"Children with hands-on experience learn to respect the environment." Sue Clark
Geography is a subject ideally placed to deliver environmental education. When children experience and understand their environment they will want to protect it. Geography at The Grove aims to inspire a love of the amazing environment on their doorstep, including the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark and Dartmoor National Park. Geography at The Grove has a futures perspective. We aim to provide children with positive, real-life experiences of addressing issues that are important to them in practical ways. As we face the biggest environmental challenge our species has ever seen, we seek to equip children by ensuring that they understand climate change and are empowered to take action.
Geography is an art and a science, offering opportunities to study the impact of both human and physical processes on the world around us. We want children to understand the main physical and human processes that make their environment so special and know how it is changing.
We highly value outdoor learning and aim to provide regular opportunities for fieldwork. Fieldwork immerses children in the environment and makes their learning practical, memorable and motivating. It gives them a working knowledge of skills such as map reading, field sketching and real life purposes for computing and data handling.
Each unit of work uses place-based examples. These help children to understand geographical concepts and their relevance, as well as helping them to become knowledgeable about the world. Our curriculum engages children by beginning with them, their local area and issues that are relevant to them. It then seeks to widen children's horizons. They learn about unfamiliar locations, make connections between places and apply ideas they have learnt about their own environment to different settings around the world. They learn about weather and land-use patterns. They gain a critical understanding of global issues such as climate change, globalisation, sustainability, trade and biodiversity. The complexity of these issues are often explored by challenging stereotypes and considering the different viewpoints of various groups of people to the same issue e.g. deforestation.
Children are enthusiastic about Geography and have memorable experiences of undertaking fieldwork in a wide range of locations in the surrounding area, both rural and urban. They know what Geography is and why it is important so that they feel inspired to continue with Geography as they progress to secondary school and beyond. Children leaving The Grove have good geographical knowledge and can give place-based examples that demonstrate their understanding. They have developed a wide range of geographical skills, including reading and making maps and collecting and analysing data in a variety of ways. They are able to debate geographical issues and understand differing viewpoints. Their positive experiences in their local environment give them a sense of ownership and responsibility to care for the places they love. They know about climate change and are empowered to take action to protect the environment.