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Our Curriculum


Geography plays a crucial role in understanding our world. It makes a vital contribution to our knowledge of the rapidly changing environmental and social challenges facing us and how we should tackle them. 
(Royal Geographical Society, 2019

Geography fires young people's curiosity about the world around them and their place within it. (Innovating with Geography website, QCA 2006).  

It continues to be a valued part of the curriculum at St. Mary & All Saints C.E. Primary School.


Curriculum Intent

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 framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

(National Curriculum in England: Geography Programmes of Study, 11 September 2013)


In line with the National Curriculum Objectives for Geography, our intent at St. Mary & All Saints is 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:
    • 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

(National Curriculum in England: Geography Programmes of Study, 11 September 2013)

As a curriculum subject that is able to bridge both the social and natural sciences, studying geography informs us about:

  • The places and communities in which we live and work
  • Our natural environments and the pressures they face
  • The interconnectedness of the world and our communities within it
  • How and why the world is changing, both globally and locally
  • How our individual and societal actions contribute to those changes
  • The choices that exist in managing our world for the future
  • The importance of location in business and decision-making

(Royal Geographical Society, 2022 2022


As well as being a worthwhile educational experience in its own right, geography provides an excellent vehicle to enrich the wider curriculum by giving children a real context for their learning. Geography is well-placed to make a significant contribution to the curriculum priorities of English, Mathematics and Science as well as wider aspects of the school curriculum including, but not limited to, History, Religious Education and Computing.


The distinctive characteristics of geography allow it to contribute to the wider curriculum by providing children with opportunities to:

  • Develop and extend their investigative and problem-solving skills, including skills in number and computing, inside and outside the classroom
  • Participate in a range of independent and collaborative learning experiences that extend their personal, social and study skills
  • Gain experiences that help them make connections between themselves, their communities and the wider world
  • Develop awareness and understanding of a range of peoples and cultures, and a respect for many different attitudes, views and beliefs
  • Recognise the need for a just and equitable society, and their own role in making this possible
  • Explore issues of environmental change and sustainable development, and develop the skills and attitudes necessary for active involvement as citizens.

Curriculum Implementation


Subject Content:


Children start on their geography education journey in the early years foundation stage (EYFS). Until 2021, the EYFS framework contained few references to geographical learning. The 2021 update includes many more. For example, the ‘people, culture and communities’ and ‘natural world’ strands set out much clearer, identifiable geographical knowledge that children are to learn. In other strands, there are opportunities for children to draw on geographical content. For example, they may develop their fine-motor skills when drawing plans and sketch maps. Crucially, in the early years, children begin to acquire some of the geographical vocabulary that they will build on through the rest of their schooling.

(Research Review Series: Geography, published by Ofsted, 17 June 2021)


Understanding the World

ELG: Past and Present

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Talk about the lives of the people around them and their roles in society;
  • Know some similarities and differences between things in the past and now, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Understand the past through settings, characters and events encountered in

Books read in class and storytelling.


ELG: People, Culture and Communities

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps;
  • Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been

Read in class;

  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

ELG: The Natural World

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Explore the natural world around them, making observations and drawing pictures of animals and plants;
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states of matter.


(Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage, published 31st March 2021, effective 1st September 2021)


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 in 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 8 points of a compass, 4- and 6-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.

(Geography programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 National curriculum in England, Department for Education, September 2013)

Geographical Vocabulary:

The use of an increasingly complex geographical lexicon begins with the EYFS where it includes words and phrases for simple directions (forwards, backwards) to locational language (near, far, above, below) and early technical language (map, globe, bridge, rain and traffic lights).  Exposure to new subject specific terms is achieved with each new topic encountered and is expected to be a cumulative process.  By the time the pupils leave the school at the end of year 6, they should be able to use a wide range of geographical terms (including deforestation, population, longitude and pollution) with both confidence and accuracy.


Get In Touch

  • Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield, Bucks, HP9 1RG

  • 01494 673762