Given how closely Geography relates to real world issues, the subject continues to be an important part of the Wellesley curriculum.
The key aims for the department are to ensure that all children:
- Develop an understanding of the features and conditions that make up the physical environment.
- Appreciate how human beings have used that environment with both positive and negative effects.
To make certain pupils have a solid foundation in the subject we introduce it when children enter reception. At this stage children are given the opportunity to find out about their own locality and environment and compare these with places abroad. Simple mapping skills are introduced when pupils’ enter year 1 with further focus being placed on identifying the physical and human features of different locations. The children also have the opportunity to formulate and share their opinions at this stage.
From year 3 onwards the children experience a variety of geographical topics, all of which aim to enhance their understanding of place, space and the environment. The children are given opportunities to find out about their own country and implement map skills, using a variety of resources including aerial photos, atlases and information books. Learning also takes place outside the classroom with year 5 participating in a five day residential field trip to Heatree Activity Centre in Dartmoor National Park to study a contrasting locality in the U.K. During the week the children carry out map work, orienteering and study the nearby stream.
When pupils enter year 7 they follow the Common Entrance Syllabus and are expected to study specific themes, have knowledge of case studies and undertake fieldwork. Fieldwork is an essential element in the senior school with year 7 embarking on a two day residential visit to complete the fieldwork for their main Common Entrance project, and year 8 taking part in a variety of activities that help them learn the places and geographical features stipulated in the Common Entrance Syllabus.
Throughout the Geography department we aim to foster enthusiasm for, and confidence in, the subject and in doing so hope we develop a real sense of awe and wonder about the world in which we live.