Intent – What are we trying to achieve in our curriculum?

A high-quality geography education will 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 features and 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 enquiry helps children to learn about their immediate surroundings, the broader world and how the environment can affect their lives and determine decision making. The study of geography helps to develop a sense of identity and promotes responsible citizenship. Geography in Wolviston Primary School will make explicit links between sustainability, eco-schools and global citizenship.

We are a Rights Respecting school and aim to plan opportunities for children to understand and reflect on the ‘UN convention on the rights of the child (unicef). Teacher’s planning includes articles which relate to geography.

To be successful geographers children should:

  • be engaged and enjoy geography.
  • think of their own questions.
  • search for their own answers.
  • think about who they are and the effects of their actions on the rest of the world.
  • be able to use maps effectively to locate and identify themselves and locations further away.
  • be able to physically read and follow maps to travel from one place to another,eg,orienteering.


Implementation – how is our curriculum delivered?

In Early Years we teach geography as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. We relate the geographical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) that underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five – ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ – ‘The World’. The children are supported in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding to help them make sense of the world. They are beginning to gain knowledge and understanding of the world through:

  • being aware of their local environment and using appropriate vocabulary to describe observations and express opinions.
  • being aware of other places through stories, visits, photographs, artefacts and ICT.

For Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 geographical knowledge, skills and understanding are divided into four main categories:

  • locational knowledge
  • place knowledge
  • human and physical geography
  • geographical skills and field work

Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning.

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
  • 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) and 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.


Through the teaching of geography in our school we aim 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 :
  1. collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes.
  2. interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
  3. communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Teaching and Learning:

Our school uses the Cornerstones scheme of work. This incorporates the teaching of geography into a half-termly topic based approach. The scheme provides innovative ideas for the teaching of geography. Activities are challenging, motivating and extend pupils’ learning.

The use of a variety of enriching teaching approaches and of resources is encouraged through

  • teacher presentations, role play and story telling.
  • question and answer sessions, discussions and debates about topical issues – linked to the Global Goals.
  • individual and group research and presentations.
  • photographs, pictures, maps and globes.
  • ICT – digital mapping, google earth and aerial photographs.
  • fieldwork, visitors and visits to places of geographical interest especially in the local area.

We teach geography to all children, whatever their ability. Geography forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children. Through our geography teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We do this by setting appropriate learning challenges and responding to each child’s different needs.