Purpose of study

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.


  • 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.

Prior learning

Prior learning

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Know and talk about what grownups do. Can talk about where they live.

Interested in the different jobs that grown ups do, like fire fighters and doctors

Talk about how things, like flowers or buildings look the same or look different.

Know about similarities and differences in relation to places.


To ask simple geographical questions e.g. what is it like to live in this place.

To use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its counties, continents and oceans studied at this key stage.

To ask and respond to geographical questions e.g. Describe the landscape. Why is it like that? How is it changing? What do you think about that? What do you think it might be like if…continues?

To understand and use a widening range of geographical terms e.g. specific topic vocabulary – contour, height, valley, erosion, deposition, transportation, headland, volcanoes, earthquakes etc.

Talk about my home and the places that I know like the park, the shops and the library. Ask questions about the animals/ trees I see.

Talk about the features of own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.


To explain the main features of a hot and cold place.

To use simple compass directions (N,E,S,W) and locational and directional language e.g. near and far; left and right to describe location of features and routes on a map.

To analyse evidence and draw conclusions e.g. make comparisons between locations using aerial photos/pictures e.g. population, temperatures etc.

To measure straight line distances using the appropriate scale.

Talk about plants and animals that are of interest.

Know that the environment and living things are influenced by human activity.


To use simple observational skills to study the geography of the school and its grounds.

To 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.

To recognise that different people hold different views about an issue and begin to understand some of the reasons why.

To explore features on OS maps using 6 figure grid references.


Describe some actions which people in their own community do that help to maintain the area they live in.


To use simple maps of the local area e.g. large scale, pictorial etc.

To devise a simple map and use and construct basic symbols in a key.

To explain how people's lives vary due to weather.

To plan the steps and strategies for an enquiry.



To name some of the main towns and cities in the United Kingdom.

To use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of own school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.

To communicate findings in ways appropriate to the task or for the audience.

To recognise the different shapes of continents



To name a few towns in the south and north of the UK.

To consider how people often ‘spoil’ the area or make it better.

To describe how volcanoes are created.

To demonstrate knowledge of features about places around him/her and beyond the UK.



To use locational and directional language e.g. near and far: left and right) to describe the location of features and routes.

To name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans.

To understand and use a widening range of geographical terms e.g. specific topic vocabulary-meander, floodplain, location, industry, transport, settlement, water cycle etc.

To carry out research to discover features of cities and villages.



To make simple maps and plans e.g. pictorial place in a story.


To use correct geographical words to describe a place and the things that happen there.

To name areas of origin of the main ethnic groups in the UK and in own school.



To understand how some places are linked to other places e.g. roads, trains.

To name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom. 

To describe how earth quakes are created.

To identify where countries are within Europe; including Russia.



To describe seasonal weather changes. 

To name the main cities of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

To use basic geographical vocabulary such as cliff, ocean, valley, vegetation, soil, mountain, port, harbour, factory, office.

To recognise that people have differing quality of life living in different locations and environments.



To explain what they might wear if they lived in a very hot or a very cold country.

To find where they live on a map of the UK.

To make more detailed fieldwork sketches/diagrams

To explain why people may choose to live in a village rather than a city



To name, describe and compare familiar places.

To name, locate and identify characteristics of the seas surrounding the United Kingdom.

To use fieldwork instruments e.g. camera, rain gauge.

To know how the locality is set within a wider geographical context.



To name key features associated with a town or village, e.g. factory, detached house, semi-detached house, terrace house.

To describe some of the features associated with an island.

To use and interpret maps, globes, atlases and digital/ computer mapping to locate countries and key features.

To name and locate counties of the UK.



To link own homes with other places in the same local community.

To identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the UK and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator ad the North and South Poles.

To name the two largest seas around Europe.

To locate and name some main islands that surround the UK.



To know about some present changes that are happening in the local environment e.g. At school.

To make plausible predictions about what the weather may be like in different parts of the world.

To use four figure grid references.

To list six cities in the UK and locate them on a map.



To suggest some ideas for improving the school environment.

To use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season ad weather.

To use 8 points of a compass.

To describe human features of UK regions, cities and/or counties.



To use simple fieldwork to study the geography of the school

To describe key features of a place, using words like, beach, coast, forest, hill, mountain, ocean, valley.

To identify where countries are within the UK and key topographical features.

To explain why people are attracted to different cities.




To use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop.

To name and locate largest cities of the UK.

To understand the effect of landscape features on the development of a locality.




To say what they like and don’t like about own locality and another locality like the seaside.

To identify physical and human features of the locality.

To describe how people have been affected by changes in the environment.




To understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the UK and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.

To explain why a locality has a certain physical features.

To explain how a locality has changed over time with reference to physical features.




To describe a place outside Europe using geographical words.

To explain about weather conditions/patterns around the UK and parts of Europe.

To explain about key natural resources e.g. water in the locality.




To explain how the jobs people do may be different in different parts of the world.

To recognise there are similarities and differences between places.

To accurately measure and collect information (e.g. rainfall, temperature, wind speed, noise levels etc.)




To explain what facilities a town or village might need.

To develop an awareness of how places relate to each other.

To explore weather patterns around parts of the world.





To name and located the capital cities of neighbouring European countries.

To know about the wider context of places –region, country






To know the difference between the British Isles, Great Britain and UK.






To understand why there are similarities and differences between places.


Geography supports spiritual development by promoting a sense of wonder and fascination with the physical and human world. An understanding of scale is an important aspect of Geography and how small changes in climate can have far reaching consequences. Understanding that all life is linked together and create the processes that make Earth the only known inhabited planet.


Geography supports moral development by looking at a range of moral issues such how the development of cites have put pressure on wildlife. We cover moral issues of an ever increasing population and the different approaches taken by countries to tackle the problem. We explore issues of poverty and the moral dilemma of importing food and the consequences of it on global warming.


Geography supports social development because social issues are common themes within geography. Children discuss issues such as global warming with an emphasis on how they can make a difference by making small changes to their lifestyles.


Geography supports cultural development by helping children to understanding different cultures. Through geography children look at how different cultures and beliefs can impact on the environment and human issues. Children look at different countries and are introduced to their customs and traditions allowing pupils to develop their humility and an understanding of the world as a global community.