Geography

Scoil Cholmcille,
Kilmacrennan,
Geography Plan.

Introductory statement and Rationale

Introductory Statement
As part of our policy renewal schedule, our Geography Plan is due for renewal before Summer 2013. We invite any submissions or observations in this regard.

Rationale
Geography helps the children to focus on their immediate world around them as well as broadening their horizons to the wider world. It was decided to focus on this.
To benefit teaching and learning in our school
To conform to principles outlined in the primary curriculum
To review the existing plan for geography in light of the 1999 Primary School Curriculum.

Vision and Aims

Vision
The plan reflects the school’s characteristic spirit (ethos) which encourages all children to respect their environment both immediate and global and to nurture and foster it for future generations.

Aims
We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for Geography.
To develop knowledge and understanding of local, regional and wider environments and their interrelationships.
To encourage an understanding and appreciation of the variety of natural and human conditions on the Earth.
To develop empathy with people from diverse environments and an understanding of human interdependence.
To develop the ability to use a range of communicative methods, especially those concerned with the development of graphicacy.
To encourage the development of a sense of place and spatial awareness
To encourage the development of caring attitudes and responsible behaviour towards the environment, and involvement in the identification, discussion, resolution and avoidance of environmental problems.
To develop and understanding of appropriate geographical concepts.

This Geography plan will be addressed under the following headings.

Curriculum Planning:

Strands and stand units
Skills development
Children’s ideas
Approaches and methodologies
Linkage and integration
Assessment and record keeping
Children with different needs
Equality of participation and access
Time table
Resources and ICT
Health and safety
Individual teachers’ planning and reporting
Staff development
Parental involvement
Community links

Strands and strand units

Teachers are familiar with the strands/strand units/content objectives for the relevant class level and have organised the units in pairs class groups as per the curriculum.
Infant classes pp 17 – 27
First and second classes pp 29 – 43
Third and Fourth classes pp 45-61
Fifth and sixth classes pp 63-84

There is continuity and progression in the geography programme from class to class.
Checks are made to avoid gaps and undue repetition between classes.
From 3rd to 6th classes, locations are agreed for the strand unit people living and working contrasting part of Ireland
In the strand unit people and other lands, one location in Europe and one locaton in another part of the world are agreed per year from 3rd to 6th classes.
Opportunities are provided for individual teachers to develop a sense of place for either national or international locations of interest to them.

Skills and concepts development

steps are taken to ensure that there is a balance between skills development and the acquistion of knowledge throughout the programme.
Strategies are used by each class to develop the child’s skills and concepts development under the three headings.
A sense of place and space
Maps, globes and graphical skills
Geographical investigation skills

Children’s ideas

Children’s ideas of place and space are used as a starting point for all geography activities.
We find out what children know already by discussion work and allowing them to bring photos and other memorabilia from home.
Some of the strategies used to find out these ideas are – Talk and discussion; questioning; listening; problem – solving tasks; drawings; teacher designed tasks and tests.

Approaches and methodologies

The key methodologies of the Primary Curriculum used as part of the geography programme are:
Active learning
Problem solving
Developing skills through content
Talk and discussion
Co-operative learning
Use of the environment

Teachers are following the recommended sequence for geography – local, regional, national, European and global and then reflecting it back to their own location
Approaches and methodologies used in learning about the environment include fieldwork, exploratory trails, photographs.
Fieldwork is incorporated into the geography programme as classes go out into the college grounds on a regular basis to examine an aspect of work
Approaches and methodologies used to investigate human environments include fieldwork, surveys, photographs, artefacts, interviews, and environmental audit.
Approaches and methodologies used to investigate natural envrionmetns include, fieldwork, trails, photographs.
Approaches and methodologies used to investigate about other places include artefacts, atlases, globes, interviews, photographs, school twinning.
Mapping skills and mapping concepts are developed as part of the geography programme. Pupils have access to local maps, plans, photographs, internet etc.
Class teachers select maps, globes, and atlases to be used in the school. These are reviewed each year to ensure they are up to date.

Linkage and integration

Linkage
There are opportunities to link one strand with another strand in the geography programme.
Strands are linked using a thematic approach.

Integration
Discovery and discussion activities integrate geography with the other SESE subjects – history and science
Art, Craft, Music, English, Maths, Irish and PE activities are integrated with geography.
This integration is planned and organised by the class teacher
Theme based activities are used to support integration

Assessment and record keeping

Teachers assesses the child’s knowledge and understanding of environment matters, the acquisition of geographical skills and the development of attitutes.
Assessment tools used to gather information about a child’s progress are
Teacher observation
Teacher designed tasks and tests
Work samples and projects

Children with different needs

Teachers support and ensure the participation of children with special needs.
Classes are organised and adapted to include children who may have a physical disabilities i.e. large lens for children seeing difficulties.
Children with exceptional ability/interest in geography are encouraged and supported by use of project work and IT.
Children who were born or have lived in other countries contribute to the geography programme by telling the class about their homeland.

