Geography In the Early Years
We introduce children to the key strands of the geography curriculum through play and exploration. The development matters framework guides staff to provide age appropriate teaching and learning activities to develop children's understanding of ‘people and communities’ and ‘the world’. We ensure teachers and staff are aware of the opportunities to develop children's understanding of the world around them.
As with the rest of the school teachers in the foundation stage use question led topic planners to identify opportunities to develop and extend children's understanding of the world around them. For example during a ‘Everyday Heroes’ topic in Reception staff considered how experiences would be provided to facilitate children's understanding of how they are linked to people who help us in our community. Teachers also consider how geographical links can be made during a unit of work such as talking about place or people and how these are similar or different to our own lives or location.Where possible children in the foundation stage are provided hands on experiential learning.
Understanding the world activities are built upon and developed through children's time in the foundation stage and activities provided show progression from Nursery to Reception.Language used is more challenging in Reception but also consolidates earlier language learning. An example of this is with our ‘Families’ topics in Nursery and Reception. Nursery focuses on the language of family members and people who are special to us whereas Reception considers similarities and differences in our families and descriptors such as ‘bigger’, ‘smaller’, ‘older’ etc.
Throughout Nursery and Reception children have an ‘experience of the week’ these engaging activities are to provide our children with real- life experiences that some of our children do not already have. These experiences help our children to make sense of the world around them and begin to see how our lives and lives of others are connected. Children have access to indoor and outdoor provision that encourages our children to question and wonder and adults are confident to scaffold and extend children’s early geographical ideas. Where appropriate Early Years are readying children for the concepts and strands they will encounter in Key Stage 1 and 2.
Daily Weather charts and trackers ready our children for their Weather topic in Year 1 and
maps and globes are used to reference places and geographical features such as seas or oceans so children have experience of these words before their Key Stage One topics of work.