the ‘Big Five’ animals. The children completed the unit by making a comparison between Saltburn by the Sea and Maasai Mara. Which would you choose to visit?
Year 3 have been focussing on our fabulous North East! The children enjoyed looking at human and physical features of the North East and loved talking about the places they have visited. They also learned about rivers as well as the water cycle using this very handy song to help them remember. You can listen to their favourite song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWb4KlM2vts
Year 4 started this half term by looking at the features of the European coast. The children worked with a partner to position the different locations on world maps and atlases. They then picked one location to describe using geographical language. Year 4 then had a fantastic trip to Tynemouth with Year 2. They all visited the beach while they were there. As you can see in the pictures below, they used their trip and different maps to explore the different features of Tynemouth. The children enjoyed using different maps during this topic such as, the rivers map and an OS map of the North East. They then moved on to think about some of the challenges that people face living near the coast. They used Happisburgh as a case study into erosion and sea defences. The children even made their own beach to investigate erosion and longshore drift.
Year 4 and 5 also had a great visit from Northumberland Water who taught them all about the importance of saving water. The children loved playing the different games that helped them to further understand the water cycle and the role-playing scenarios which encouraged them to tell others to save water. Back in class, the children made posters to share their new knowledge.
Year 5 really enjoyed their unit of work, looking at where our food comes from and how food production affects the planet. The children looked at the range of crops which are grown in each continent and how the climate affects which foods grow in each location. They calculated how many miles it can take to assemble the ingredients needed for everyday foods like chocolate bars and were amazed that it could be as many as 20,000 food miles. Another area they explored was the reasons for importing food and the damage it can do to habitats like the rainforest if food production is not controlled. The children watched the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQQXstNh45g which showed us what is happening in some areas with the production of Palm Oil. The final part of their half term was spent deepening their basic geography skills, learning more about the countries in each continent and their capital cities.
The Field Trip unit has given Year 6 the opportunity to investigate changes in the local area. The children looked at photographs of the local area in the past and compared them to now and they have drawn pictures to show the changes. They have also designed a persuasive poster to highlight what is on offer in our local area.
Although Geography has not been a focus of us this half term, Reception have been busy exploring maps. They have looked at the world map and at where different animals live. The children have talked about camels and geckos liking hot, sandy places like the desert. Unfortunately, that’s very different to where we live!
Meanwhile, Year 5 have been developing their map reading skills and deepening their understanding of the world. They linked their work in Geography with their OAA challenges in PE, by learning how to use compass points and degrees to direct partners through many obstacles. There were even crocodiles to avoid! The children then looked at the globe and linked their knowledge of the rotation of the Earth from Science in the Autumn term to understand how the climate can change from area and through the seasons as well as why we have time zones. Finally, as you can see in the pictures below, they learnt how to read both 4 and 6 figure grid references and thought about how this can help us read and use a map correctly.
Reception kick started their half term with a fabulous trip to Tweddle Farm. Here they had a tractor ride, fed the animals in the paddocks and fed some baby animals including goats, llamas, hens and lambs. As it was spring time, the children were very lucky to give some baby lambs their milk too, they were so cute and fluffy. They also met a very noisy parrot called Charlie.
Back at school, the children planted so many seedlings in their classroom, ready to go into their outdoor area. They explored at how to look after them and they have also set up an experiment to test if they always need light, soil and water.
Do you remember their strawberry plants from September? They are starting to get new leaves! The children can’t wait to see them grow even more and maybe produce some strawberries, fingers crossed!
Year 1 have been looking at what they can find in our local area, ‘our corner of the world’ and in the North East. They have used aerial photographs to look at our local area and identified human and physical features in our locality. The children made simple maps and used basic symbols to create a key for landmarks in our local area. They even visited Wharton Park in Durham and used a simple map to navigate while on their trip and created their own map to show key features.
Year 2 were lucky enough to have two visitors from the Environment Agency. They discussed the causes of flooding and the risks of flooding. Their visit included several practical tasks like dredging in flood water (gravy) for dangerous objects. This helped the children understand the infections and dangers of floods. They ended their session by deciding what would be good to pack in an emergency flood grab bag. The children were surprised with objects that didn’t make the bag i.e. homework and computers.
The children have also been working really hard to consolidate their knowledge on continents and oceans which they can now name. They confidently use North, South, East and West when describing where places are. The children had so much fun researching places near the equator in groups. Some used atlases, others used globes whilst the rest used ipads. Collectively they produced places of interest on the equator, continents, oceans, climate and other interesting facts. The children explored the Halley VI and then planned a route to get there from Horden. It was lovely to see a range of ways i.e. submarine, aeroplane and ship. This also included the places they would pass and the temperature changes as they moved closer to the equator and then further away. Proving why polar bears never meet penguins was a great way to realise that they live in similar habitats but at the opposite end of the world.
