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Geography

Aims 

Gorefield Primary School’s curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils: 

Key Stage 1 

  • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to and describe key physical and human features of locations.   
  • Use world maps, atlases and globes. 
  • Use simple compass directions. 
  • Use aerial photographs. 
  • Use fieldwork and observational skills. 

Key Stage 2 

  • 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: settlements, land use, economic activity including trade   
  • links and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water supplies
  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied 
  • Use the eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and keys (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build knowledge of the United Kingdom and the world
  • Use a wide range of geographical sources in order to investigate places and patterns 
  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs and digital technologies 

These are taught through a variety of contexts that are sequenced on our long-term plan. We acknowledge that the teaching of location knowledge is key. This is more than names and labels - it is the culture, traditions, stories of people to give a depth to the sense of place. 

Curriculum Organisation 

Following on from the KS1 content which focusses on basic subject-specific vocabulary and skills to understand locational awareness, the curriculum in KS2 extends children’s knowledge beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will comprise the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. Children are encouraged to capitalise on all the resources around them to investigate and research subjects themselves, as well as being guided with more teacher-led knowledge acquisition. 

Every year group receives three geography units per year which links with other subject areas, with each class concentrating on map work, focussing on the UK, European countries that include France and Poland as well as North and South America. The children’s relationship with the Essential areas of learning for Geography increase in complexity throughout the school. Each topic should last 6 weeks but can cross terms. A Knowledge Organiser is supplied to each child at the beginning of a topic – one copy for school use and another to be shared at home. 

Knowledge and Skills Progression 

By the end of KS1, children should have developed an understanding of the weather locally and around the world, be able to name and describe the continents of the world, understand what the UK is and human and physical features of it, understand the geographical features of the local area and compare this to North America. Children should be able to use maps, atlases, globes, aerial photographs and can locate countries/ continents studied.  

By the end of KS2, pupils should have developed locational and place knowledge about the world’s countries, with a focus on the UK, Europe and a region within North or South America. Their human and physical knowledge should encompass understanding land use and economic activity as well as rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle. Children should be able to use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe any features studied. There are strong cross-curricular links with maths in many of these geographical, fieldwork and map skills. 

Writing Genre Links 

There are many opportunities for sustained writing within a geography topic, covering fiction as well as non-fiction genres. Once information has been gathered and distilled, children can write newspaper reports, produce a piece of persuasive writing (e.g. Fairtrade – Is it fair?), compose instructional texts and write non-chronological reports. Fiction can take the form of diary entries, letters and stories, based on the knowledge acquired.