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Criftins Church of England Primary School


Geography Policy 



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.  Our Geography curriculum is firmly rooted in the locality to enable pupils to have a strong starting point with which to hinge their learning on.  



We aim 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, and aerial photographs 

  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and through writing  


Outdoor Learning - we use our rural setting to enhance our curriculum where possible.   Engaging pupils in outdoor learning brings the curriculum to life in meaningful ways.   





The EYFS Statutory Framework 2020 and Development Matters contain a selection of prerequisite skills which provide the foundational knowledge for future learning in Geography. This knowledge is primarily covered through the areas of learning of Mathematics and Understanding the World.  


In Mathematics, children will be taught to:  

  • Understand  position  through  words  alone for  example, “the bag  is  under  the  table,” – with  no  pointing.  

  • Describe a familiar  route.  

  • Discuss  routes  and  locations,  using  words  like  ‘in  front  of’ and  ‘behind’.  


In Understanding the World, children will be taught to:  

  • Use  all  their  senses  in  hands-on  exploration  of  natural materials.  

  • Begin  to  understand  the  need  to  respect  and  care  for  the natural  environment  and  all  living  things.  

  • Know that there are different countries in the work and talk  about  the  differences  they  have  experienced  or  seen in  photos.  

  • 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.  

  • Recognise  some  environments  that  are  different  to  the  one  in which they  live.  

  • Describe  their  immediate  environment  using  knowledge  from  observation,  discussion,  stories,  non-fiction  texts  and  maps.  

  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country  and  life  in  other  countries,  drawing  on  knowledge  from stories,  non-fiction  texts  and  (when appropriate)  maps.  

  • 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.  



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. 




The long-term plans identify how the teaching units have been distributed across the years of both key stages in a sequence that promotes continuity and progress in the children’s learning. Each year, children will build on their knowledge and revisit information and vocabulary to enable deeper learning. The mastery and application of geographical tools and skills occurs in more precise and complex contexts as children progress through school.  




We teach geography to all children, whatever their ability. Geography forms part of the school curriculum policy to provide a broad and balanced education to all children, regardless of their starting points. Through our geography teaching we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress across a lesson and over time. We do this by setting suitable learning challenges and responding to each child’s different needs.  


We assess the children’s work in Geography through verbal work from children (including use of correct Geographical vocabulary), practical work, and written work. Each unit has a set of assessment criteria for teachers to use at the end of each term. Teachers also assess the progress made by children against the learning objectives for their lessons. At the end of each academic year, we make a judgement and record each child’s progress against the National Curriculum standards of attainment. This information is used to plan future work as well as forming part of the annual report to parents. 



The monitoring of the standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching in Geography is the responsibility of the Geography leader. The work of the subject lead also involves supporting colleagues in the teaching of Geography, being informed about current developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the subject in the school. The Geography subject lead undertakes an annual audit of the Geography curriculum. This results in the production of actions which aims to further improve the quality of the Geography curriculum. A small amount of directed time has been allocated to enable the curriculum lead to review evidence of the children’s work, and to undertake observations of Geography teaching and outcomes across the school. The link Governor for Geography is involved in the monitoring of Geography and curriculum review, where appropriate.