Message sent from:

Geography Curriculum Overview




Around our school: Children explore our school including the playground, inside locations and the purposes of different areas.  

i-360 aerial view of the seafront and city: Children look at aerial views of the local environment and have opportunities to draw simple maps. 

Love around the world Making connections: Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries. 

Food around the world - making connections: Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries. 


Autumn Term 

Summer Term 

Year 1 

Where do we live? 

Locational: The United Kingdom.  

Map skills: What do plans and maps show us?  

Fieldwork: Journey sticks and map making of the school grounds. 

Our Place 

A local study.  

What makes our place a special place to live?  

What are the key features of our local area? 

Year 2 

Our City by the Sea 

Locational: Where do I live?  

Map skills: Where am I located?  

Fieldwork: Where can we place a poster for the Christmas Fair? 

Cool Kenya 

A comparative study between the UK and Kenya.   

Where is Kenya? What makes it a special place to live and visit?  

Year 3 

Our Wonderful World 

Locational: What is the world’s tallest mountain, longest river and largest desert? 

Map skills: How can we use maps to find out about the British Isles?  

Fieldwork: Where is the best place to plant a new school tree? 

What is it like to live in a Mountain Region? 

Comparative study 

What’s so special about the South Downs National Park, Snowdonia National Park and the Himalayas region?  

Why do people visit these places?  

Year 4 

Beautiful Brighton Beach 

Locational: Climate zones around the world. What are counties?  

Map skills: What do the symbols on a map mean? 

Fieldwork: How can we keep our beach beautiful? 

Meet our European neighbours 

Comparative study 

What’s so special about the Mediterranean region? 

Why do so many people go to Greece for their holidays? 

Year 5 

Pier to Pier 

Locational: What are the main countries and cities of Europe and America? 

Map skills: What is it like to live in rural and urban areas?  

Fieldwork: What is the impact of tourism on our seafront? 

New York, New York 

A study of North America 

A comparative study of the USA and UK, Brighton and New York.  

What is Fair Trade and why is it important? 

Year 6 

Coastal Issues 

Locational: What are environmental regions? 

Map skills: What are topographical features? 

Fieldwork: How can we protect our coast? Tidal drift and coastal erosion. 

Exploring Beautiful Brazil 

A study of South America 

What is the ring of fire? 

Why is Brazil called a city of 2 halves? 

What is the effect of human impact on the rainforest? 


Geography Curriculum Rationale

 “Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us all for the future. What could be more important than that?”  Michael Palin

Geography in our own words

At Carlton Hill Primary School, children are encouraged see themselves as Geographers and develop a greater understanding of the world. We say, “Geography is understanding spaces, places and our connections to the world.”

Through our Geography curriculum, we seek to inspire in children a curiosity about the world and its people, which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We also aim to grow children’s interest in diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

How is our Geography curriculum organised?

Our Geography curriculum takes children on a carefully planned learning journey. As children progress through each unit they will know more and understand more about the world around them. The skills our curriculum develops, like the knowledge, are ordered coherently and progress over time. This curriculum structure helps pupils to deepen their understanding of physical and human geographical processes.

This learning journey is has been mapped into a series of carefully sequenced units. Each unit begins with a key geographic question which leads to practical tasks using a range of geographic tools. Each unit ends with a conclusion drawn from the evidence gathered.

As children work through each unit they will know more and understand more about their local area, the UK, Europe and the World. Over time, children will add to their conceptual understanding with many examples of geographical knowledge in context. Children will become more skilled at answering questions such as: What is it like to live in this place? What are the challenges of this environment? How have people changed this landscape over time? Children will gain an understanding of what geographers do, what they look for and what they may say about a place.

The Geographic process – taught through a lesson or over a series of lessons 

  1. Recap - revisit prior learning  
  2. Question – what are we learning – posing the geographical enquiry 
  3. Thinking as geographers – how are we going to answer our question? What do we need to do? 
  4. Being geographers – investigating - What will we do to answer the question? (look at maps, use aerial photographs, carry out fieldwork, carry out research, gather data, etc) 
  5. Conclusion – analyse the data gathered and reflect. What have we learned? What does that tell us? What do we want to find out next? How did we learn it? What geography skills did we use? 

