Subject Leader - Jamie Stoddart

National curriculum in England
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 aims of the geography curriculum are to ensure pupils:

  1. Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places.

  2. Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world.

  3. Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes.

  4. Interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

  5. Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Early Years Foundation Stage
Pupils should be taught:

  1. Foundations for geography can be found within EYFS Characteristics of Effective Learning: Engagement, Motivation and Thinking, and the Prime and Specific areas of Learning and Development.  In particular – Understanding the World: The World and People and Communities.  Also Expressive Arts and Design: Exploring and using media materials.

  2. A child’s knowledge and understanding of the world develops through hands on practical experiences and opportunities such as making use of indoor and outdoor areas for investigations of the natural world, providing play maps, role play reflecting diversity and finding out about different cultures.

Key Stage 1
Pupils should be taught:

  1. Locational knowledge, including that of the world’s seven continents and five oceans and the name, location and identity features of the four countries, oceans/seas and capital cities of the UK.

  2. Place knowledge, including geographical similarities and differences of a small area of the UK, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.

  3. Human and physical geography, including weather patterns in the UK, the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles, as well as basic geographical vocabulary.

  4. Geographical skills and fieldwork, including maps, atlases and globes to identify the UK and the countries, continents and oceans. Compass directions, the use of aerial photographs to devise a basic map with symbols and simple fieldwork and observational skills to study their local geography.

Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught:

  1. Locational knowledge, including using maps to locate European countries outside of the UK; naming and locating counties and cities of the UK; geographical regions and their identifying characteristics; key topographical features and land-use patterns. The location and significance of the two Hemispheres, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Equator etc.

  2. Place knowledge, including the study of human and physical geography of one region in the UK, Europe and North or South America.

  3. Human and physical geography, including climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle and types of settlement and land use, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.

  4. Geographical skills and fieldwork, including maps, atlases and globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries. The 8 points of a compass and four and six-figure grid references. Using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies, record the human and physical features in the local area.

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.

Useful links
National Curriculum - Geography
BBC Geography sites
National Geographic Kids

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