4.7.22 Amy Fuller, Governor

As a geography teacher it was an absolute pleasure to meet with Mr McKeefry to talk everything geography at Mellers. As this was our first meeting, we spent our time running through the long-term plan for geography as well as key areas for further development. As a non-specialist Mr McKeefry has done an exceptional job of mapping out the long-term plan that includes physical, environmental, and human geography. We also identified areas where more human geography could be interweaved. The long-term plan also clearly focuses on local, national, and international geography (global), meaning that the children understand their place in the world from the outset. There are clear cross curricular links between geography and what is being taught in other areas of the school, which means that different subject areas are supporting the development of knowledge and skills.

Next, we discussed the work of the Eco Team and how they are working towards eliminating single use plastics at the school, setting up a terracycle hub as well as regularly naming the most eco-friendly class. The terracycle hub will be a way of bringing the community together to focus on environmental geography, raising the profile of the subject.

We then looked at the floor books which evidence the children’s geography skills and knowledge. The books clearly showed what the children had learnt through diagrams, which are an important element of geography. Key vocabulary was also evident, and Mr McKeefry has worked hard to gain consistency of the vocabulary taught by providing vocabulary lists per year group.

Finally, we moved onto next steps for geography and areas that I would be able to support the ongoing development of geography at Mellers.

We discussed different ways in which case studies can be delivered including two different schools of thought around delivering knowledge through a case study simultaneously, or delivering stand-alone knowledge followed by the case study, completely separately. We also touched on different ways that children can complete independent tasks linked to case studies such as writing a newspaper report. Mr McKeefry is also looking to further develop fieldwork and we spoke about the importance of KS3/4 students being able to create and answer a fieldwork question, to focus the data that is collected. This is something that can be included in KS2 fieldwork.

We then spoke about the level of challenge attached to delivering the process of desertification to children KS2-KS4. I suggested a focus on the cause as a starting point in Year 5, linking this back to deforestation in Year 3, that is knowledge that is easily retrieved by students. Deforestation is also taught as a cause of flooding in Year 4.

We closed our meeting by discussing how to further challenge the thinking of higher ability students. Here the ability to transfer knowledge and skills to different situations was mentioned as a potential option. Geography students at KS3/4 need to have the ability to be provided with information on a case study that they have not studied but still be able to explain the cause and effects. This is something that could be back mapped into KS2 to prepare them for this transition.

A huge thank you for your time Mr McKeefry. I am looking forward to our next meeting and sharing resources, as well as spending time in geography lessons.

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