Geography Vision Statement

Across all age groups at St Denys Primary School, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The geography curriculum at St Denys enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops and understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time at each school and also to their further education and beyond.

Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. As subject leader, I have identified the key knowledge and skills of each blocked topic and consideration has been given to ensure progression across the locations studied, the human and physical features taught and the geographical skills taught within the topic throughout each year group across the school. At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know. Furthermore, the children will cement their knowledge of previous learning. Consideration is given to how vocabulary, skills and greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion.
The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. The children will cement their knowledge of their own locality, valuing and appreciating their immediate environment.   

Geography lessons at St Denys use a variety of teaching and learning styles. To ground the children’s knowledge we focus on the locality of the area that we are studying from the onset. By doing this, through map work, using digital mapping and atlases the children have a secure understanding of where we are exploring in the world. Where possible, the learning is local, relevant and real. Looking at the big issues: conservation, human impact and sustainability for example, gives the children a real life, in-depth understanding of the world around them.

The children complete an end of unit quiz after they have completed the sequence of lessons. However, regular retrieval opportunities of information is needed to secure the knowledge in the long-term memory.

Assessment is used to inform planning and to facilitate differentiation. The assessment of children’s work is on-going to ensure that understanding is being achieved and that progress is being made. Feedback is given to the children as soon as possible, and marking work will be guided by the school’s Marking Policy.

It is also of high priority that the children build up an in-depth level of understanding of continents, countries, cities and more localised places, enabling them to access more in-depth Key Stage Two Geography work. We ensure that these areas of learning are revisited and utilised throughout the children’s journey at St Denys. Local studies remain at the forefront of the learning, studying local places, investigating the physical and human features of our environment, as well as developing skills, including map work skills around our school grounds and local area.


Geography is taught in Reception as an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. We relate the geographical aspects of the children’s work to the objectives set out in the Early Years curriculum which underpin the planning for children aged four to five. Geography makes a significant contribution to the ELG objectives of developing a child’s understanding of the world through activities such as finding out about different places and habitats and investigating our locality.

Key Stage 1

During Key Stage 1, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area in the United Kingdom or abroad, finding out about the environment in both areas and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world, introducing the continents and oceans of the world. Through exploring Africa to a greater extent, the children are able to explore and study the human and physical features of this continent and make comparisons to the human and physical process they already know in our local area.  They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In doing this, they ask geographical questions about people, places and environments, and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps and photographs. The children also use digital mapping to locate areas of study. Furthermore, the children use and create their own maps, using appropriate symbols to support this.

Children at St Denys leave as Geographer champions! They are able to articulate the knowledge and understanding that they have gained throughout their time at school. Through our Curriculum books, the children demonstrate their knowledge of factual information, significant locations, place, physical and human features and they are able to make comparisons between different regions, countries or cities/towns around the world. The Curriculum books also evidence the children’s understanding and depth of knowledge linked to their concepts, which they have focused on. The children will also know how to read and interpret a range of maps, including digital maps.

Furthermore, through pupils interviews and dialogue, the children are knowledgeable and are able to use Geographical specific vocabulary. Children review knowledge at the end of every session to ensure they are knowing more and remembering more with support from their teachers.

As children progress throughout the school, they develop a deep knowledge, understanding an appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is further supported through fieldwork experiences that are related to the learning and knowledge.