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Geography Subject Leader: Bethany Carter (*plus additional trust leadership capacity)

At Rushton Primary School, we provide a high-quality geography education that inspires pupils to be curious about the world. We have designed our ambitious, carefully sequenced and cohesive curriculum offer using ‘Curriculum Maestro’ from Cornerstones Education. The curriculum design fully complies with the National Curriculum and distinguishes between substantive knowledge (key knowledge) and disciplinary knowledge (skills).  Geographical concepts such as ‘Geographical Change’, ‘Location’ and ‘Sustainability’ are interconnected so that pupils’ knowledge builds progressively from year to year. Pupils understand and use a wide range of geographical vocabulary which enables them to develop the disciplinary skills needed to ask and investigate geographical enquiry questions and ‘think like a Geographer’.


Our geography curriculum ensures that pupils know the connections between locations and understand human and physical features and processes. Pupils will secure a range of disciplinary skills such as enquiry-based fieldwork and how to use and interpret maps, graphs and compasses.  Pupils study a range of places, people and natural environments both in the UK and across the world. As pupils progress through the school, they deepen their understanding of how Earth’s features are shaped, interconnected and change over time. They communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, graphs, use of numerical data and through extended writing opportunities.


At the end of EYFS

Pupils in Reception will develop knowledge and understanding of the Early Learning Goal ‘Understanding the World’ which serves as a foundation for further Geography learning.  Pupils will know about local communities and conduct fieldwork in the school environment.  They will know that maps are pictorial representations of places and journeys.  Pupils will use positional language and make sketches of familiar routes.  Pupils will explore changes that affect their local environment, including weather. They will use world maps and globes to make comparisons between locations.

At the end of Key Stage 1

Pupils will be able to demonstrate locational knowledge including naming and locating continents, oceans and the four countries and capital cities of the UK. They will be able to locate hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles. They will be able to use maps, globes, atlases and aerial photos and follow routes with simple compass directions.  Pupils will be able to ask and answer geographical questions and use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study key human and physical features in the local environment. Pupils will understand geographical similarities and differences when comparing a non-European country to their own location.


At the end of Key Stage 2

Pupils will extend their locational knowledge beyond the local area to include the UK and Europe, North and South America. They will understand how places have changed over time and how and why people from different locations of the world have contrasting points of view.  Pupils will be able to make complex observations of a wide range of maps and graphs. Pupils will be able to plan out their own field work and enquiry questions. In preparation for secondary school, pupils will demonstrate the various ways an expert geographer thinks including describing key aspects of physical and human geography.

Pedagogy: How the Curriculum is Taught

Our Geography curriculum is taught using the following key components:

  • Teaching of subject-specific vocabulary is embedded sequentially throughout the geography curriculum.  Geographical language is explicitly taught, deliberately practiced, and rooted through retrieval practice. As a result, pupils are confident in their oral use of words in multiple oral and written contexts.

  • Map and graph skills are explicitly taught.  This includes reading a range of maps, globes and atlases (e.g political, aerial, topographical and climatic) and graphs (e.g population and climate).

  • Field work – this includes trips within the school environment and the local environment to observe physical and human geography at first hand.

  • Geographical Enquiry and Communication – Pupils will ask and answer geographical enquiry questions and complete geographical reports and presentations, which include their own opinions about the world.



We use a multi-faceted approach to assessment within geography.

  • Pre-unit quizzes to ascertain existing knowledge.

  • Retrieval practice of key knowledge from previous lessons and units of study.

  • Assessment for learning is used within each lesson through skilful use of questioning and live feedback.

  • Pupil voice to support the evidence that pupils know and remember more over time.

  • Written outcomes such as short reports facilitate pupils to independently apply appropriate substantive knowledge and disciplinary skill of pupils developing in thinking like a geographer.  These begin in EYFS with verbalising answers to a question at the end of a topic and continue throughout every year group.


Cultural Capital

Enrichment is an essential part of our Geography curriculum which provides pupils with discrete time to deepen their learning.  They provide opportunities for new experiences as well as nurturing and developing a thirst for learning. 


We use a multi-faceted approach to enrichment within Geography:

  • Field work trips to the local area.

  • Residential experiences for Years 4 and 5.

  • Occasional planned theme days.

  • Outdoor orienteering experiences in PE.


Career Professional Development

We develop strong subject knowledge amongst all staff which is achieved through comprehensive middle leadership development, a focus on developing all teachers’ subject knowledge and geographical pedagogy. All staff benefit from implementing the high-quality planning resources provided by the Trust which is amended to meet the needs of all pupils.


Below is a summary of the CPD activities bespoke to Geography:

  • Sharing knowledge from trust-wide meetings

  • Subject Leader staff training following monitoring

  • 1:1 discussions with staff about lessons

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