Member of Staff Responsible: Mrs Terri Fletcher

Review Date: September 2020


A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. 


The national curriculum for Geography aims to ensure that all pupils:  

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes  
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time  
  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:  
  • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes  
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)  
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length. 


Our curriculum will be implemented to ensure that children receive the following: 

Key Stage 1  

Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.  

Pupils should be taught to:  

Locational knowledge  

  • Name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans. 
  • Name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas. 

Place knowledge 

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.  

Human and physical geography 

  • Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles.  
  • use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:  
  • Key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather.  
  • Key human features, including city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop. 

Geographical skills and fieldwork  

  • Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage. 
  • Use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far; left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map Geography 
  • Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key. 
  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment. 

Key Stage 2  

Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.   

Pupils should be taught to:   

Locational knowledge  

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia), North, and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities. 
  • Name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.  
  • Identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night). 

Place knowledge  

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America. 

Human and physical geography  

  • Describe and understand key aspects of:  
  • Physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle. 
  • Human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water. 

Geographical skills and fieldwork  

  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied. 
  • Use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world. 
  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

Geography is taught within thematic curriculum topics, allowing children to use knowledge and skills from a wide range of other curriculum areas. Children will be given the opportunities to investigate and explore different types of equipment and develop specific skills linked to aspects of Geography skills and fieldwork. 

Curriculum Organisation 

In order to fulfil our intent, Geography is planned for across the key stages and to fall in line with statutory guidelines. Geography objectives are planned carefully around the children’s interests, providing opportunities for the development of skills and integration with other subjects. Learning activities are sequenced to ensure progression and taught through direct knowledge and skills teaching.  


Planning for Geography is embedded through each thematic curriculum topic knowledge, skills and concept organiser. Class teachers will embed skills through projects linked to the content of each topic covered. We ensure, where possible, we make use of the local environment and the cross-curricular links within topics and year groups. Our topic knowledge, skills and concept organisers give more detailed information on learning expectations throughout the creative curriculum topic and there are links to other subject areas based on the objectives in the curriculum mind map. The Geography subject leader keeps and reviews and monitors these organisers. The class teacher is responsible for annotating the thematic mind maps and KSC organisers (medium-term plans) to reflect how the process is going. These plans list the specific learning objectives of each lesson and reflect differentiated tasks based on the teacher’s assessment of the children’s ability. 


The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in geography lessons. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in geography. We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our geography lessons. We believe in whole-class teaching methods and combine these with enquiry-based research activities. We encourage children to handle artefacts and to ask as well as answer geographical questions. We offer them the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures, aerial photographs, geographical footage and we enable them to use IT in geography lessons where this serves to enhance their learning. Children take part in role-play and discussions, and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the children in ‘real’ geographical activities, e.g. research of a local environmental problem, visiting relevant sites and carrying out fieldwork. We recognise the fact that we have children of differing ability in all our classes, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies, which are differentiated by task, expected outcome and/or support from peers or adults.  


Assessment is used to inform future planning and to provide information about individuals throughout their time in this school. Assessment techniques will ensure that teachers assess the on-going design process and not just the finished products or outcomes.   

These techniques should include:  

  • Teachers’ observation of pupils  
  • Teacher – pupil discussion and teacher questioning  
  • Pupils’ drawings, notes, models, comments and written work  
  • Artefacts made by pupils  
  • Pupils’ on-going analysis of their achievements  
  • Photographs of children engaged in the design process 
  • Use of ICT as appropriate

When reviewing the children’s progress in Geography, teachers must consider: 

  • Knowledge, skills and understanding  
  • Ability to develop, plan and communicate ideas 
  • Ability to work with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products  
  • Ability to evaluate processes and products 
  • Knowledge and understanding of materials and components  

 We assess children’s work in Geography by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons. On completion of a piece of work (the outcome), the teacher marks the work and comments as necessary, moving the children forward. At the end of each term, teachers will complete a thematic curriculum assessment, through which the Geography skills and knowledge taught so far will be stated. Teachers will record the name of the children who are on target, those who are exceeding and those who require further support through Target Tracker. This assessment will be given to the Geography coordinator to analyse and review.  

Health and Safety  

Health and safety is vital when undertaking any Geography project. Risk assessments are completed for all tools and are stored on the schools computer shared area for all staff members to access, before setting up any equipment. It is the responsibility of all staff to establish safe practice in the classroom. A set of safety guidelines for design and technology can be referred to in the Health and Safety School Policy.