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21 September 2023

Navigating the world with United Learning's geography curriculum: an insight from Hannah Whaites

In a rapidly changing world, understanding the complexities of our planet is more crucial than ever. The United Curriculum's Primary Geography program offers a comprehensive educational journey, carefully designed to empower students with a deep appreciation and knowledge of the Earth's physical and human processes. We sat down with Hannah Whaites, an expert in geography education, to gain insights into what sets this curriculum apart.

A Seamless Journey Through Geography Education 

Hannah explains, "Geography in the United Curriculum is carefully sequenced across primary and secondary." She highlights the four core concepts that underpin both levels: space and place, physical processes, human processes, and interconnections and change. 

Empowering Critical Thinkers 

"The United Curriculum for Geography ensures that pupils can make sense of the world around them," says Hannah. It provides students with a solid foundation of substantive knowledge, enabling them to think like geographers and engage with real-world geographical debates beyond the classroom. 

A Globally-Inclusive Perspective 

The curriculum aims to be relevant for all students; Hannah emphasises that "a wide variety of case studies have been carefully chosen to give pupils a varied and diverse diet of geography". 

Pedagogical Excellence 

The curriculum is designed with lessons that follow Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction, ensuring that content is presented in small, manageable steps with plenty of opportunities for checking for understanding and questioning.  

Abundant Resources for Engaging Lessons 

Hannah underscores the wealth of resources available within the curriculum. "Within the geography curriculum, an overview document has been created to provide teachers with a detailed explanation of the sequence of lessons and unit – the ‘why this, why now?’. And there is so much to choose from and adapt for each lesson." These resources are invaluable in supporting teachers in delivering impactful geography lessons. 

Harnessing Technology for Deeper Understanding 

Technology is seamlessly integrated into the curriculum. Google Maps, Google Earth, and GIS are leveraged to provide students with virtual fieldwork experiences, offering insights into different places and spaces. 

Fostering Global Awareness and Responsibility 

"The United Curriculum for Geography has been developed with sustainability at its heart," says Hannah. This curriculum component, woven through geography and science (and other!) units, equips students with the knowledge and understanding to become responsible global citizens. 

Continuous Assessment for Ongoing Growth 

Formative assessment methods are woven into every lesson, providing ample opportunities for review, questioning, and checking for understanding. Pre- and post-learning quizzes are provided for the start and end of every unit, which should be used formatively to identify gaps that need filling. 

A World of Knowledge Awaits 

With the United Curriculum's Primary Geography resources, students embark on a journey of discovery, honing critical thinking skills and developing a profound understanding of the world around them. This curriculum not only equips them with academic knowledge but also instils a sense of responsibility towards the planet and its diverse inhabitants. Embrace the world through the lens of geography with the United Curriculum. 

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