Geography in the Early Years at Fairfields
The roots of our Geography curriculum at Fairfields are found in the Foundation Stage through our ‘Understanding the World’ teaching. Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community.
Our Early Years curriculum allows children to enjoy explore the natural world around them. We visit the park, the local woods and make maps and plans of our journeys. We learn about places around us through a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems to foster understanding of our diverse world. As well as building important locational knowledge, this extends children’s familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. We know that enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later geographical learning.
We begin to teach early geographical sills by observing our local area and looking at the features around us. We look at different types of houses in our local area and draw maps from our house to school. We learn how maps work and how to follow a simple map. We enjoy making story maps to re-tell our favourite stories, treasure maps and maps for emergency service vehicles.
Through reading, ‘Rosie’s Walk,’ we develop positional language and use a simple plan of our Nursery to find out where Rosie and the Fox have hidden!
In Early Years, we investigate different countries around the world with contrasting climates and features through non-fiction and stories and talk about the differences we have learnt about or seen in photos. This helps us to recognise that some environments are different to the one in which we live and develops place knowledge. We have fun looking at the map of the world, globe, atlases and seeing where our families originate from and where we have been on holiday. We teach our children about London as a capital city and develop basic locational knowledge of the UK using simple maps, pictures and discussion.
In Nursery the children enjoy following Barnaby Bear on his travels and through reading books, looking at photos, watching native dances and inviting visitors in to talk to us, our children recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.
Our seaside topic looks at features of a coastal environment and teaches vocabulary to prepare children for further exploration in this area in Year 1.
We enjoy investigating processes and changes in the natural world around us, including the seasons, the weather, animals and their habitats. Our children learn to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things. In Reception we talk about recycling, reusing and how we can help save our planet.
Our Early Years curriculum develops early geographical skills, locational and place knowledge and geographical vocabulary to equip our children for the next step of their learning.