In our school we encourage children to gain an awareness of the world around them and to think about the effect people have upon it. We aim to involve children in investigative and problem solving activities involving their environment. We give children opportunities to ask questions and find out the answers. As a school we use a range of resources to stimulate the children, including maps, photographs, DVDS, artefacts, books and the internet. We also believe in using people and their experiences as a resource – for example, Year 1 visit the farm during their ‘Food and Farming’ topic, Reception visit High Lodge, and Year 2 visit Norwich castle and West Runton.
We ensure that children have opportunities to experience the subject in a variety of forms that are appropriate to their level of development. This includes activities that are written, artistic, dramatic, and which are actively linked to outdoor learning. For example, Nursery and Reception children explore the immediate school environment, Year 1 children visit a church in Dereham, and Year 2 children walk around and investigate the wider local area. Road safety awareness is also taught throughout the school.
Spring Term Geography 2018
This term Reception classes have been learning about people who help us. This is the foundation of Human Geography and is part of their EYFS Understanding the World area of learning. The children have had lots of visits from adults who have talked to them about their occupations, including the school cook and caretaker, a nurse, veterinary nurse, dental nurses, firemen, Tesco assistant, Bus driver and policeman. The children developed their knowledge of people and occupations that help others through their independent lines of enquiry in class and using role play activities to pretend to be doctors, nurses, midwives, opticians, vets and police people or fire fighters!
Reception classes have also been finding out about volcanos. Mrs Brown talked to the chidlren and explained what her son does during his research work on volcanoes. The children found this very interesting and were very engaged with this learning.
In Year 1 the children have been Weather Watchers and have been learning all about types of weather and climate in different parts of the world, including Africa. They have learnt how a tornado works, and listened to a BBC weather forecaster telling them all about his job. Some children in Year 1 also celebrated Australia Day, with one pupil bringing in a flag and other Australian objects to show the class and talk about. The class listened carefully as he talked about his experiences when he lived in Australia. They year group have also learnt about places in our home county of Norfolk.
Year 2 have been learning about climates and habitats in different parts of the world, and as part of their Science which linked to Geography the children sorted animals according to their habitats. Year 2 have also started their work on Art Around the World, which includes finding out about different countries – including Australian Aborigine dream art – their culture and art.
Autumn Term Geography 2017
During their play activities the Reception children have been finding out about animals. Teachers help them to use globes, maps and ipads to research their favourite animals and learn more about them and the places they come from.
“I showed her on a map where the UK was and where Africa and India were. We talked about how it was a long way, and she suggested that she could fly there to see the elephants”.
In another class the children were playing with polar small world toys and one child was fascinated by Arctic wolves. He was helped to find out more about them and the environment they live in. He also found out that Arctic wolves’ favourite food was Arctic hare, lemmings, seals, and birds.
Elsewhere some children were playing under the canopy and one child was wearing a workman’s waistcoat. He said that he was going to work on a plane so he talked with the teacher about the job of a pilot and looked on the iPad at different passenger planes. He made a plane and invited some friends to fly with him. They looked at the globe, the UK’s location and different places that they could fly to, then decided that they would fly over the sea to America.
In Year 1 the children learned about Harvest and were visited by a local farmer and his tractor. They were able to ask the farmer about his job, and practice their tractor driving skills! They went on to learn about some of the foods harvested in other parts of the world.
Year 1 have also been learning about animals that live in different parts of the world. As part of their Topic studies they have used maps, globes, atlases and the internet to discover features of different countries and environments and learn about how the animals that live there have adapted. As part of their Winter Wonderland Topic they learnt about the animals of the polar regions, and in particular about the Inuit people and how their lives might be similar or different to our own in the UK.
Year 2 have been learning about Medieval Norwich this term, and were able to visit Norwich Castle to find out about how people lived long ago.
