The Edward Betham C of E Primary School



Our geography curriculum aims to inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world, its fragile nature and its people. Linking to our vision, our geography curriculum teaches pupils explicitly about how to care for the future of our planet. Geography promotes children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and helps them to have a greater understanding of their place in the world, and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment.  Children develop a strong sense of place through studies of the local geography and detailed units looking at other parts of the world. Children develop a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes and the impact of these on our planet.   Children are encouraged to ask questions about the world and opportunities are provided for them to develop geographical skills and therefore find the answers to those questions. Children experience hands-on Geography  through a variety of day trips, residential trips and local field work.


  • In EYFS children develop their understanding of the world around them. Teachers provide opportunities for children to explore and investigate the school environment.  Pupils learn to observe using their senses and describe their own personal experiences.  These skills form a good foundation for geographical skills further up the school.
  • In KS1 and KS2 three Geography units are taught per year. Each unit has 5 lessons of at least an hour and a half
  • Teachers have developed the Geography curriculum around enquiry questions and lessons are structured around a ‘Big Question’ which enables pupils to explore the world through a geographical lens.
  • The Geography theme is usually the overarching topic theme for a half term and, when possible, is reflected in cross-curricular learning in Art, D&T, Computing and English texts
  • Working walls include visual stimuli and key vocabulary. This is added to throughout the unit and used as a resource for deepening pupils’ understanding. Pupils are encouraged to answer the challenge questions on post-it notes. These are added to the working wall
  • Each lesson is structured around SOLO Taxonomy. Pupil outcomes are linked to these success criteria.  Every lesson pupils are expected to reach the ‘Relational’ level of learning. Pupils have an opportunity at the end of each lesson to complete an ‘Extended Abstract’ challenge question.  These are structured as challenging questions which encourage pupils to apply their learning to an unknown scenario – eg how will climate change affect the weather in Spain in the coming years?   These challenge questions provide evidence of pupils working at Greater Depth. 
  • Staff plan key questions carefully to prompt deep discussion and ensure work is demanding for all groups of pupils. Use is made of up to date resources such as Newsround videos and photographs in order to encourage pupils to ask questions
  • Units are planned to include both human and physical geography. Pupils learn to recognise the difference between these two strands. Pupils are encouraged to look at how these strands interact eg how does living near a volcano impact the lives of local people?
  • The use of knowledge organisers aids teachers in planning their knowledge and skills and students in understanding the expectations by the end of the unit.
  • The curriculum is built sequentially and opportunities to recap prior learning in context are embedded so as to develop pupil knowledge and understanding. Prior learning from previous years is identified on the planning (eg the Year 5 unit on Mountains revisits the learning about the tectonic plates covered in Year 3 Volcanoes and Earthquakes unit)
  • Children are provided with exciting learning opportunities so as they learn to perceive the world as an fascinating place. Content is presented in engaging ways to promote a love of and enthusiasm for Geography. This could include video clips, newspaper reports, graphs, photographs and map-work
  • Teachers plan at least two fieldwork activities in each year group. Pupils develop skills to collect, analyse and present a range of data to deepen their understanding of key geographical processes.
  • Units are planned to be relevant to pupils’ lives and to reflect our school community.  Skills are progressive and build on prior learning
  • Units reflect growing environmental concern about the future of our planet and teach pupils how to plan and prepare for the future and also to take action in the present
  • All units are planned with a focus on using and developing key geographical vocabulary which becomes increasingly complex as pupils progress through the school
  • Teachers plan lessons which develop the skills to use and interpret a wide range of sources of geographical information including maps, diagrams, globes and aerial photographs
  • Lesson outcomes allow pupils to develop skills to be able to communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing.


As a result of an ambitious curriculum, children become confident geographers who are able to clearly discuss their learning from past and current topics. Children develop enquiry skills and have opportunities to pursue their own research within a topic and present the findings in a variety of ways. There is a clear progression of skills across EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2 that builds on prior knowledge that can be demonstrated in books.  Children link their geographical learning to opportunities for courageous advocacy e.g. Eco Council which provides opportunities for children to take responsibility for looking after their environments.  It is expected that the majority of our pupils will meet the end of key stage expectations outlined in the National Curriculum for Geography.

Key documents

Click on the links below

Geography Curriculum Map

Geography Knowledge and Skills Progression

Geography Fieldwork Enquiry Questions and Skill Progression

Geography National Curriculum Programme of Study