Geography overview

At Throckley Primary School, we are committed to providing a purposeful and empowering curriculum that fully prepares learners for the next steps in their school career and opens the doors to the wider world. Geography surrounds us and forms parts of our everyday life and through our geography curriculum we hope to broaden our pupil’s horizons by helping them to understand the community they live in, their interaction with the environment and the relationships between nations. Within geography, we wish to provoke curiosity through the use of enquiry-based learning to help deepen children’s understanding of the world around them and provide them with transferable skills (through our O.W.Ls) that can be used across the curriculum and outside of school.

Underpinning the curriculum at Throckley Primary School are our curriculum drivers which are:

  •          Understanding our place in the world- Pupils will explore the relationship between place and identity through their units of study and begin to explore and compare different cultures and landscapes around the world. Investigating the human and physical features of different landscapes will help pupils to uncover how our world is ever-changing. Sustainability will need to be at the forefront of children’s thinking and ideas when reflecting on their place in the world and making connections across continents will develop children’s understanding of my place, your place, our place. 
  •          Aspiring to achieve- Once children begin to contemplate their place in the world and how their actions influence man-made and natural aspects of the landscape, we aim to inspire children to achieve goals that will continue to make our lives sustainable and protect our planet. Through different skills taught and honed in their geography journey at Throckley Primary School, we hope they are able to use them to drive their achievements and set aspirations for their future.
  •          Broadening horizons- Geography gives children the perfect opportunity to explore and fall in love with the beauty of planet Earth. By participating in field studies of the local area and places further afield, children can develop an appreciation for both human and physical attributes locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. One day, we hope our pupils follow in the famous footsteps of explorers to broaden their horizons and consider their influence beyond Throckley.

To drive the learning and support children throughout their history journey at Throckley Primary, pupils will start to make connections across time, through our key concepts of: belonging, choice and influence.

When studying human geography, pupils will begin to consider different communities, cultures, economies and characteristics of places in order to feel a sense of belonging to a particular place. Choice is an important aspect of geography as it has underpins many key geographical concepts such as: why people live in particular place (by rivers, coastlines or mountains) and sustainability and the protection of our planet. Through this concept, children will be able to form judgements on choices that have already been made and determine their effect on the planet; this will help children to consider their choices in the future and how it could impact their environment. As children investigate different places and look at the characteristics associated with them, they will be able to unearth the influence this has on others. Additionally, physical processes in geography influence the surroundings such as weather patterns, tectonic plate movements, erosion, the water cycle and volcanic activity. We aim to reveal to children the interdependence of the world and that no place is stand alone; it is influenced by something or someone.

Subject Aims

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.

Subject Content

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

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. 

Significant People & Rich Stories

As pupils dive into their geography units, they will be greeted by significant people, from past and present, who have contributed to our understanding and knowledge of the world. Most of our information on our planet has been exposed by explorers who have travelled to new lands and discovered new customs. Pupils will identify the influence these people have had on the planet through research and reading rich stories. When studying different geography units, pupils will be introduced to a range of fiction and non-fiction books that link with their learning for the half term. This will allow pupils to explore their topic in a creative way and consider different perspectives on a global issue such as, global warm, habitats and plastic pollution.