Subject Leader – Mrs Lowe

At St. Mary’s and St. Benedict’s Primary School, our high-quality Geography curriculum aims to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum in an exciting, inclusive and challenging way. We follow the National Curriculum objectives for Geography and have adapted the curriculum to suit our needs as a school.

Geography teaching should equip children with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with an understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

We aim to inspire children to think about the wonderfully diverse world in which we live in. The Geography education at our school should inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Our Geography Curriculum

In Key Stage 1 children develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They learn 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.

In Key Stage 2 children extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom, Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

In our Reception class our children work within the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework so Geography is taught through Understanding the World (People and Communities/ The World). Throughout the year, we cover these areas through our topics as children work towards achieving their Early Learning Goals. Children learn about our local neighbourhood, people and places of the world and changes in the seasons.


Our Geography curriculum is progressive and knowledge-based. Pupils develop an understanding of key substantive concepts which are revisited throughout their school career. Our chosen Substantive concepts are: Settlements and Land Use; Raw materials, good and trade; Population and Migration; Landforms and how they change; Environments and hot they change and Weather and Climate.

As the children revisit each geographical concept, they build on previously taught learning, making connections and developing their understanding and knowledge of each concept.

When planning each topic, ‘disciplinary concepts’ are planned for, focusing on the specific knowledge and geographical skills relevant to the topic. The disciplinary progression throughout KS1 and KS2 covers Map work, Fieldwork, Compare and Contrast, Observe/ Examine change over time and Similarities and differences. These skills are set out in the Purpose of Study and Aims of the National Curriculum.

Each unit of work is structured around an overarching enquiry question. Each enquiry question is broken down into specific, smaller questions, which create clear, progressive steps throughout the geographical unit. This carefully sequenced learning allows the children to answer the question by the end of the topic.

The use of Knowledge organisers act as a useful source of information for children to refer to during the topic. They contain key vocab, prior learning and useful diagrams or information relevant to the topic. At the end of each topic, each class adds work to a ‘Topic Floor Book’ which then gets passed on to the next class for children to reflect on the following year. This promotes ‘Sticky Learning’ and encourages children to make connections within their Geography learning.

Using their knowledge, vocabulary and geographical skills, the children will work to produce creative outcomes in their Topic books. Their high quality work will reflect the learning planned throughout each topic.  

Trips and Visits

Throughout children’s school career at St. Mary’s and St. Benedict’s, children are provided with a wealth of enrichment opportunities which endeavour to consolidate and deepen their existing geographical knowledge from the classroom. We plan for fieldwork and school trips based around our Geography curriculum to inspire children’s curiosity of the world.


Fieldwork skills are regularly taught and put into practise at our school, to broaden and deepen children's geographical knowledge. 

In Year 3 and 4 this year, we are studying the physical and human features of our local area. We have studied maps at different scales, researched ordnance survey symbols, learnt the 8 points of a compass and done sketches of our school grounds. We recently went on a fieldwork trip into Bamber Bridge to understand the physical and human features of our local area. We used this opportunity to conduct a vehicle survey by timing how many cars went past  in 2 minutes. This prompted the children to ask and answer questions about traffic, the time of the day, busy vs quiet periods and what people could be travelling through Bamber Bridge for. 

ECO Club - link through to the page here.

Topic Week

Each year we hold a Topic week to inspire children’s curiosity about the world. We encourage visitors to come into the school and inspire children to think of current topics such as climate change, plastic pollution and deforestation.

During our ‘Sustainability Week’ each class could focus on a topic of their choice:

  • Life under water – plastic pollution in our oceans
  • Life on land – rubbish pollution
  • Water consumption
  • Palm oil
  • Deforestation
  • Carbon pollution
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

We started the week with an assembly delivered by ‘Green up your act’ to tell us all about being green and reusing plastic and waste in our homes. We also had workshops all day and up cycled notebooks out of old maps and cardboard.

The children were also set a homework ‘Upcycle challenge’ where the children had to upcycle a product using recyclable materials. The response to the homework challenge was fantastic and we saw lots of different materials being reused to make things like footstools, flower pots, wind chimes and toys.

SEND Pupils

For further information on how we cater for the needs of SEND pupils, please visit our SEND page and refer to our SEND policy.

Useful Websites:

Here are some useful websites you can access with your child. Just click on the image to access them:

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