Geography Curriculum Overview

‘The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexities of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together’. (Barack Obama)

At Greengate Lane Primary Academy we expect the highest aspirations for our pupils. We want all children to learn and make academic progress no matter their starting points. We have a clear vision for what we want pupils to achieve during their time at Greengate Lane Primary  and have designed our curriculum to give all pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need in their future years.

Curriculum Purpose of Education

At Greengate Lane Academy, we provide our children with a knowledge rich curriculum in order to secure the most important conceptual geographical knowledge in a carefully sequenced way. We use the Primary Knowledge Curriculum materials which follows the National Curriculum aims and ambitions and we ensure it is adapted to address pupil’s prior attainment.

Building on prior knowledge we ensure pupils: understand where they are located within the world as well as within the British Isles, beginning every year with a spacial sense module to lay the foundation and ensuring one ‘British’ unit in each year’s learning. We ensure they are able to use a range of resources to understand their location and the landscapes of contrasting environments; develop an appreciation of, and have a desire to conserve the differing environments of the world.

A good geographical understanding relies on firm foundations of knowledge and skills. Our curriculum skills build on the knowledge, and like knowledge, are specified, ordered coherently and progress over time. This curriculum structure helps pupils to deepen their understanding of physical and human geographical processes, fostering their interests, curiosity and fascination for the world we live in a meaningful way and support them to think as geographers.

We know that vocabulary development is crucial for our learners and local context at Greengate Lane so language development through clearly defined vocabulary and the use of classroom environments to support teaching of vocabulary is an important part of our curriculum. Geography draws on a vast range of vocabulary to identify and name places, the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there. Such core knowledge provides the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding; providing entry points to geographical conversations about the world we all share.

Geography is an exciting, enquiry led subject that helps us better understand the people, places and environments in the world. Our pupils will leave Greengate Lane being able to articulate answers to questions such as: Where is this place? What is it like? (and why?) How and why is it changing? How does this place compare with other places? How and why are places connected? At Greengate Lane Academy, over time, and working through an essential process of review and elaboration, our children will add to their conceptual understanding and become skilled investigators to such questions.

Impact of the Curriculum on pupils’ learning 

In geography, the curriculum is ambitious and the curriculum is the progression model. It is progressively  more challenging over time. Pupils complete mini quizzes and end of unit essays or bigger assessments to check what has been learned and remembered. With children’s learning outcomes, teachers and leaders talk to pupils about their learning and what they have understood and remembered. Teachers make adaptations to lessons to anticipate misconceptions or gaps and leaders look at learning across year groups to inform any big decisions about curriculum adaptations. All learning is recorded in work books as a reference point to check on the quality of what is being covered and governors help the school to monitor the quality of these. 

Leaders measure the impact of the geography curriculum through:

  • lesson observations – how well children are contributing to discussions and how they articulate ideas about relevant themes;
  • learning walks – how well the curriculum intent is embedded in the learning environment
  • book looks – as part of discussions with teachers and pupils
  • pupil voice – to listen to pupils’ views about their learning and how well curriculum content is being taught and understood;
  • end of unit quizzes and assessments that show what has been remembered

Geography Overview (Long Term Plan)

Rationale for Geography


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