‘Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind.’ Geography Association


Why is it important to teach Geography? 

The purpose of geography is to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. It is important for children to understand where they live in the world and how this is similar and different to places in the rest of the world. Some children have never left their home city of Plymouth which is what makes Geography so important, it is our way of helping them to open their eyes to the wider world. We believe it is important to put equal emphasis on human and physical geography in order to create well-rounded learners.


Key Concepts:

  •          The world is diverse in terms of people, places, resources, natural and human environments. 
  •          There are key physical and human features.
  •          Places influence people and people influence places.
  •          Places have changed and will continue to change - some change is good and some not.
  •          We need to look after the environment and take care of our world.
  •          We can gather information about the world in a variety of ways.
  •          Places can be represented through maps.
  •          Economic and environmental sustainability has an impact on individuals and settlements
  •          The impact of civilisations over time on the environment


Curriculum Design

Our Geography curriculum provides all our children with the tools to build on skills and knowledge in order to navigate the world and have a better understanding of places outside of Plymouth, as well as studying the local area. For Geography, we follow our MAT curriculum which is supported by the promotion and engagement of STEM skills. Each term, each year group will follow a theme which links to and builds on previous knowledge. We are careful to ensure that we are constantly building on vocabulary, which is a key focus, and this is evident on our long-term plans.

During the topic we refer back to previous learning and help them to retrieve this knowledge, applying Rosenshine’s principles of learning using retrieval practice. Briefly recapping on what we already know is a key feature of lessons using the 3 P’s purpose, prior and prospects. The geography units include learning about the local area, a non-European country, a European country, and the environment. It is linked to other subjects where appropriate, and teachers are able to plan for this where they can.

We make good use of visits and visitors and think carefully about the timing of this to ensure that this links to current learning. For example, Year 6 visit Dartmoor and apply their map reading skills to plan their own route. This makes up part of our work on the local area. Year 4 also attend a residential trip where they are able to build on their knowledge of farming and food from Year 3. In Year 3 we visit a local dairy farm where they explain where their produce comes from and is distributed to. We invite visitors into school to further build on our rich experiences; this is organised on a yearly basis dependent on who is available and the current situation.


Our Geography curriculum gives children the opportunity to:

  •          Explore and understand the local area
  •          Expand on their contextual of globally significant places
  •          Interpret a range of sources such as; maps, globes, diagrams and aerial photographs
  •          Communicate geographical through a variety of ways including maps and extended cross-curricular writing