Geography Curriculum


This page is all about Geography and aims to provide information about:

  • The National Curriculum for Geography
  • Our Geography Curriculum

The National Curriculum says …

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 of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales and shaped, interconnected and change over time.

icon-geography

National Curriculum for Geography

Our teaching of this subject and the expectations we have of children are underpinned by the Programmes of Study set out in the National Curriculum. You can view the National Curriculum for this subject via the link below:

School Curriculum for Geography

Our Geography Curriculum is based on the National Curriculum.

Throughout the school, children will be taught:

  • about globally significant places, including land and water forms
  • about the human and physical features of the world, including continents, oceans, seas, mountains and rivers, and how they might have changed over time
  • to collect, analyse and present information in different ways, including through writing at length
  • to use and interpret diagrams, maps, globes and aerial photographs

Our Geography Curriculum is taught through discrete Geography lessons and Geography project work which usually relates to a topic or theme.

In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), the children will be taught:

  • to name and locate the world’s continents and oceans
  • name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom
  • to identify seasonal and daily weather pattern
  • to investigate the physical and human geographical features of the local area
  • specific vocabulary – beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, valley, season and weather
  • to use maps, atlases and globes, simple compass directions and directional language
  • use aerial photographs and plans to recognise landmarks and basic geographical features

The Key Topics and Themes in Key Stage 1 that include Geography teaching are:

  • Year 1 – You’ve Got Mail (Holiday Destinations)
  • Year 1 – Opposites (Seasons, hot and cold places, polar regions)
  • Year 1 – Homes and Gardens (local environment)
  • Year 2 – Materials (natural resources)
  • Year 2 – Capital Cities and Northenden
  • Year 2 – Life at Sea (Oceans and Seas)
  • Year 2 – Going Places (Holiday destinations around the world)

In Key Stage 2 (Years 3 – 6), the children will be taught:

  • about places beyond the local area, including the United Kingdom, Europe, North and South America
  • to locate the world’s countries and major cities
  • to name, locate and describe the geographical features of counties and cities of the United Kingdom
  • to understand geographical similarities and differences of different locations
  • describe and understand key aspects of physical (climate, river, mountains, earthquakes, land forms) and human (settlements, economic activity, natural resources) geography
  • use maps, atlases, globes and digital mapping to locate countries and describe geographical features
  • use the eight points of a compass, four- and six-figure grid references. symbols and keys (included on OS maps)
  • undertake fieldwork methods to observe. measure, record geographical features in the local and other areas studied

The Key Topics and Themes in Key Stage 2 that include Geography teaching are:

  • Year 3 – Volcanoes and Earthquakes
  • Year 3 – Mountains
  • Year 4 – National Parks and contrasting location (Castleton visit)
  • Year 5 – River Study
  • Year 5 – Yosemite National Park (USA)
  • Year 6 – Island Holidays (Isle of Man and St Lucia)
  • Year 6 – South America (Mayan Study linked with history)

Year Group Expectations

At the end of the year, we expect pupils to be able to:

Year 1

  • name the seven continents
  • recognise the features of the local area
  • recognise and name the features of a city
  • identify weather patterns in the United Kingdom
  • locate hot and cold places in the world in relation to the Equator, North and South Pol
  • recognise and identify key physical features: beach, cliff, coast, sea, ocean, river
  • identify different seasons
  • describe the weather in an area
  • use maps, atlases and globes to identify the UK and continents
  • use North, South, East and West compass directions
  • use locational and directional vocabulary to describe the location of features
  • use locational and direction vocabulary to describe routes
  • use aerial photographs and plans to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features
  • devise a simple map
  • record observations of the local area of simple maps, through observations drawings and in tables

Year 2

  • name and locate the seven continents
  • name and locate the five oceans
  • name, locate and identify characteristics of four countries, capital cities of the UK and the surrounding seas
  • recognise the physical features of a small area of a non-European country
  • recognise the human features of a small area of a  non-European country
  • identify weather patterns in the UK
  • locate hot and cold in the world in relation to the Equator, North and South Pole
  • recognise and identify key physical features: beach, cliff, cost, sea, ocean, river
  • describe the weather in an area
  • recognise and identify key human features : city, town, port, harbour
  • use maps, atlases and globes to identify the UK, its countries, its continents and oceans
  • use North, South, East and West compass directions
  • use locational and directional vocabulary to describe the location of features
  • use locational and directional vocabulary to describe routes
  • use aerial photographs and plans to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features
  • devise a simple map
  • record observations of the local area of simple maps, through observations drawings and in tables

Year 3

  • name and locate some of the countries of Europe
  • describe some of the key physical and human characteristics of the Alpine region
  • name and locate the counties and cities of the UK
  • name some of the key physical features of mountain areas
  • identify similarities and differences between the Alpine region and the local area
  • describe climate and vegetation in a region
  • describe and explain the formation of mountains
  • describe and explain the formation of volcanoes and earthquakes
  • describe settlement, land use and economic area in a region
  • use maps, atlases and globes to identify the regions and countries studied
  • use eight-point compass directions to locate places, e.g. NW, SE

Year 4

  • name and locate some of the world countries and cities of Europe
  • name and locate the Peak district National Park
  • name and locate other National parks of the UK
  • identify the human, physical and topographical characteristics of the Peak District
  • identify the land use patterns of the Peak District
  • explain how land use in the Peak District has changed over time 
  • identify the Equator, Northern and Southern hemispheres, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn
  • explain the significance of time zones
  • identify the similarities and differences between the Peak District and the local area
  • describe climate and vegetation of the Peak District
  • describe settlement, land use and economic activity in the Peak District
  • use maps, atlases and globes to identify the regions and countries studied
  • use eight-point compass directions to locate places, e.g. NW, SE
  • use four-figure grid references when using maps, including Ordnance Survey maps
  • recognise and use map symbols to learn about a region
  • use sketch maps to record observations about the region studied
  • use bar graphs and other charts to record and interpret geographical data

Year 5

  • locate the UK, North and South America on maps, atlases and globes
  • identify some of the key physical and human characteristics of a region of North American (Sierra Nevada)
  • identify some of the key physical, topographical and human characteristics of the Isle of Scilly
  • locate some of the counties of the UK
  • identify and name features related to coasts and rivers
  • explain how some features have changed over time
  • use latitude and longitude to locate places
  • identify the Northern and Southern Hemisphere and the Greenwich Meridian Line
  • identify climate and vegetation in the Sierra Nevada
  • describe and explain the formation of rivers
  • describe settlement, land use and economic activity in a region
  • describe how energy supplies are distributed in the local area
  • use eight points of the compass to describe locate and direction
  • use four- and six-figure grid references when using maps
  • use digital mapping to locate places
  • recognise and use map symbols and keys
  • use sketch maps to record learning and observations
  • use bar and line graphs to record and interpret data about the places studied

Year 6

  • locate the UK, countries of Europe (pre- and post-1940), of South America and the Caribbean on maps, atlases and globes
  • identify some of the key physical, topographical and human characteristics of the Isle of Man and St Lucia
  • locate some of the cities of the UK
  • identify some of the key physical and human features of Manchester
  • describe and explain how the features and land use in Manchester has changed over time
  • use latitude and longitude to locate places
  • identify the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn
  • identify the similarities and differences between the Isle of Man and St Lucia
  • describe climate and vegetation in a region
  • describe settlement, land use and economic activity in a region
  • use four- and six-figure grid references
  • recognise and use map symbols and keys to learn about a region
  • use digital mapping to locate places
  • use sketch maps to record observations and learning
  • use a variety of graphs and charts to record and interpret geographical data about the places studied