Skip to content ↓



‘Geography inspires pupils to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and their responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.’ (Geographical Association) 

The intention of the Geography Curriculum at Woodside School is to inspire pupils’ curiosity and interest to explore the world that we live in and its people, equipping them for further education and igniting a love of learning for life. Geography is a dynamic subject, rich in cultural capital and enables pupils to build their identity and sense of place, provoking thinking and providing answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world and the relationships between people and their environment. Pupils will begin to recognise and understand global issues concerning the environment and sustainable global development.  

Geography curriculum content is carefully and thoughtfully selected and coherently sequenced to build pupil knowledge over time. As pupils progress through the school, their growing knowledge about the world helps them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between human and physical processes, of the formation and use of landscapes and environments and how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and have changed over time. Links are made within and across units to support pupils in making connections and in developing knowledge of a broad range of global geographical concepts, enabling geographical knowledge, vocabulary and key skills to be revisited and used in the future. Skills for gathering and representing information are developed and embedded through fieldwork opportunities in the curriculum, which help pupils to understand how human and physical processes interact. 

There should be no limits placed on any pupils’ potential to become independent and confident thinkers and learners of geography. We ensure that our pupils are equipped with the geographical knowledge to meet continuing challenge and change in the next stage of their education. We encourage all pupils to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research. Pupils are given opportunities to communicate their knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject in a variety of ways, with learning adapted to meet individual needs. Our effective geography curriculum will result in pupils knowing more, remembering more and able to do more. 



At Woodside School we shape and implement our geography curriculum carefully and thoughtfully to ensure it is fully inclusive to every pupil and considers their prior knowledge. We encourage pupils to develop knowledge through an inquiry approach, supporting them to ask questions and explore various sources of geographical information. Our teachers’ subject knowledge allows them to structure and support learning and address pupils’ misconceptions.  

Geography is taught in blocks throughout the year, so that pupils can achieve depth in their learning. Each of our units is taught through key questions which are taken from our end point objectives. Cross curricular outcomes in geography are specifically planned for and these are indicated on the whole school Geography Knowledge and Skills Progression Map. We use the National Curriculum to select topics that have clear connections and can be revisited on an increasing locational scale and complexity to support an effective progression. Various learning strategies are used to meet the needs and interests of pupils and learning is resourced using accurate and up-to-date media to support the tasks chosen.  

Teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic and these are mapped across the school with increasing complexity, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively, and that pupils develop skills systematically, making connections and comparisons. Our teaching refers to carefully selected case studies, and in each year group there are opportunities for pupils to gather, analyse and interpret information through fieldwork and observations made in the locality. 

Learning is inclusive for all pupils due to careful and ongoing adaptation of learning tasks and multisensory learning. Word banks and visual prompts are used for support. Teachers will identify the essential vocabulary, knowledge and skills they would like all pupils to know, which may be pre-taught or over-taught.  

Tasks are selected and designed to provide challenge for all learners, in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Some resources and fieldwork may be adapted to meet the needs of all pupils.  

In order for our pupils to learn and remember more, new units of study always begin with a revision of prior learning and opportunities to recall facts and geographical understanding. This is done in a variety of ways. Teachers may share prior knowledge organisers; ask questions about relevant prior learning; or explore their geography ‘boxes.’ These boxes are filled with photos of key places (for example countries, flags, maps) and photos of key human and physical features. The pupils take these photos from the box and recall the key prior learning and knowledge. Teaching is then informed by the pupils’ starting points and own interests. At the end of each topic, key knowledge is reviewed by the pupils and checked by the teacher and consolidated, as necessary by answering a ‘big question’ which encompasses the key knowledge and vocabulary.  

Pupils develop their language skills in the following ways: 

  • The revision and introduction of new vocabulary is built into each lesson and the vocabulary is also included in display materials in the classroom. We ensure that pupils are allowed opportunities to repeat and revise this vocabulary and knowledge. Using the correct geographical vocabulary in lessons is always encouraged.  

