Teacher reflection and response
The learning achievements that took place during this topic were evident throughout the variety of activities, day’s fieldwork to Brewood and in the children’s final work:
Persuasive Posters – Advertising Brewood or Perton as a place to live for a family moving into the area – linking with Literacy and ICT, with the main focus on geographical features in the village
PowerPoint with Action Buttons – ‘A Village Comparison – Brewood and Perton’. A map of Brewood with Action Buttons on the map to click onto giving more detail about that part of the village and how the geographical features compare to Perton.
- Interesting to read the children’s evaluations on the topic showing what they had learnt about a different place, not too far away from their own locality.
- When comparing places the children learnt not just to identify the differences but also note the similarities.
- Looking at a variety of maps helped to develop the children’s understanding about the location of a place e.g. nearest motorway, town etc.
- Fieldwork visit crucial for developing child’s conceptual understanding of a place – the changing character of the village e.g. ‘Gift Shop’ to attract tourists.
- Children were able to develop an awareness of different villages locally – although Brewood was only seven miles away there were many children who had not visited the village until the fieldtrip.
- Able to describe a rural village (Brewood) compared to an urban village (Perton).
- Development of geographical language during discussion.
- When comparing two villages the children discovered there are lots of similarities as well as differences.
Developing mapwork skills e.g. key, symbols, scale, location, direction:
- Drawing own maps showing route from Perton to Brewood.
- Using Google to work out the distance and travel time from Perton to Brewood.
- Children were also able to understand the time it would take to travel there by calculating it was ten minutes on the bus to Codsall for swimming and Codsall was half way between Perton and Brewood – therefore 20 minutes to Brewood.
- Compass directions during fieldwork activities: at each of the six places stopped on the geographical walk children used a compass to work out the direction of the church spire – a landmark in the village
- Maps and photographs were also used during the afternoon fieldwork activities to try and locate each place.
- Developing Likes and Dislikes of a particular place e.g. ‘I like the sounds but I don’t like the nettles!’ – Scott.
- Discussion with peers to encourage geographical thinking and language about how a village can progress and change.
- How tourism can affect a village e.g. Scott reflected on the Gift Shop.
Did Geography Happen?
- Geography certainly did happen even though the topic had a strong cross-curricula link.
- Day’s fieldwork enabled the topic to ‘come alive’ and become real for the children.
- Learning out of the classroom – visiting the contrasting locality and even a walk around the local area to identify features is most important in order to develop geographical learning for the children.
Developing the unit of work
- Children make video reports about their visit to Brewood and how it compares to Perton e.g. focus on comparing similar and different features in both villages.
- Interview members of the public for their likes and dislikes about the village, are they residents or visitors, whether they use the village facilities e.g. shops, services etc.
- Children finding out more about the history of Brewood.
- Improvements and changes to the village – what will the village be like in 50 or 100 years time?
- Independent learning – what do the children want to find out more about?
“I was very pleased with children’s work which showed development from original mind maps, resulting in progression in their geographical learning.
- Children were able to distinguish between physical and human features and note important landmarks in each village.
- All the children worked with enthusiasm to the best of their ability.
- Children thoroughly enjoyed creating their persuasive posters and PowerPoint Presentations with hyperlinks, which they then presented to the rest of the class.
- Although links were made to other subjects – Literacy, ICT, Art and Craft, Geography remained the main focus with the children discussing, drawing and writing about different geographical features, similarities and differences between the two villages and undertaking a variety of mapwork and fieldwork activities.”