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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Catholic
Primary School


Geography Curriculum

"The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map.  It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures ... and in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together."

Barack Obama


It is our intention that Geography will inspire pupils with 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.

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.

We aim for our children to gain confidence and practical experiences of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills in a variety of ways, settings and contexts.


Our geography curriculum is carefully planned to ensure continuity and progression and a sound grasp of knowledge. Regular links are made between different aspects of the children’s learning and there is a high volume of deliberate practice to ensure that children can remember and retain knowledge and then apply their learning.

Children will begin by learning about people, culture and communities and the natural world in Reception. They will build on this in Year 1 through the explicit teaching of subject knowledge associated with locational knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork. In year 2, place knowledge is introduced. Children will apply this knowledge through a range of units of work to practice ‘thinking like a geographer’. As children progress through the school they will gradually build up experience in the depth of knowledge and application of these concepts. Throughout the curriculum, children will revisit, make links and practice in order to embed their knowledge.

Our school driver, Community, can be seen in our Geography curriculum through our work on local geography and local visits.

Our second school driver, Whole Child, is central to the key skills we focus on and develop in Geography such as being ambitious, resilient, knowledgeable, reflective, collaborative and environmentally aware.

Our final school driver, Communication, is developed in Geography in a variety of ways.  Children will gain experience of presentations to the whole class, taking part in debates, creating fact files and meeting experts in their field presenting children with a range of purposes and audiences for developing those key communication skills.


Through our curriculum and quality first teaching, children will learn and retain knowledge about the world around them. They will be able to make links across their learning and share their knowledge using rich, technical, precise vocabulary. Children will be interested in the world around them and its people. They will be curious and be experienced at ‘thinking like a geographer’.

When the children leave in Year 6, they will leave us prepared and ready to continue developing their knowledge and skills in KS3 and beyond.

This is what we do:

Geography is taught as a distinct subject regularly throughout the year. Children study a variety of units of work over their time in school. Topics are revisited and links are made between the areas studied.

This is what you might typically see:

Children using ambitious vocabulary and making links between aspects of their learning. A range of modelled, guided and independent practice. Children using knowledge organisers and knowledge notes to support their learning.

What a geography lesson looks like in our school:

Each lesson begins by connecting to previous learning. The knowledge note for the lesson is introduced which includes the lesson question. Children then experience a range of activities in order to answer the lesson question. Lessons will include demonstration, guided learning and independent learning. Each lesson ends with a quiz. Children are encouraged to refer to knowledge organisers and knowledge notes throughout their lessons.

Every lesson must include:

A lesson question, modelled, guided and independent practice.

This is how we know how well our pupils are doing:

Children will be able to use a rich, ambitious vocabulary to discuss their learning. Children will complete a cumulative quiz every lesson. Children will make links between different areas of their learning.

This is how we support pupils:

Adjustments will be made for children needing extra support. This may be in the form of adapted resources, small group adult support or additional scaffolding.