Keeping great geography at the heart of our return

With all the talk of a “catch-up curriculum”, what is my priority upon our return to in-person learning? Keeping great geography at the heart of my lessons.

While I don’t want students to dismiss the past two months of learning as ‘irrelevant’, I also want to be mindful that some of the content covered simply won’t have been accessed to the desirable degree by all students.

Upon our return, I’m going to spend a couple of lessons ensuring students have grasped the key geographical ideas. I’m calling this “locking down your lockdown learning”. This document will form the starting point of these discussions.

PDF              PPT

If this document looks a little on the sparse side, I have decided not to explicitly revisit topics where not doing so would not be detrimental to future learning. Partly because I’m trying to think of the geographical journey that students are on, and I want them to remain enthused and excited about geography, not deflated about how much they’ve missed because their wifi wasn’t working.

But it’s also partly because I want to give students an opportunity to independently practice applying some of the geography in a classroom environment. Reviewing and practicing less but better is my “catch-up” approach.

To do this, I’ll be using lots of targeted questioning, low-stakes quizzes and opportunities for students to complete short extended writing pieces. The hope is that our ‘normal’ classroom routines won’t change all that much.

Essentially, I haven’t got a concrete plan for the first week or so, because I want to assess the level of understanding of these key ideas when I’m physically in the room. It’s the bit of teaching that is so effective but that has been so hard to replicate online. And I, for one, can’t wait.

Caiti Walter is in her seventh year of teaching and is Head of Humanities at Harris Academy Clapham. Caiti is currently a UCL-IoE Fawcett Fellow. Twitter: @EduCaiti

One thought on “Keeping great geography at the heart of our return

  1. Stephen Schwab says:

    Good ideas, the geography needs to be good & the paths to getting students there again in school. GASPC is ready to support all teachers in this cause.

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