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Geography – curriculum information


Curriculum Intent

Geography is a vital and rich contribution to a balanced and broad curriculum which enables children to develop a thirst for knowledge about the world around them. Through Geography, we trigger investigative thinking and allow children’s minds to reach beyond their classroom. By teaching Geography, we intend to impart pupils with the knowledge, understanding, confidence, attitudes, values and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals in Geography, their local community and the wider world.

At Bricknell Primary School, the teaching of the Geography curriculum has been carefully considered to enable our pupils to become inquisitive geographers. Using the national curriculum, our highly skilled subject leader has carefully worked to create a Progressive Skills Document where objectives for each year group are progressively mapped out to ensure our pupils are given the acquired skills and knowledge to further their education journey into KS3 and life beyond the classroom.

Our aim is to provide inclusive and aspirational environments and learning experiences where pupils thrive and build the cultural capital they need to make aspirational choices about their own futures, overcoming any barriers. In order to achieve this, our curriculum is underpinned by the principles highlighted in our Aspiration Curriculum.

Bricknell Aspiration Curriculum

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Within the Geography Progressive Skills Document, our progressive objectives identify what pupils should know by the end of each year group and link to prior learning. These enable teachers to identify and plug gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills. Within geography, pupils will develop a deep understanding of key concepts and second order concepts.  These key concepts have been carefully considered and identified as the core knowledge and skills required to successfully achieve in geography. The Key concepts are revisited and developed as the pupils move through the school to ensure the knowledge and skills are firmly embedded within the long-term memory. These key concepts compliment work carried out across the school in line with Aspiration Curriculum. The expectation is that, by the end of Primary School, children will know and understand these key concepts to continue to build on their geographical knowledge as they enter KS3.

In addition to first order concepts, the subject leader has identified subject specific second order concepts. These can be used across all aspects of a subject to organise the substantive knowledge and skills taught.



Key concepts: A range of these ideas are explored through each Geography unit and provide lenses through which to consider different aspects of this area of the pupils’ geographical development.

  • Navigation: (interpreting a key, conventions of maps, map symbols, atlases, GIS, google maps, scale factor, reading and calculating from a scale, using compass points, the equator, the tropic lines, the poles, borders, countries and continents)
  • Fieldwork: (Working collaboratively, planning investigations, collecting data, using instruments/specialist equipment, taking precise measurements, making observations, drawing conclusions)
  • Economic activity: (Trade, land use, farming, wealth, poverty, imports and exports)
  • Tectonic activity: (Volcanoes, earthquakes, tectonic plates, structure of the earth)
  • Human features: (Transports, harbour, shops, towns, villages, community, places of worship)
  • Physical features: (Water cycle, rainfall, mountains, hills, rivers, seas, oceans, tides, islands, tsunami)
  • Natural resources: (Energy, minerals, food and water distribution)
  • Sustainability: (Deforestation, climate change, renewable and non-renewable resources, sea level, food miles, industry, materials, globalisation)
  • Climate and landscape: (Weather, rainfall, seasons, temperature, desert, polar, temperate, Mediterranean, arid, tropical, biomes, vegetation zones, tundra)


Second order concepts: These can be used across all aspects of geography to organize the substantive knowledge taught.

  • Responsibility: (how humans affect the earth positively and negatively, the use of finite resources, climate change and sustainability)
  • Similarity and difference: (making comparisons between places, localities, regions etc…)
  • Cause and consequence: (understanding the effect of humans and nature on landscapes and settlement)
  • Continuity and change: (how have physical and human features changed over time and why)
  • Significance: (significant geographical features, places, events)


  • Enquiry: (observing, collecting and interpreting data, drawing conclusions, explaining and presenting findings)
  • Written and oral expression: (Using geographical terminology, evaluation, description, recall, objectivity, explaining processes, describing and explaining trends, presenting and interpreting data

Any child working below their age-related expectation, will receive a tailored curriculum with personalised objectives taken from the Curriculum Assessment Toolkit. This will enable all children to build the skills and knowledge needed to bridge the gap between themselves and their peers enabling them to reach their full potential.


Using the National Curriculum, Geography has been broken down into 4 main strands: Locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography, geographical skills and field work. Furthermore, we have included an additional focus on human’s responsibility in caring for and developing a sustainable world.


In Geography, by the end of EYFS children will:

Begin to understand how they are part of their own locality which is part of a bigger world. They will learn about different people and communities and use speaking, listening and understanding to develop and explore these in greater detail linked to broad overarching topics. They will be able to comprehend the features of their immediate environment and how this might vary from others.

By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:

Use and make a range of geographical resources such as photos and maps to locate features in their locality and the world. They will understand the principle of directions and look at land use, climate and physical features of Great Britain and other locations in the world.

By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:

Be able to compare their own locality to different locations around the world. They will conduct simple fieldwork to exemplify common geographical processes and develop an understanding of map work such that these features can be examined and identified in a wider context. Children will gain knowledge of the impact of humans on the landscape and recognize the impact of themselves and that of nature in shaping the world in which they live.



At Bricknell Primary School, our curriculum is carefully mapped out into a Long-Term Plan by our highly skilled subject coordinator. This enables links between subjects to be identified and carefully planned for to support pupils’ retention of knowledge, skills.

Geography at Bricknell is taught in every year group and is blocked into units where key and second order concepts are explored. Children’s work will be recorded either evidenced in the Class Book during practical lessons or in their workbook which progresses with them from Year 1 to Year 6.

In EYFS, staff professional judgements are valued. Assessments are formative so that they quickly make a difference to children’s learning. They inform the provision of activities and experiences which develop children’s skills and knowledge as well as giving opportunity for further practise. We record WOW moments on Tapestry and build up a detailed picture of each child using a Child on a Page document.

At Bricknell, all Geography lessons will follow the same teaching sequence outlined below.


A wide range of strategies are used to measure the impact of our geography curriculum. Our teaching sequence allows children to respond to ‘Big Questions’ and to assess how they feel they achieved in each session. Towards the end of a unit of learning, children will engage with a further ‘Big Question’ to encompass their learning in relation to key and second order concepts and to demonstrate how they have built upon prior learning. These allow teachers to identify the knowledge absorbed into the long-term memory of individual pupils. As a result of this assessment tool, pupils’ misconceptions or gaps in subject knowledge are addressed and additional teaching is provided. Standards in geography are monitored through the use of an internal assessment tool.

Our Subject Leader will also monitor the effectiveness of the geography curriculum through carrying out regular subject 360 evaluations. These evaluations are quality assured by the Senior Leadership and Governors.

The effectiveness of geography is also monitored through pupil and parental voice throughout the course of the year.

Further information:

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