Moving the Early Learning Goal Posts: Geography
Ah yes, I’d heard there are new Early Learning Goals. But geography isn’t in the EYFS Framework, is it? Not explicitly, no. However, you will likely have been supporting your Early Years team with their understanding the world (UW) area of learning as a precursor to your KS1 and KS2 curriculum area, so it’s important you are aware of the changes. As of September 2021, new Early Learning Goals (ELGs), drawn from the updated 2021 EYFS Framework are in place. The development towards these goals is explored in greater detail in the new non-statutory Development Matters.
OK, but presumably they aren’t that different? Not hugely, no. The new ELGs that connect to geography are:
UW: People, Culture and Communities
- Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps
- Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps
UW: The Natural World
- Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants
- Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class
- Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter
OK, that was easy! Anything else I should be aware of? Yes, just one other thing: the new guidance for EYFS practitioners has removed the ‘exceeding’ categorisation for the EYFS Profile. However, this is for paperwork purposes only – an attempt to reduce the workload of teachers – not a removal of the need to challenge and extend able children. The DfE explains: “Teachers will be expected to continue to identify and stretch more able children.”
In a nutshell… Support Early Years teachers to reflect on and implement geographical exploration.
ADDED JUNE 2021
We summarise the key findings from Ofsted’s geography subject research review and list key features of ‘high-quality geography education’.
ADDED JUNE 2021
We have scoured the internet using our geography antennae to compile a comprehensive list of relevant sites for your perusal.
ADDED JAN 2021
We explore Ofsted’s subject deep dive and include sample questions for subject leaders.
Explore more of our geography articles here.
ADDED MARCH 2021
We explore the world of budgets and include some useful tips and links to get your spending on track.
ADDED DEC 2020
We explore quizzes, essays and vocAPPulary exercises as approaches to formative assessment in geography.
ADDED OCT 2020
We explore possible options for remote geography learning where bubbles and individuals are self-isolating.
UPDATED OCT 2020
While calls for a more diverse curriculum are not new, events this year have brought the issue back sharply into focus. We explore ways to make a meaningful, lasting change to our geography curricula, embedding diversity, and actively decolonising the curriculum.
ADDED AUG 2020
With a new academic year on the horizon, we explore keeping geography firmly on the timetable and adapting the curriculum and geographical experiences to embrace the ‘new normal’.
ADDED MARCH 2020
We explore the pros and pitfalls of creating progression documents for geography, including examples from both organisations and schools.