Geography at Cherry Tree

At Cherry Tree School, we believe that the fundamental role of Geography is to help children to understand the world, its environments and places near and far whilst also learning about the processes that create and affect these environments.

As we live in such a diverse and multi-cultural society, we feel it is even more important to teach our children about their place in the world along with that of their peers.  Geography at Cherry Tree School is not about learning long lists of facts, in fact it is a brilliant way of developing children’s natural fascination for the world around them which we hope will remain with them for the rest of their lives.  We believe it is about understanding the world by comparing locations, investigating, researching different sources, writing and talking about places and asking and answering questions.  Not only is Geography a subject in its own right, it also encourages and develops learning links with subjects such as maths, science and history as well as art and design. 

How do we teach Geography at Cherry Tree?

We view all our children as ‘Young Geographers’ from Early Years through to Year 6 and teach Geography both in the classroom and outside through our half termly themes and topics. Field trips are an integral part of our outdoor learning experience ensuring that Geography is always engaging, active and fun.  (Covid restrictions currently in place).

Geography at Cherry Tree School begins in Early Years through exploring the world around us. The children start to look closely at similarities and differences in the environment and observing the natural changes in the seasons.  

In KS1, the children are introduced to maps and taught simple geographical techniques.  The learning journey continues by exploring our immediate surroundings within our school grounds, followed by Watford and the wider environment and then by looking at the UK and its four countries. Children have the opportunity to explore aerial maps, plans and historic sources to learn about our local environment and research further afield using atlases, globes and with the use of ICT.  By the end of KS1, the children will also have had the opportunity to research and compare the similarities and differences in human and physical geography of countries such as Africa and India to the UK.

In KS2, the learning focus moves further afield to Leavesden, St Albans and the county of Hertfordshire as well as understanding the important role of the Grand Union Canal in the history of Watford.  The children build on their early learning by exploring and comparing other regions of the world such as Iceland, New York and the Amazon Rainforest. Using digital and computer mapping the children will be able to locate countries and describe features of the regions which they have studied in addition to exploring topographical features and land use patterns attempting to understand how some of these might have changed over time.   By the end of KS2, the children will have an amazing opportunity to amalgamate their learning whilst at Cherry Tree School by carrying out a range of fieldwork on school trips to the Grand Union Canal and Swanage.

Geography has really struck a chord with our children at Cherry Tree and here is a small selection of the many quotes the children have shared with us from across the school.

‘Oh, I loved learning about habitats in lockdown!’

‘We learn more about the world, we read books and we learn new stuff’.

‘I like learning about different places and there are so many places that so many people don’t know about’.

‘There are so many places in the world that I would like to explore and be free’.

'I like geography because I like using compasses. I used a compass on the wonder walks’.

'Geography is fun because you can learn about places you didn't know about like Christmas Island'.

'I like seeing how continents have changed over time in different maps'.

'Geography is exciting because you learn about civilisations and cultures’.

'I like Geography because you learn about where different species of animals and plants live and grow in different climates'.