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‘Learning for life’



 Geography Curriculum


At Thornton Hough Primary School, we believe that Geography enables children to make sense of the complex and dynamically changing world that they live in. Our intent is to inspire in children a lifelong curiosity and fascination about the world and people within it; to promote the children's interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth's key physical and human processes.

We believe that our curriculum promotes practical and engaging, high-quality Geography, aiming to provide our children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world so that they become confident global citizens. It promotes geographical enquiry and engagement with the local environment to ensure that children learn through varied and first-hand fieldwork experiences of the world around them.

It is our intention that pupils become more expert as they progress through our carefully planned, progressive curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive and disciplinary geographical knowledge. Key knowledge and concepts, as outlined in our progression maps, are continually re-visited, from Early Years to Year 6, enabling knowledge to ‘stick’ and for pupils to know more and remember more.


At Thornton Hough Primary, our Geography Curriculum is carefully planned and sequenced in line with the Foundation Stage Statutory Framework and Development Matters in the Early Years and the National Curriculum throughout KS1 and KS2. Geographical knowledge is taught explicitly in geography lessons so that children know more, remember more and can do more. We have carefully matched our geography and history long term plans to enable further opportunities to develop knowledge and make connections. For example, For example, in year 4, pupils study Europe in the Autumn Term. This knowledge is then built upon through studying Ancient Greece and The Romans in the terms that follow. In year 5, children will develop their understanding of how the Anglo Saxon and Viking settlements influenced place names in the United Kingdom. This is then followed by a geography topic that focuses on U.K cities and counties.

Key ‘golden threads’ are covered and repeated throughout the curriculum. These are 'climate/weather’, 'settlement', landscape, locality and sustainability.

To ensure our curriculum is taught to develop cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage, the following is in place:

1.)    Substantive knowledge for each subject is mapped from EYFS to Year 6. This is organised into four interrelated forms: locational knowledge, place knowledge and human and physical processes and geographical skills with clearly identified year group learning outcomes.

2.)    Disciplinary knowledge as geographical skills and fieldwork is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to enable children to apply their knowledge as skills.

3.)    Explicit teaching of vocabulary takes place in each lesson. Key vocabulary is identified in planning.

4.)    Retrieval practice, through questioning, re-visiting knowledge and end of unit quizzes to further consolidate the transfer of information from working memory to long-term memory.

In Reception, children will develop awareness of their immediate environment, recognise places on maps and aerial photos, make their own simple maps and explore and contrast other places through images, video and stories. ELG objectives with geography content are mapped against Key Stage 1 objectives to ensure teaching is sequential throughout the school, building upon the children’s prior learning.

In Key Stage 1 children will develop their knowledge about the United Kingdom and their own locality. They’ll learn how to use maps, atlases and globes as well as learn simple compass directions. The children will also study seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and look at the hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the equator and the North and South Poles.

In Key Stage 2 children will build upon their knowledge of the U.K through studying regions, counties and topographical Features. In year 6, they will apply the knowledge they have gained throughout their primary education to plan a ‘Tour of Britain’. The children will extend their knowledge to beyond the United Kingdom and will study Europe as well as North and South America. They will begin to look at similarities and differences of human geography such as types of settlement and land use. They will also study physical geography elements such as climate zones, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes. Children will continue to use maps, atlases and globes and will use the 8 points of the compass in their work. They will start to consider the use of four and six figure grid references and ordinance survey maps.

Please see our progression map for further information about end points in each year group and opportunities for field work.  


Our geography curriculum ensures that at the end of their time at Thornton Hough Primary, our children will:

  • Remember key knowledge of places and locations as outlined in the National Curriculum and how to source geographical information as required.
  • Be able to use a variety of vital vocabulary with which to discuss their geographical knowledge and understanding.
  • Be motivated and inspired to continue their learning as they progress to KS3 and beyond.
  • Have had varied and first-hand experiences of the world around them through a variety of fieldwork activities.
  • Know how their actions affect the local environment and the sustainability of the Earth’s resources.



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