  • Pupils ask and answer questions about source materials and these help them to develop their ideas. This includes recording ideas and annotating materials in their geography books. 

  • Pupils learn geographical vocabulary about location, physical and human places by extracting information from sources such as atlases, reference books and the internet. 

  • They use geographical language to form and draw maps and diagrams to communicate geographical information. 

  • They develop geographical field, mapping and geographical specific terminology. 

  • They make sense of their world through talking and writing with meaningful opportunities for discussion and dialogue; sorting data; ranking information; identifying links between concepts; reconstructing information; discursive writing and so on. 

We make learning memorable or ‘sticky’ by planning interesting and engaging activities. This, again, makes recall easier for the pupils. The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. Teachers are encouraged to use the school grounds and the local area for fieldwork to enable pupils to base learning on first-hand experiences to enhance teaching and learning in Geography. 


The impact and measure of this is to ensure that pupils at Woodside are equipped with geographical skills and knowledge that will enable them to be ready for the curriculum at Key Stage 3 and for life as an adult in the wider world. Pupils will have developed the geographical knowledge and skills to help them explore, navigate and understand the world around them and their place in it.  

We measure the impact of our geography teaching in several ways. At the start of the unit, teachers will ascertain what the pupils already know through questioning and by referring to prior learning. Where there are gaps in skills, the teachers will plan to fill these. Throughout a unit, the teachers will use a variety of methods to informally assess the progress pupils are making in terms of their geographical skills. At the end of a unit, the pupils are given a quiz or a ‘blanked out’ knowledge organiser, which is adapted to meet the needs of all learners.   

The geography knowledge boxes (or equivalent) at the start of each unit, and the linking back to topics and knowledge, help to embed this learning in long-term memory.  Most importantly, the pupils are all given the chance to answer a question in depth at the end of a topic where the pupils can construct an informed response to an important geographical ‘Big question.’ This gives the pupils an opportunity to ‘showcase’ their understanding of knowledge, concepts and skills in geography and gives teachers the information they need to assess accurately.  

By the end of year 6, most pupils will be able to: 

  • Extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They will have developed their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge. 

Locational knowledge 

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities 

  • Name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time 

  • Identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night) 

Place knowledge 

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North and South America. 

Human and physical geography 

  • Describe and understand key aspects of: 

  • Physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle. 

  • Human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water. 

Geographical skills and fieldwork  

  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied  

  • Use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world  

  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies. 

We want the pupils to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about geography and be able to apply their knowledge and skills with an impact across the curriculum. There are many opportunities within geography for pupils to develop their numeracy skills due to mathematical concepts used in some way in most lessons; for example, scales, graphs, data, temperatures and coordinates. 

Features of progression:

At Woodside School progress in geography for all pupils can be characterised by: 

  • Breadth of study: the gradual extension of content - places, themes and environments - to be considered; 

  • Depth of study: the gradual development of general ideas and concepts and deeper understanding of increasingly complex and abstract processes, patterns and relationships; 

  • Scale of study: the shift in emphasis from local, smaller scale studies to more distant, regional, national, continental and global scales; 

  • Skills: the use of specific geographical skills such as map work and more general skills of enquiry matched to pupils' developing cognitive abilities; 

  • Social, economic, political and environmental issues: the chance to develop greater appreciation and understanding of the influence of people's beliefs, attitudes and values on alternative courses of action relating to people, places and environments. 

Values and attitudes - SMSC 

Pupils have opportunities in Geography to: 

  • Learn a sensitivity and concern for landscape and the environment 

  • Show an appreciation of the world including its people, places, landscapes, natural processes and phenomena 

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of the human and physical processes which shape places; 

  • Appreciate similarity and difference in the world around them and to respect other people’s beliefs, attitudes and values; 

  • Develop interest and enjoyment of geographical experiences and build confidence and understanding; 

The Knowledge Organisers that we use with the children can be found on the Year Group Pages.