Buyers Guide: How to Choose a Geography Scheme of Work
A new subject lead with a budget? Or have you been tasked with turning around geography progress in your school? This buyer's guide will introduce you to the many different schemes of work available for teaching primary geography, and offer some guidance as to how to select the best one for your school.
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Like the rest of our guides to choosing schemes for primary subjects, let's first talk about budget. Are you buying the scheme as an individual teacher from your own pocket, or are you buying on behalf of the school from a central budget? This is probably the first determiner on what suits your needs.
If the former, consider a monthly subscription-based scheme. Some of them may lack the CPD and subject expertise of the larger schemes, but they offer fantastic value for money as the subscription generally means you have access to other subjects too (depending on the tier you subscribe at). On our Geography page, you can see that CGP, Hamilton Trust and Twinkl all offer subscription based memberships that also include access to other core and foundation subjects. Indeed, if you have a subscription to one of these services already it’s worth browsing their respective geography resources to see if they meet your needs first.
If you’re an individual teacher - or a school looking to add to a CPD library - it’s also worth looking into buying individual books that have geography planning within. These can work out as quite cost effective (and no passwords to remember like for the subscription sites!). Although be mindful that as they’re books they won’t be updated as much like the resources subscription services above. Scholastic have their 100 Geography Lessons series available in three separate books; years 1/2, years 3/4, years 5/6 as well as a separate teachers planning guide. Bloomsbury has Teaching Primary Geography from their popular Curriculum Basics series too.
Now we move onto schemes which are dedicated to geography, and often more in-line with the budget for a school buying centrally rather than an individual teacher. For examples of geography specific schemes, check out Odzzizi or B&C Educational’s The Key to the National Curriculum. The larger educational publishers also have fantastic dedicated geography offerings; Primary Geography from Pearson, Rising Stars Geography from Hodder, Primary Connected Geography from Collins, and if you’re an international school it’s worth checking out Oxford University Press’ Oxford International Primary Geography.
Many of these will be on the higher end of the budget scale, but generally are more comprehensive and cost effective if you’re purchasing for a whole school. They’ll also often come with geography specific CPD opportunities (sometimes included in the price, sometimes for an additional cost) as well as onboarding support and initial staff training.
With the above considerations, it’s also worth thinking about the level of geography expertise in your school already. Some schools use a scheme more than others because that subject has no staff champions or specialists in their school. Other schools may have a particularly passionate geography lead who’s tasked with planning geography for the whole school. In this instance, supplementary resources - like those included with resource subscription sites - may suffice as opposed to a dedicated geography scheme.
Whatever your requirements, make sure you browse the many different options available on our Geography page, and please get in touch if you’d like some further guidance on choosing the right scheme for your school.