What does Geography look like in our school?

What does it mean to be a geographer? 

Geography is a subject that is packed with excitement and wonder. It helps children gain a better understanding of our world’s people, places and environments, and the interactions between them. Our new Geography curriculum will allow children to develop a comprehensive understanding of local, regional and world environments. Through fieldwork, mapping and research, children will study these places in depth and gain an understanding of human and physical features. We want children to show an awareness of current global issues and the role they play to shape responsible and conscious citizens for the future. 

Geography helps children to understand how and why places are changing, and to better imagine, predict and work towards what the future may hold. Through our carefully tailored curriculum, children will develop into explorers. We aim to excite children about the possibilities of what the world has in store for them to explore and experience. We want to celebrate the diversity within our world through an understanding of the people, animals and environments within it.

Our Curriculum and High Quality Resources
EYFS Through our topics, environment, adult focused and child-led learning we seek to build on your child’s individual needs and interests and relate these to the seven areas of learning.  One of these is ‘Understanding the world’ which involves guiding children through making sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, and the environment.

  • Draw information from a simple map.
  • Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.
  • Explore the natural world around them.
  • Describe what they see, hear and feel whilst outside.
  • Recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live.
  • Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.
KS1 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 Geography – key stages 1 and 2 3 
  •  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.
KS2 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

At St Mary’s in Lowestoft we cover the main threshold concepts: 

  • Investigate places
    This concept involves understanding the geographical location of places and their physical and human features.
  • Investigate patterns
    This concept involves understanding the relationships between the physical features of places and the human activity within them, and the appreciation of how the world’s natural resources are used and transported.
  • Communicate geographically
    This concept involves understanding geographical representations, vocabulary and techniques.

Feedback and Assessment

Children receive precise and positive verbal feedback regarding their skills, what is good and next steps where applicable.

Our half termly plans which are published on the class page will share the teaching and learning focus in Geography with parents.  Feedback on progress and next steps will be given termly at parent’s evenings or more regularly in individual cases as needed.

Assessment and Tracking Progress
EYFS In EYFS we use the Development Matters Framework to assess children every term to inform their next steps.
KS1/KS2 In KS1 and KS2 we assess children after every term to see who is working towards and working at the national expected level. We also identify children who are working at greater depth in Geography. We use this formative assessment to inform the next steps for children with a particular focus on SEND and disadvantaged pupils. This information is passed on to the next teacher to ensure progression across the year groups.

Provision is made for those children who need additional support on an individual basis.


St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School
Kirkley Cliff, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR33 0DG
Tel: 01502 565384

Please contact the school office if you require a paper copy of the information on our website or wish to speak to our SENCo - Mr Lambert.