St John's C of E Primary School

"Use your God-given gifts to serve others." 1 Peter 4: 10



Geography is the study of spatial patterns and processes. It looks at the world and tries to explain reasons for why it is the way it is. Learning in geography 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, Pupils develop a 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.


As geographical skills are developed children use maps, photographs, aerial photographs, plans, computer simulations and fieldwork to find out what the world is like. They should ask questions to reflect inquisitiveness about why things are the way they are e.g. what made mountains appear or why people live in cities and how politics or economics has resulted in some parts of the world suffering famine. Geography is a subject which makes use of skills taught in other subjects like maths, science, history.


We can break the study of geography is down into 4 important strands (National Curriculum Guidance):

Locational Knowledge

Place Knowledge

Human and Physical Geography

Geographical Skills and Fieldwork


These are reflected in our planning Know Do Understand Grids.



The teaching of geography across St John’s follows the National Curriculum through:

  • comprehensive and thorough bespoke planners of topics designed specifically for our school community.
  • breadth of learning from EYFS to KS2, where knowledge and skills are developed progressively and abstract ideas/vocabulary (e.g. settlement, population, land-use, climate) are revisited and built upon with each year group.
  • cross curricular links where children are encouraged to apply other learning e.g. measuring, presenting data, position and movement (maths), noting trends over time (history). Our topics are cross curricular to ensure excellent links for children.
  • making connections school values within each topic. This links learning in geography (and other subjects) to the wider school focus on British values, communicated namely through collective worships.
  • delivery that allows children discover, ask questions, research, analyse, present information and draw conclusions of their own.
  • collaborative learning, where children work together towards goals, exploring different roles within a team.
  • explicit teaching of vocabulary for each topic.
  • a focus on retrieval and revisiting knowledge to allow it to be embedded in the long term memory.



We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice) and asking key assessment questions to a range of children.
  • monitoring teacher planning.
  • celebrating images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
  • measuring assessment standards against written evidence in learning journals.


Core Concepts in Geography at St John’s Primary

The following abstract themes are central part of the geography curriculum:






Physical Processes



St John's Core Geography Concepts Glossary

Central to our geography curriculum is a focus on vocabulary and core geography concepts. Some of these are abstract terms which are woven through from Early Years to Year 6 and revisited e.g. land-use, settlement, environment. In this way, staff are committed to helping children build meaningful schemata, by linking prior knowledge with new learning.

Geography Progression of Knowledge and Skills




Understanding the World  

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension. 


ELG: People, Culture and Communities  

Children at the expected level of development will: 

 - Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps. 

 - Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class;  

- Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.