Arbourthorne Community Primary School

Arbourthorne Community Primary School

'... a place of joy, inclusivity and learning' OfSTED 2022

Autumn Term - Geography Driver

In our school we aim to develop curiosity of the world in Geography and provide opportunities for children to learn new vocabulary and to reflect, challenge and understand their world. Our context dictates that this is a crucial part of our curriculum if we are to achieve our ambition for every child in this school to see themselves as a Global citizen who has a responsibility to know environmental issues and play their part in creating a sustainable future. Children work from a local to a global perspective very rapidly. 

Our core values are our values for life and British citizenship and these are at the heart of our curriculum. Children are expected to rehearse and demonstrate the core values in their learning. Experiences which develop pupil voice, care for the environment, people and places are emphasised. We aim to ensure children are motivated and engaged in their learning. 

We teach geography as a specific subject and the whole school theme in Autumn term is a Geography unit. We teach children how the knowledge of one subject transfers into other subjects. We have high expectations of our children ‘from the off’ and provide knowledge first and experience second in a sequence of lessons. This is based on research about approaches to learning and curriculum design. (Rosenshine, Lemov, Wiliam etc) 

Geography is taught using a range of high quality texts, information technology and visuals, including small world play and objects of curiosity. 

We believe that children should learn information and then understand it in context for each unit. With this in mind, children will make multiple visits to a place during their time in school when they have acquired a greater depth of knowledge. For example, pupils visit city locations throughout their time here and this builds on their knowledge of the Peak District (physical geography), Whirlow,  Sheffield City, industrial heritage , green spaces and parks. Having the tram on our doorstep helps us to explore the variety of places, landscapes and land use in this wonderful city with our children.

We have team members with a Geography degree who enjoy travelling and have a real passion for the subject, and sharing knowledge between teachers is key to ensuring everyone has the necessary confidence and understanding to develop the subject with their children. 

In Foundation Stage, Geography teaches an understanding of places and environments. Through their work in geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom, and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.

 The taught content supports children's progression into Y1 with a focus on progression strands:

  • Geographical Enquiry
  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Geographical Knowledge

and is a quality springboard for developing as Young Geographers!


'Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical

world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal

experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them –

from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of

society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a

broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their

understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse

world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with

words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening

children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.' EYFS 2021

In Key Stage One and Two visitors, trips and visits are built into curriculum planning to extend children's first hand experiences, knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Maps in every classroom and every home support children’s understanding of where the events they learn about sit in the world around us - locally and globally.  Geography knowledge, skills and understanding are woven into the National Curriculum for geography throughout the year and we have created a progression through the following strands in KS1 which feed seamlessly into progression strands for KS2.

The progression strands running through KS1 and KS2 are:

  • Geographical Enquiry
  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Geographical Knowledge


We are working with an expert to adopt more sophisticated curriculum assessment.  Our focus will be on analysing and examining methodically and in detail across the curriculum. Being able to think critically, and to examine sources methodically and in detail, are essential skills for a geographer. Children analyse sources progressively through school as part of their learning , and then repeat this same process with an unseen source to see how well they can remember how to apply these skills. This assessment ensures children are supported in keeping up with any gaps that may develop. 


These ensure a progressive approach to developing skills, knowledge and understanding from foundation stage to Y6 and prepare children for their secondary education.

Arbourthorne Community Primary School is a member of the Geographical Association
Arbourthorne Community Primary School is a member of the Geographical Association

Geography Ambassadors

Meet our school Geography Ambassadors.

These children represent our school and promote all things Geography.  They are passionate about their learning and determined to share their knowledge and expertise throughout school.

Knowledge Organisers

Our Geography organisers show timelines, places to visit, books to read and films to watch that will add to children's learning experiences. Each organiser has a timeline and these are sent home to families who use these for flipped learning and to enhance discussions and reflections at home about the subject of Geography!

Learning Journey

These are our 'Learning Journeys' which show the journey children's learning takes, through different subjects across the curriculum with Geography as a driver towards an authentic outcome - something that means something real to the children.  paths of learning followed by each year group throughout the curriculum leading to authentic meaningful outcomes for children. Children and families have copies of these 'Learning Jounreys' so they know what to expect, where they can prepare, and what to reflect on. 

The following document shows the clear progression of skills, knowledge and concepts that are woven within our Geography curriculum from Foundation Stage through to Year 6. 

 The medium term plans below show the main subject content of Geography for the term and the development of other subject skills.