Geography in Year 3/4 has been focussed upon cities. They have been using maps to identify where cities are located within the UK and how big they are. The children also had a look at some night time images of cities and compared them against some of the rural areas. In order to deepen their understanding of cities the children came up with some ideas of research questions they would like to find out about specific cities, such as Newcastle, Manchester, London and Liverpool. Once the children had a list of questions, they used the iPads to research their answers. The children did a great job and found out information about the size of the population, how many schools there were and what was the name of the rivers in the city. Following this the children investigated the advantages and disadvantages of living in the city.
Year 4 started this half term, by learning some key facts about Italy including; it’s position in the world, the continent and seas around it, the climates and significant landmarks. The children could already name some important sites in Rome, after studying it as part of their last History topic. They then focussed on why and how we have earthquakes and volcanoes in different parts of the world, including in Italy with Mount Vesuvius. They linked it to their newspaper report in English and read ‘Peril in Pompeii!’, which you can enjoy below.
Year 6 have investigated different types of forests and their location across the globe. They have identified the differences between the types of forests and how they survive in different climates. The children have used an atlas to research the location of forests in the world and their location on the globe using the equator as a reference point. They have also researched national parks in the UK and created a fact-file describing their location, animals and types of trees.
Although Geography has not been a focus this half term, Reception have had a great time looking at some geographical features of the land in the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. They were able to name lots of things we see every day but don’t always notice including grass, a river, the sea and a bridge! You can enjoy the story too.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QzT1sq6kCY&w=560&h=315]
This half term Reception have had fun thinking about different materials to make a teddy and they have been able to describe why it needs to be really soft. No one wants a rough teddy to cuddle! They have also looked at all the different animals that come out at night including badgers, hedgehogs and bats. The children have drawn their own pictures and labelled them too.
Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have also been very lucky this half term to have a visit from the OASES team who helped us plant some seeds that will eventually grow into tress. We are making sure we are helping with climate change and COP26.
Year 1 have looked at where we are in the world, including looking at the UK on Google Earth and then using it to locate Horden, our school and other places in our local area. The children enjoyed looking at an aerial view of our school and locating things we know really well like the field and the playground. They were able to use a map to find their way around school and then make their own symbols to show different things on a map.
Year 2 have also been exploring the world. The children have had so much fun researching the different continents and making a messy continent as a group. You can see their continents in the pictures below. The children are becoming more confident in using an atlas as well as the internet to find mountains and rivers. They particularly excelled in their research by completing a mountain challenge; they had to use the atlas to find a mountain in each continent and write which country it was in. Their final mission was to write which continent they would like to visit and why, explaining what they would see and what the weather would be like.
Wow! I have loved seeing Year 3/4 creating their river display. They have been looking at the topography of the UK. As well as rivers, the children have also explored hills, mountains and the coast by using maps, atlases and digital maps to help them. The children have also looked at 4-figure grid references, symbols and keys to build on their knowledge of the UK.
Year 4 had a fantastic start to their Geography topic. As you can see in the pictures below, they visited our local river so that they could recognise some of the different features and compare it with other rivers around the world. Then, they focussed on the continent of Europe. They learnt lots of new geographical vocabulary and labelled some of the different features of Europe including the countries, rivers and mountains. The children practised using different types of maps, including; satellite images, atlases, biomes and climate graphs. They particularly loved studying the climate graphs of different cities in Europe and discovering what we could learn about each place.
We have got some wonderful explorers in Year 5. They have been looking at what has shaped out Earth and our place on it. As you can see in the pictures, their trip was to Horden Beach which really helped them to visualise the effect water has played on our local landscapes and how it will continue to change in the future. The children have also started thinking about the impact climate change is having on the whole world and what could happen if we don’t protect the Earth.
Year 6 started their topic by going on a road trip all around the North East! Even though it was a wet and windy day they were able to visit lots of important sites including, the Angel of the North and Penshaw Monument. They used this to help them study America. They looked at both North and South America and the differences between them. In particular, they focussed on Brazil and it’s natural and human features. The children were able to compare Brazil and Sao Paulo to our local area.
Although Geography has not been a focus this half term, Reception have made a great start with their first topic, Me and My Community and Understanding the World. It was lovely to see the children exploring the natural world around them during their autumn walk. They looked for lots of signs of autumn, noticing all the different colours of the leaves. Wow, there were so many! They collected some and even brought them back to school, with some of them creating their own rainbow of autumn colour.
The children have even planted some strawberry plants to see how they grow. They are looking forward to when they can taste them next year, fingers crossed!