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Ethelbert Road

Community Primary School

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Field Work

Fieldwork at Ethelbert Road Primary School

At Ethelbert Road Primary School we understand that fieldwork is integral to Geography teaching.  We therefore include as many opportunities as we can to involve children in practical geographical research and enquiry. Throughout the whole school, our pupils complete at least one fieldwork experience each year. We ensure our fieldwork provides opportunities for our pupils to consolidate their knowledge and understanding and provide opportunities for our pupils to use their Geographical skills.

Fieldwork Opportunities

Our staff plan our fieldwork opportunities to include 3 phases:

The planning phase- This includes activities such as locating the destination of their fieldwork trip on maps, mapping their route for their fieldwork and completing health and safety assessments.
The fieldwork experience- The teachers then carry out investigations and observational tasks during the fieldwork experience using appropriate equipment including maps, compasses and measuring equipment.
The reflection phase- this is completed back in the classroom. Here children will complete activities that reflect their fieldwork experience, which may include presenting data collected, annotating photographs taken by the pupils on the experiences or creating information texts and presentations. We ensure children complete a wide variety of fieldwork experiences as evident below.

Year R – Term 6 – Beach Trip

Year 1 – Term 5 – Hunt around Faversham Town (Landmarks, human and physical features)

Year 2 – Term 5 – Trip to a farm – (Using compasses and maps)

Year 3 – Term 6 – Faversham Creek

Year 4 – Term 4 – Rivers workshop and local trip

Year 5/6 A – Term 6 – Faversham Creek

Year 5/6 B – Term 5 – Visit to local distribution centre (Journeys and Trade)

Fieldwork Overview



In EYFS, children begin to develop their geographical knowledge by exploring features of our school. Maps and atlases are used to investigate different places as we begin to compare and contrast different environments. Children have rich opportunities to make use of school grounds to enhance and apply their skills as geographers. Throughout the year, children observe and discuss the weather and seasonal changes. Children also learn about the different jobs which people do in our community. The children are encouraged to look at simple similarities and differences in the world around them and take time to explore the natural world through their play. During a fieldwork visit to a local beach, pupils are provided with opportunities for first-hand sensory exploration, observation and talk. They have opportunities to ask questions and follow their own interests. This early experience will provide an opportunity for language development as pupils can name and describe what they see in discussion with peers and adults.



Fieldwork and map skills are further developed in KS1 with a study of our local area, using cardinal points of a compass. Maps are introduced through familiar stories as a way to communicate what the place and space is like. Pupils retrieve and apply knowledge about human and physical features in their local context. Simple keys and features are identified and mapped locally to help begin to understand place, distance and scale. Pupils study a variety of places including Faversham Town (Year 1) and a local farm (Year 2); this helps them to connect different geographical concepts and gives them perspectives and opportunities to compare and contrast locations.



In lower KS2 the substantive and disciplinary knowledge of compass points is utilised to support a study of the UK, focusing on regions, counties, landmarks and topography. This study demands analysis and pattern seeking to identify the features of the UK. Further retrieval studies are designed to support conceptual fluency around physical and human features. The children will also undertake a study of Faversham Creek (Year 3). This topic will include a fieldwork visit.

Further studies are undertaken to elaborate fieldwork and map skills through a sharper focus on OS maps. Pupils elaborate and expand their understanding of human and physical features and apply it to the study of rivers (Year 4).

Further fieldwork and map skills are introduced to enrich pupils’ disciplinary knowledge of locations and places. Cultural awareness and diversity are taught specifically within learning modules. Examples include a study of Europe (Year 3), as well as a study of the USA (Year 4). A deliberately planned study focusing on the environmental regions draws attention to climate regions and is the precursor to studying biomes in UKS2.



In upper KS2, the study of 4 and 6 figure grid references supports prior learning of reference systems and brings an increased accuracy to mapping and fieldwork skills. Again, this knowledge is designed to be interrelated and connected to the retrieval study of biomes and environmental regions. Terrain is studied through contour lines, map skills and fieldwork. More advanced mapping skills are studied and applied, with pupils using the accumulation of knowledge skilfully to analyse distribution and relationships. Route finding and decoding information through maps offers challenge through increasingly complex orienteering and mapping tasks.

Pupils take part in geographical analysis using patterns and comparison of both human and physical processes as well as the features present in chosen locations. This abstract concept is made concrete through studying and comparing Scandinavia and South America to regions of the UK (Year 5/6 A and B). Fieldwork visits to Wingham Wildlife Park (Amazon Rainforest), Faversham Creek and a local distribution centre are implemented.