This method of revisit, question, investigation, analyse and conclusion, is evident both in the design of an individual lesson, as well as in the design of a unit of learning. Children are encouraged to repeat the process with greater independence and apply their new skills through an ‘end of unit’ individual research project.

As with all subjects at Carlton Hill Primary School, key vocabulary is also deliberately taught and revisited.

Locational Geography Units

Each year our geography curriculum begins with a ‘Locational Geography’ unit that explicitly teaches general geographical knowledge, position and significance, UK and Global. Children revisit prior learning and are introduced to key locational knowledge and skills, map skills and undertake fieldwork which are progressive through year groups and key stages. Key skills include locating places on a map, positioning items on a map, using symbols in a key, interpreting scale, reading climate graphs, identifying locations using co-ordinates, interpreting population data, identifying elevation on relief maps and more. The locational units for each year group are positioned at the beginning of the year to teach skills which will then be used in context throughout the rest of the year.

Additionally, Key Stage One locational units require children to undertake fieldwork and use observational skills to study the geography of their school and the surrounding environment. In Key Stage 2, children continue to build their map skills and undertake fieldwork to observe, record and present the human and physical features in the local area, focussing on an issue that the local area faces.

European and World Geography Units

Later in the year, during their second geography focus, children from Year 2 onwards study European and World geography. These units introduce regions of Europe, climate, trade, industry, landmarks, physical features and contrasting environments. Children interpret a range of geographical information including maps, diagrams and climate graphs. Comparisons will be made between Europe and the local area. Studying Europe in detail will not only help children to understand people, places and environments in the regions, but will provide foundational knowledge for their studies in other subject areas, for example their studies of the Ancient Greeks in History.

Alongside their study of the UK and Europe, children extend their knowledge beyond these regions to study world geography. When studying world geography, children focus on places such as North America, South America and Africa (Kenya). Applying their knowledge and understanding of the globe, latitude, longitude, the hemisphere’s and time zones, children will describe and understand physical geography of countries and continents and including biomes, vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes. They consider a range of human geographical features such as settlements, land use, trade links and natural resources.

What is the impact of our Geography curriculum?

The impact of our Geography curriculum is assessed in a variety of ways.

1. Knowledge At the start of a unit children are given an opportunity to show off their current understanding of key physical and human features of Geography through a practical mind map task. At the end of each week, children revisit their mind map to add new knowledge. Additionally, children annotate a cover sheet, answering key questions and building a picture of their knowledge, skills and understanding of the topic.

2. Skills Teachers have an opportunity to assess geography skills when children undertake their own independent research project. Independent research projects allow children to explore their own area of interest. Children pose their own enquiry question, undertake research and gather data which they then analyse to draw conclusions before presenting their findings and reflecting on the geography skills used to answer their question.

3. Pupil voice and book look. The geography subject leader meets with pupils to discuss their lived experience of teaching and learning in geography.

4. Planning review and teacher feedback. The geography subject leader routinely reviews planning and meets teachers to discuss their experience of teaching and learning in geography. This is a critical dialogue about successes, areas for development and identifying how best to support teachers with ideas, resources or CPD.

What are the inspirations for our geography curriculum?

Inspiration for our geography curriculum comes from a variety of sources including the National Curriculum, our amazing locality the 'Living Coast' and local community. We are fortunate to live within a geographically unique UNESCO World Biosphere Region and culturally diverse ‘city by the sea’. 

What do our pupils have to say about geography?

“It’s about our world and how we can all look after it.”

“I think that it is about us all being part of one big family.”

“We look at maps and learn about our world.”

"We learn why people live where they live and how we can look after our world."

“We find out about other people and places.”

Progression of skills and knowledge

Hit enter to search