They also learned about the features of Castles and how and where they were built. This helped them to develop their geographical vocablulary, for example: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour, river, moat, hill. They were able use aerial photographs to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features and they learnt about castles in other parts of the United Kingdom. They looked on maps and on Google Earth to find the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle, Norwich Castle, Warwick Castle and Windsor Castle.
Summer 2 – Family Learning Week
We had a great Geography and Outdoor Learning week!
A variety of activities were planned for the children focusing on exploring the school and the local area. The outdoor areas of the school were very well used with learning opportunities taking place in Ted’s Den, the gardens, play areas and the pond area.
The children were very enthusiastic about following our trails and treasure hunts, and particularly loved finding all the little doors of the visiting woodland fairies and guessing their names!
Our after school family learning activity was very well attended with children finding their way to different activities using compass directions. They were able to work with family members and teachers to design and measure nests, make natural wind mobiles, use clay, make dream catchers, and visit the pond to investigate the wildlife. They were even able to use Google Earth in the computer room to find their own homes and addresses.
There were also lots of brilliant entries to our postcard competition! Children designed postcards that showed somewhere they had visited in the local area with a reason why it was a good place to visit. Many children opted to post their card to their teacher at school, thus helping them understand the importance of an address and postcode. The postman had plenty of deliveries to make, and was pleased that the postcards had been clearly addressed. Year One also learnt a great deal from a Postwoman who came in to visit them and talk about her job. (See Year 1 website page).
Spring 2 2017
This term Year 1 have been exploring globes, maps and atlases to help them find out about countries and continents.
As part of their Weather Experts topic they have been learning about weather in our country, and about hot and cold parts of the world. They learned about points of the compass with a visit from Goldcrest, and about setting up a weather station. They created and recorded their own weather reports in Literacy, and had a visit from a TV weatherman!
We support and encourage children to gain an awareness of the world around them and to think about the effect people have upon it. We aim to involve children in investigative and problem solving activities. We give them opportunities to ask questions and find out the answers through research. As a school, we use a range of resources to stimulate the children, including maps, photographs, DVDS, artefacts, books and the internet. We also believe in using people and their experiences as a resource, for example Year 3 visit Banham Zoo, Year 4 travel to an outdoor geographical location and Year 5 are planning to visit the Broads as part of their local study in the Summer term. We ensure that children have opportunities to experience the subject in a variety of forms: – written, artistic, dramatic. For example, Year 4 children explore the local area including the school grounds and Year 5 have had an afternoon of outdoor activities to learn the 16 points of the compass In the past year, Goldcrest have worked with Year 6 on surviving outdoors by building dens and outdoor cooking using fire pits. Road safety awareness is taught to Years 5 and 6 through Cycling Proficiency.
Children are assessed through observation, questioning, and recorded work as appropriate.
Spring Term Geography 2018
Year 3 have been learning about Human Geography during their ‘Sow It, Grow It’ topic. The children thought about how land has been used over time, and used old maps to see changes over time in certain locations. The children also enjoyed meeting a visitor from the Norfolk Record Office, who surprised them by showing what Toftwood looked like before our Toftwood Infant or Junior schools were even built.
Year 4 have been using the atlases as they learn about the equator, hemispheres, tropics, latitude and longitude. They have enjoyed researching information about the climate and lifestyle of countries located close to the equator.
Year 5 have been learning about the Americas. They have investigated and researched physical features, human geography and climate as part of this work, and know that there are 50 states within the USA. Some of the children said that they especially enjoyed learning the song of the 50 states.
Autumn Term Geography 2017
Year 3 have been ‘Around the World’ this term. The children have enjoyed developing their map reading skills when using our new atlases and have been locating continents, countries and cities. The children also spent time discovering what it is like to live in Yorkshire, Sicily and New England.
Year 5 have been learning about Physical Geography this term, including information about deep rivers and high mountains. This was part of their ‘Earth and Space’ topic work. The children really enjoyed working in groups to build volcanoes out of card and natural materials to enhance this learning. The volcanoes erupted thanks to som bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.