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St Stephens Primary School



At St Stephens we deliver a geographical curriculum that develops learning and results in the children gaining knowledge and understanding of people, places and environments around the world. We do this through varying learning styles through our theme learning, enabling all children to access our thematic curriculum. As children explore Geography they begin to gain an appreciation of how others live in other cultures and countries. At St Stephens we have developed a geographical curriculum that supports the importance of outdoor learning, to build a curiosity for learning and to help them to know more, remember more and understand more. We do this through hands on practical fieldwork experiences identifying the human and physical attributes of our local environment and beyond, engaging in active discussions, embracing technology and promoting the lifelong love of learning. 

The national curriculum for geography aims 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, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)  
  • Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

At St Stephens we encourage our children to be worldwide citizens and eco warriors. We support our children to respect and care for the environment in which they live and beyond.


Teaching and Learning at St Stephens shows progression across all key stages within the strands of Geography.  St Stephens staff will use the Geography overview to show clear progression of skills and knowledge in their teaching across the school. Children at St Stephens have access to key language and meanings in order to understand and apply their knowledge to their learning through our thematic curriculum enabling children to become immersed in their learning.  Children develop their skills through collecting, analysing and interpreting data to support their findings and understanding of their environment. Where St Stephens is situated there are many opportunities for our children to explore and develop a range of concepts linked to their learning. Children will access their local environment to get hands on experience. Staff will use educational visits to enhance and enrich children’s learning.  At St Stephens we are fortunate to have a forest school area to enhance the geography ’outdoor learning’ experience and local coast lines within a short distance. Children at St stephens will access resources to acquire learning through atlases, text books, maps, digital technology and photographs.These enhance their ability to see beyond Saltash and explore the diverse way in which people live and survive. Through our thematic approach, we ensure that British Values and PSHE links will show children the importance of our world and how it should be treated through a range of Cultural capital activities and experiences. 

As set out by the national curriculum, we encourage children to develop the following knowledge, skills and understanding:

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.

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.

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.


Children will develop and deepen their knowledge and understanding of Geography within their local environment and beyond.  They will understand the differences between human and physical processes and how these can affect the landscapes and environments that they study.   They will retain knowledge that is pertinent to geography with a real life context. Children will understand how geography ‘happens’ in their local area and  have a good understanding about the world around them and how it has been shaped. Children will begin to understand their wider world and the implications that we as citizens have on it. They will work collaboratively to solve problems and explain the processes that they have taken/observed within a real life context. Children will be encouraged to act as good citizens within their local community.

Early Years

Geography in the EYFS curriculum includes ‘Understanding of the World’ and brings in elements of ‘People and Communities,’ whilst developing skills in ‘Technology,’ which develops the children’s research and enquiry for Geography. 

From the moment the children join our school they learn about a variety of cultures and beliefs. Children explore themselves as unique individuals, as well as looking at similarities and differences between themselves and others. The classroom creates a stimulating learning environment that shows images, stories and objects from different places. This provides lots of learning opportunities for our children to explore and engage in.

Our outdoor and indoor environments provide opportunities for children to explore their natural world and through speaking and listening and investigating, see how things can change through time. Our forest school area also supports our learning understanding how to respect living things and encourage children to think how they can make their environment safe for all living creatures.

The subject leader for Geography is Miss A Watson.





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