Equality of participation and access

Equal opportunities are given to boys and girls to participate in classes and activities.
Boys and girls have equal opportunities to experience all strands
The SNA is used to assist a child experiencing autism
Children whose first language is not English are helped by other class members and the teacher gives as much assistance as is practicable.

Intercultural
The geography class is used as an opportunity to integrate the culture of all
The geography programme is used in our school celebrates difference as well as promoting cultural awareness

Organisational Planning

Timetable
Time is allocated at each class level for geography for the S.E.S.E allocation as per the guidelines for the Primary School Curriculum.
Time is blocked for SESE according to the topic or theme being covered i.e cross curriculur integration
Discretionary curriculum time is used occasionally for SESE

Resources and ICT
An inventory of resources is available for geography. Teachers have reference and resources material appropriate to their class in their classrooms.
Resources are purchased both centrally and by individual teachers as material is needed and requested funding comes from the PTA
Some additional resources or materials are needed. These are on a separate list to be acquired as needed.

ICT
ICT is used in the geography programme, e.g use of digital camera, internet, CD-ROMs, DVD’s/videos, programmes for word processing or data handling.
Some appropriate software is currently available in the schoolE mail can be used to contact other schools i.e QMS, interpretative centres, industries, meteorological agencies, embassies, charities and NGO’s that focus on development work.
There is a code of practice to ensure safe internet usage. Teachers familiarise themselves with material on websites prior to use by the children and there is ongoing monitoring of these sites.

health and safety

Procedures for Health and Safety issues pertain to activities i.e fieldtrips, handling equipment etc are in line with the school’s Health and Safety Policy

Individual teachers’ planning and reporting

The whole school plan and the curriculum documents for geography will provide information and guidance to individual teachers for their long and short term planning.
Teachers will plan using the strands and strand units. A thematic approach will be used occasionally.
The Cuntal Mionsuil will serve in reviewing and developing the whole school plan/individual preparation for following years. Copies will be kept in the office.

Staff Development

Teachers have access to reference books, resource materials and websites dealing with geography
School personnel can research new approaches and methodologies. They can arrange for opportunities to try to out resources on a pilot basis and assess whether or not they should be purchased.
There is appropriate geography courses available during the summer and teachers are encouraged to attend.
Teachers are encouraged to share the expertise acquired at these courses.
Time is allocated at staff meetings to discuss aspects of the geography curriculum.
Teachers can avail of internal and/or external expertise to inform and upskill the school community in these areas.

Parental involvement

Parents are encouraged to be involved in supporting the geography plan by helping with homework, projects and sharing their expertise with a class.
Parents can support the child in fostering an interest in local, regional, national and European and global geography by bringing them to sites of interest, reading literature with them and watching special interest programmes on TV.
Special events are held to focus on the school’s SESE curriculum

Community links

Members of organisations/individuals in the community that support the school’s geography programme i.e The Leprosy Mission, Goal, Amnesty International, Trocaire, Mission to Seafarers.
Hampers are given to local charities i.e Junior Infants and Second Class.

Success criteria
This plan will make a difference to the teaching and learning of geography in our school
We will know that the plan has been implemented by
Teachers’ preparation based on this plan
Procedures outlined in this plan consistently followed

We will know that the plan has achieved its aim by
Teacher/parent feedback
Class check lists
Children’s feedback
Inspectors’ suggestions/reports
Second level feedback

The plan has promoted the key considerations when implementing the geography programme
Geography is about developing a sense of space and place
Children’s ideas of place are used as the starting point
Knowledge and skills are equal importance
The primary resource for geography is the environment, starting with the local, then regional national, European and global

Implementation

Roles and Responsibilities

The staff, pupils and the B.O.M of Kilmacrennan National School support the plan.

Time frame

The plan was implemented in 2009

Review

This plan will be reviewed in 2013.

Review and Ratification

The Geography Policy was formulated by the principal and staff approved by the Board of Management of Kilmacrennan National School on

_______________
Date

Chairperson of the Board of Management _______________________

This plan will be reviewed in 2013

  • School Holidays

    • Halloween Break 2017
      Closing on Fri 27th Oct; re-opening on Mon 6th Nov
    • Christmas Holidays
      School closes on Fri 22nd Dec 2017 and will re-open on Mon 8th Jan 2018.
    • Feb Mid-term 2018
      Closed on Thurs 15th & Fri 16th Feb 2018
    • Easter Holidays 2018
      Closing for Easter Holidays on Fri 23 March & re-opening on Mon 9 April 2018.
    • May Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 7th May 2018.
    • June Bank Holiday 2018.
      The school is closed on Mon 4th June 2018.
    • Provisional Summer Closure 2018
      Provisional date for Summer Holidays is Fri 22nd June 2018.

      Please note that the above dates are subject to change.

      In the event of unforeseen closures, the Board of Management may use the first three days of the Easter Holidays to catch up on missed school days.