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The Geography Curriculum


A high-quality geography education 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, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their 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. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

The Early Learning Goals state that in the Early Years pupils should be taught to:


  • Comment and ask questions about aspects of their familiar world such as the place where they live or the natural world.

  • Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as plants, animals, natural and found objects.

  • Talk about why things happen and how things work.

  • Develop an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time.

  • Show care and concern for living things and the environment.

  • Look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.


The National Curriculum states that in Key Stage 1 pupils should be taught to:


Location and Knowledge

  • Name and locate the world’s 7 continents and 5 oceans.

  • Name, locate and identify characteristics of the 4 countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.


Place Knowledge

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom.


Human and Physical Geography

  • Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles

    Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:

    • Key physical features.

    • Key human features.


Geographical Skills and Fieldwork

  • Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage.

  • Use simple compass directions (north, south, east and west) and locational and directional language to describe the location of features and routes on a map.

  • Use aerial photographs to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features, devise a simple map and use and construct basic symbols in a key.

  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.


Geography at Wootey Infant School


Geography in the early years means getting to know the world around us, the trees outside our classrooms, spotting our houses on our local walk and jumping in puddles after the rain. Moving through into Key Stage 1 we want the children to be inspired by their local environment and the wider world. We want them to make comparisons between Alton and beyond and be able to go on a journey through oceans, rainforests, and deserts, all the way to Antarctica and back again!


Take a look at our Geography Overview below to see how we deliver the Geography Curriculum.