Geography excellence gains top gold award for Knowsley

YOU do not need to go all over the world to see extraordinary things – just go down to Knowsley Junior School at Springhead.

The school has become the first in Oldham to gain a Primary Geography Quality Mark (PGQM) Award at gold standard – and at the first time of applying.Francesca Stewardson, head of geography, has spent the last 12 months collating evidence of the school’s commitment to learning about geography both locally and the world.

The 120-page document outlines their numerous projects and achievements over the year, including a new after school Geography Club that was set up.

Pupils have enjoyed making flags out of different materials, which now form a colourful display in the school hall, as well as creating geography-related games, a jigsaw of a map of the world and word-searches.

The school has also held various themed days throughout the year looking at cultures and lifestyles in different countries and eras.

And they have also learned about a healthy planet and got involved in local projects such as fundraising for Oldham Mountain Rescue Team after the recent moorland fires.

Delighted Ms Stewardson said: “I was originally only aiming for the bronze award as it was our first year of applying but decided to go for silver. But the moderators said we had done so well we deserved gold!”

Feedback from the impressed moderators included: “We were pleased to see that you prioritised geography in Y3 to encourage a strong start for pupils

“Pupils experience fieldwork which is thorough and well planned. We also liked the external projects such as potato growing and the Goldsworthy-inspired art.

“The success of the Geography Club was encouraging to see, as was the use of the MFL colleagues’ expertise to help plan some European Day of Languages activities.

“We liked the use of a local flooding event to promote the importance of the lived geography experiences of pupils, along with the recent fires on Saddleworth Moor.

“You have truly embedded geography across the whole school, and we are delighted, in recognition of all your hard work over the last few years, to be able to award you the PGQM at the Gold level.”

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