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Geography - our intent

Geography connects. Iveson Primary School’s geography curriculum is designed to teach learners geographical knowledge and skills through the context of the school’s drivers: opportunities, creativity, environment, well-being, communication and community.

Geography at Iveson follows the National Curriculum, giving our children opportunities to explore their surroundings, communities and wider geographical issues through engaging lessons coupled with exciting opportunities, both theoretical and practical.

We recognise the importance of raising children as responsible, curious thinkers who are able to process new information, reflect on it, think critically, and apply knowledge and skills to overcome challenges in our ever-changing world.

Understanding both human and physical geography will enable our children to have a better understanding of themselves and the wider society they live in as they grow up to be caring, responsible adults who can influence the future of our planet. We intend for our children to become geographers.  

We recognise the importance of raising children as responsible, curious thinkers who are able to process new information, reflect on it, think critically, and apply knowledge and skills to overcome challenges in our ever-changing world.

Iveson Primary School

Geography in the Early Years Foundation Stage  

Understanding the World  

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension. 

Early Learning Goals 

Understanding the World 

Early Learning Goals

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. 

Purpose of study 

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


The national curriculum for geography aims 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. 

Attainment targets 

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study. 

Schools are not required by law to teach the example content in [square brackets]. 

Subject content 

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 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. 

NOTE: Insert text (not images) if possible as this is better for SEO and more accessible. It’s difficult to read text in images at small sizes on mobile devices and for screen readers it’s impossible.


ZS “The world has lots of stuff in like the zoo has animal.”

WS “Antarctica is cold and penguins live there.”

Year 1 –

VM “We have been learning about physical geography – it is things that people don’t make, it is there all by itself.”

BR “I found the South Pole on the globe.”

Year 2 –

SG “Geography is my favourite subject because we do lots of fun stuff like learning about countries like Kenya. I like using an atlas to look at the countries.”

SB “The biggest mountain in Kenya is called Mount Kenya. Kenya is in Africa.”

MA “I love learning Geography because it is really interesting. I’ve found out where famous people come from.”

AM “The land is quite brown and orange in Kenya because it is really dry.”

Year 3 –

GG “I have learned how mountains are formed. I know about River Nile in Egypt and the Red Sea.”

ET “I didn’t know rivers flow down mountains until our lesson.”

AL “I liked learning how rivers travel and they even end up in the sea. People farm near the River Nile because the soil is better to grow crops.”

LW “I like Geography because we get to learn about the world. I have learned how rivers are formed. We learned how hard it is to grow crops in Egypt because it is really sunny and they have barely any rain.”

Year 4 –

JA “I love learning about the whole world and where the Vikings came from and invaded. In refugee week, we used the atlases to find specific countries where refugees come from and their destinations.”

DB “I liked learning where the Romans and Viking came from. I really enjoyed learning about Natural Disasters and how they happen.”

DD “It is really cool to talk to your friends about how volcanoes are formed. I even told my family.” 

Year 5 –

TL “You need to know Geography skills for all the jobs in the future. I’m also excited to travel the world when I’m older.”

KG “I think Geography is really important because it helps with other subjects like English. Learning about Geography has helped me with my setting descriptions.”

JA “We need to learn Geography for Global Issues like cutting down the rainforests. We need to plant more trees to protect our planet.”

AD “I learnt the lines of longitude, latitude and the regions of Capricorn and Cancer.”

Year 6 –

AS “Geography is my favourite subject – I know every single flag in the world! I did 6 figure grid references to locate all the countries involved in WW2. I’m making a chart at home to compare the human population of all European countries throughout history.”

MB “It is fascinating to compare different countries around the world to where we live in England. We even compared modern day Greece to Ancient Greece.”

HH “I liked learning about the population from 1066 and drew a line graph to show the data.”

NOTE: Insert text (not images) if possible as this is better for SEO and more accessible. It’s difficult to read text in images at small sizes on mobile devices and for screen readers it’s impossible.

BBC Bitesize KS1 Website: Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
BBC Bitesize KS2 Website: Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
Writing Prompts:

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