23.1.23 Amy Fuller, Governor

It was great to catch up with Mr McKeefry again to discuss how the Geography curriculum is further developing at the school. Firstly, we discussed what the main areas of focus for monitoring would be this year. Mr McKeefry actively takes time to pop in and out of lessons informally observing and providing feedback, to ensure that the structure of lessons is followed as well as the correct sequence of lessons, through confirmation of the correct objective. Emphasis will also be placed on ensuring the use of the Geographical process of cause, effects, and response.

We then discussed areas of CPD required by the team and this is to include fieldwork ideas that can be easily implemented, with no opportunities missed for pupils to experience this. I shared a model that I use, in that before we go on out of school to complete data collection as a form of fieldwork, we complete a mini version in school e.g. pedestrian count, traffic count, land use survey, bipolar survey, environmental quality survey. These can all be completed within the school grounds. Mr McKeefry mentioned that he has completed INSET orienteering CPD.

The biggest part of our discussion focused on the ongoing assessment of Geography. I shared the idea of DO NOW activities for knowledge retrieval separated into near, mid, and far as well as regular knowledge check assessments. I have shared resources that can be adapted by the team. These knowledge check assessments not only allow gaps in knowledge to be identified but also potential reasons why if tracked thoroughly. Maybe a pattern across a whole year group is identified and that lesson needs to be amended to be more successful. Whole class feedback and reteaching can also be actioned from this data. Knowledge check assessments can also be used to evidence objectives alongside floor books. I look forward to hearing how this has progressed at our next meeting.

We then moved onto how continuity and progression is ensured from year group to year group. Throughout the schemes of learning for each year group key aspects of Geography are regularly revisited, and with topic areas such as map skills, the skills build in difficulty across the year groups. Clear links are also highlighted between topic areas and these links are referred to, such as urban/rural, deforestation, floods, and settlements. This prior knowledge then supports the learning of new knowledge, giving the students confidence.

Finally, we discussed the use of images showing different places and examples to prove that pupils are working at greater depth in Geography. If a student can look at an image of an earthquake in a place that they have not studied but still be able to identify cause, effects, and response, this shows that they are able to transfer their knowledge. All students can be supported to reach this level through scaffolding. This is a technique that can be used for many different topic areas. This can also be introduced as a geographical mystery driven by a key question.

A huge thank you for your time, Mr McKeefry. I am looking forward to our next meeting, as well as meeting pupils and teachers in Geography lessons.

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