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St Mary’s C of E Primary School

‘Learning for Life’


Our goal is to inspire children and spark their curiosity about the world. We want them to learn about diverse places, people and resources within the world through the study of human and physical geography. Children will develop their skills of enquiry, fieldwork and mapwork. They will be taught the subject specific language they need to describe, compare and discuss the world, as well as their place in it. We encourage our pupils to recognise that they have a voice and feel empowered to use it confidently to discuss and debate topics that they are introduced to and feel passionate about, for example, global warming, climate change and fairtrade as well as ways in which our local area could be improved.


Our progressive curriculum, which covers the objectives set out from within the National Curriculum, outlines the core knowledge, understanding and skills which the children will be taught in Geography throughout their time at St Mary’s.

In the Early Years, children begin to learn about the world by identifying daily weather and changes across seasons, using maps and globes and through carefully selected stories as a stimulus. Discovery time provides opportunities to create and follow maps and children begin to explore, evaluate and compare locations that are familiar to them.

In Key Stage 1 and 2, each year group covers three units (one per term) with the exception of Year 3 where four are covered.  These units are blocked and taught across a 2-3 week period. Each unit comes under one of three threads that are woven throughout our curriculum; ‘Exploring our Local Area (Fieldwork)’, ‘Exploring Countries and Continents’ and ‘Exploring Physical Features’.

When exploring our local area, every year group carries out field studies in our local environment to provide opportunities to conduct observations, surveys, investigations and field sketches.  The use of maps and compasses enhances this experience.  When exploring countries and continents, the children learn about a variety of locations around the globe, beginning with their own locality. As well as locational knowledge, the children learn about the key human and physical features of places; build knowledge of how to use and create maps; develop their understanding of the world's climate patterns and learn how to collect and use geographical data. In our final thread, children explore key physical features such as climate, earthquakes and volcanoes and the impact they have on places and people.

Each unit of learning in Key Stage 1 and 2 is led by a ‘big question’ designed to enable children to recap prior knowledge while preparing them for their new and future learning. Links between units are made, and knowledge and concepts are deliberately returned to throughout a pupil’s time at school in order to deepen their understanding.

At the beginning and throughout each unit, children are given the opportunity to retrieve their prior learning through a variety of strategies centred around progressive key takeaway vocabulary. Assessment for learning enables the class teacher to identify gifted geographers as well as misconceptions and gaps in learning.

Whilst exploring the ‘big question’, we endeavour to use a range of stimulating resources, activities and opportunities including but not limited to; fieldwork, maps, pictures, videos and technology to develop children’s knowledge, understanding and interest in the world around them. Our curriculum is further enriched through workshops, trips, visitors and themed days.

Hot tasks at the end of each unit allow the children the opportunity to showcase their learning and answer the ‘big question’.