Our Curriculum Intent for Geography

Please click here for our Geography Policy 2023

At Avening Primary School, we see geography as a key subject for inspiring in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people.

 ‘If geography itself has any significance it is that we are made to lift out eyes from our small provincial selves to the whole complex and magnificent world.’ – Reportedly Richard Burton (1821-1890) to the Royal Geographical Society

‘Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?’ – Michael Palin, 2007


 The teaching of a high-quality geography education ‘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.’ (National Curriculum in England, September 2013)


 Our overarching aim for geography is to promote a high level of understanding of geographical skills, knowledge, vocabulary  and processes, through a curriculum which engenders excitement, creativity and critical thinking about the world that equips young people to make their own way in it.  We are committed to providing children with opportunities to investigate their local area so that they are able to develop a sense of place and find out what makes our local area unique and special. Within our curriculum we also investigate a range of places, providing children with the essential characteristics of curious geographers with a real sense of curiosity about the world and its diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.


In line with the National Curriculum, we aim to ensure that all children:


  • 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.

 The Geography curriculum at Avening Primary School is built around the statutory content of the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.  Geography is a foundation subject; the National Curriculum programmes of study require children to be taught locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, and geographical skills and fieldwork.

 At our school, the content of the curriculum is taught around a rolling programme of cross-curricular themes. Each theme has a guide for time spent on Geography, as well as the other subjects, to ensure that the whole curriculum is broad and balanced, and that enough time is spent building geographical skills throughout the school.

 An overview of themes for Geography is set out below:  


Year A

Year B







Key Stage 1

In and Around Avening:

Local study, including simple fieldwork and observational skills with a focus on key human features



Dens and Dandelions:

Seasonal and daily weather patterns


Fire and Ice:

Identify London as the capital city of England

Saints, dragons and a Castle:

Name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the UK and its surrounding seas


Communicate geographically using compass directions and simple maps, including simple grid references



Animal Magic:

Name and locate the world’s continents and oceans


Investigate and compare places with a focus on key physical features


3 and 4

The Savage Stone Age:


Rotten Romans:

Use maps and globes to locate places. Use eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and key to communicate knowledge


Describe key aspects of human geography including settlements and land use


Tour de France:

Investigate places, including physical and human characteristics of a location.


Use maps, atlases, globes and computer mapping to name and locate the countries of Europe


Feeling Fit:


Rivers and Mountains:

Ask and answer geographical questions about the physical and human characteristics of a location


Use fieldwork to investigate physical features of the local area


Use eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and key to communicate knowledge

Mighty Olympians:

Name and locate the countries of Europe and identify their main physical and human 




5 and 6


Use 6-figure grid references on OS maps


Use fieldwork to record and explain areas - measure and record the human and physical features in the local area, including using sketch maps, plans and graphs

Vicious Vikings:

Name and locate some of the countries and cities of the world and their identifying human and physical characteristics, including hills, mountains, rivers, key topographical features and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time


We are the Future:

Understand biomes, vegetation belts, land use, economic activity, distribution of resources, including, energy, food, minerals and water


Star Gazers:


Hola Mexico:

Understand latitude, longitude, Equator, hemispheres, tropics, polar circles and time zones


Study a region of the Americas


Use 6-figure grid references


Doctor, Doctor:



There is a range of resources to support the teaching of Geography across the school. These include maps, globes, technology, compasses and measuring equipment. Use is made of the Schools Library Service for reading materials.

 Visits and visitors are often planned to enhance learning experiences. Recent visits include a trip along a stream – from the source to the River Severn, a visit to Wales and visits to Copsegrove Farm.



Within the EYFS, the specific area of ‘Understanding the World’ encompasses a range of early geographical skills and knowledge. It involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.


In the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage, Understanding the World is broken down into three aspects:


  • o People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
  • o The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
  • o Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Understanding of the world develops as children take notice of everything around them including places, and all the things within them such as trees in the natural environment, and roads and traffic in the built environment. Finding out about places begins initially when a child learns about their own home and the things nearby, then later as children notice things on journeys to and from home – such as the sequence of the traffic lights or names on street signs. This awareness is extended by visiting places and finding out about different elements of environments in books, on TV and through using other technology. This aspect also focuses on learning about cause and effect and is developed through having conversations with adults and other children about the things they observe.

Continuous provision in the EYFS is resourced and facilitated to ensure that opportunities for early geographical skills and knowledge are developed.