How We Teach Geography
At our primary school in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, the geography curriculum intends to nurture fascination about the diversity of people, places, cultures, and environments around the world. Our curriculum is designed to meet the quality statements in the Ofsted Subject Inspection Handbook for Geography (2023), delivering a curriculum that is ambitious, coherently planned and sequenced, and promotes progression in geographical knowledge and skills.
The curriculum aims to:
- Spark curiosity about the world through interactive lessons and local fieldwork rooted in pupils’ experiences
- Develop spatial thinking, mapwork skills, and geographical vocabulary in line with the latest Ofsted focus
- Enable pupils to investigate places, patterns, and physical/human processes using geographical enquiry
- Equip pupils to analyse issues and appreciate different cultural perspectives
- Foster a passion for places and environments to inspire future study and careers
- Build cultural capital so pupils develop detailed locational knowledge and spatial awareness
By achieving these aims, our pupils will demonstrate the key aspects of high-quality geography highlighted by Ofsted, including contextual and locational knowledge, fieldwork skills, and proficiency in geographical thinking, while seeing relevance to their lives, backgrounds, and future opportunities.
The geography curriculum will be implemented through:
- A coherently planned and progressively sequenced scheme of work built around enquiry questions and recurring “golden thread” concepts.
- Interactive lessons using diverse resources to explore key geographical concepts like place, space, scale, interconnection, environment, diversity etc
- Fieldwork opportunities to deepen understanding of core concepts in local contexts.
- Cross- curricular links reinforcing conceptual understanding across subjects.
- Assessments aligning with curriculum expectations to check conceptual comprehension and progression.
- Collaborative planning and CPD focused on embedding recurring geographical concepts across all key stages
- Home learning activities revisiting conceptual understanding in different contexts.
- High-quality sequences of lessons spiralling key concepts, adding layers of detail and complexity over time.
- A conceptual approach building strong foundations in KS1 which are revisited, reinforced and extended as pupils progress
KS2 has in place a two-year teaching cycle for all foundation subjects. This structure ensures that in our mixed year classes, the whole curriculum requirements will be taught. Each phase (Y3/4 and Y5/6) has a long-term plan which follows our personalised curriculum. EYFS, Y1 and Y2 follow their own teaching cycle.
The curriculum will be implemented flexibly based on pupils’ needs but with a clear focus on progressively developing conceptual understanding of the core “golden threads” of geographical thinking.
An effective geography curriculum will equip pupils with substantive and disciplinary knowledge to understand the world around them. When implemented well, the curriculum will:
- Inspire pupils to develop a sense of wonder about places, people and environments, measured through pupil voice, surveys and observations.
- Enable pupils to think geographically, using key concepts, skills and vocabulary as evidenced through assessments and work scrutiny.
- Empower pupils to investigate issues critically, analyse patterns and offer solutions, demonstrated through topic assessments and projects.
- Prepare pupils to participate actively as global citizens, tracked through participation, pupil voice and learner attributes.
- Foster an interest in geography leading to further study, indicated by uptake of geography at GCSE and beyond.
- Develop confident, resilient learners equipped with knowledge, skills and cultural capital, monitored through wellbeing surveys, observations and outcomes.
Impact will be measure through:
- Topic tests, half-termly assessments and end of key stage outcomes
- Moderation and scrutiny of pupils’ geography work
- Lesson observations and pupil voice activates
- Tracking pupil participation, engagement and wellbeing
- Analysing uptake of geography at KS4 and aspirational outcomes.
The curriculum will lead to pupils valuing geographical learning, applying it meaningfully, and approaching the subject with curiosity and ambition. High-quality geography education will help prepare and inspire our pupils to play an active, ethical role in society.