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Alexandra Primary School



Geography is a foundation subject in the National Curriculum. The study of geography enables children to gain an understanding and curiosity about the world around them, understand the importance of sustainable living, respect the world and take deliberate steps to care for it. Our teaching and learning sequences are planned to ensure that learning is memorable and key knowledge , vocabulary and skills are remembered and applied to new knowledge. Children are encouraged throughout the curriculum to  understand in detail a number of places and how they are similar and different to the place that we live in.


Our curriculum planning is based on the three aspects of development identified by the geographical association-

  • Contextual world knowledge of locations and places and geographical features.
  • Understanding the conditions, processes and interactions that explain features, distribution patterns and changes over time and space.
  • Competency in geographical enquiry and the application of skills in observing, collecting, analysing, evaluating and communicating geographical.


Learning is sequenced using the knowledge and skills progression documents developed by the school, using the structures of the Geographical Association.


The early years curriculum at Alexandra Primary school encourages children to develop their curiosity of the world around them, to ask questions and to investigate. Our learning in nursery is based on hands-on exploration of their environment. Children are encouraged to develop an understanding of the need to respect and care for the world around them. Through thinking about our own families, children begin to develop an understanding of differences between different people and develop positive attitudes.  Through stories, photos and personal experiences children learn that there are different countries in the world and begin to talk about what they have seen or experienced. Learning in our reception classes continues to build on what is familiar to the children. They undertake local area walks and construct simple maps. Children look at aerial photographs of the school using digimaps and create their own maps. Children are taught about the differences between the town and countryside, and this learning culminates in a visit to Bocketts Farm. Through stories, for example, The Runaway Chapati and Handa’s Surprise, children are able to compare where they live to other locations in the world.

Teaching of vocabulary is central to our teaching and children are taught the vocabulary they need to name specific features of the natural world. Non fiction texts are used to offer an insight into contrasting environments.


The geography curriculum is divided into 4 strands:

  1. Locational knowledge- general geographical knowledge, position and significance.
  2. Place knowledge - compare and contrast.
  3. Human and physical geography - local and global
  4. Skills- enquiry, mapping, fieldwork, critical thinking and vocabulary.

Skills Progression

Skills progression based on the Geographical Association






position and  

significance, UK  

and Global

Year 1 

Year 2 


Year 4 

Year 5 

Year 6

North and South Poles, Equator, 4 Compass points N, S, E, W Locational  language, name & locate: 7 continents & 5 oceans. Name, locate, identify:  4 countries and capitals of UK & surrounding seas.

Latitude, longitude, Equator, N. & S. hemispheres, Tropics Cancer & Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, Prime / Greenwich Meridian &  time zones, 8 Compass points, 4 & 6 figure grid references. Locate world's countries, Europe, (including location of Russia), Americas,  concentrating on regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, major cities. Counties, cities, geographical regions,  characteristics, topographical features, land use & changes over time.

What makes our local area special-Study & record key human & physical features of our local area.  Skills- use observation, aerial photos, maps

Our homes

Postcode - own address

What is my immediate locality like?

Use maps and globes to identify the 4 countries of the UK.

Animals around the world - different habitats. Cold and hot places - continents 

Mapping skills, Locating 7 continents and 5 Oceans of the world. 

4 cardinal compass points

Weather patterns - seasons 

Kenya in Africa - life in Masai Mara village

 safari park comparison to Richmond Park

8 point  compass

OS maps - map symbols.

Counties and cities of England. Regional study of UK - The Lake District:  topographical features, land use patterns

Continent of Europe in the northern hemisphere- identify countries, major cities,  mountain ranges and rivers  of Europe.

How mountains are formed - volcanoes

Regions of Greece - Greta: mountains, coasts and gorges

Settlements, human movement through history - migration

Biomes - rainforests in South America, importance of deforestation

Major cities in the world  & movement of people- looking for patterns 

Earth from space

Latitude and longitude

Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn 

Time zones

North America - The Caribbean, compare KIngston jamaica to Kingston Upon Thames 

World’s natural resources - sustainability

Rivers and the water cycle

Active planet - natural disasters- plate tectonics.

Place knowledge Compare and  


Local scale study UK & Non - European country 

Regional comparison UK, European country, North or South America

UK countries and capital

Compare our town to a Uk coastal town- ask questions-  What is it like to live here?

Where is Kenya?

Comparison of an African national park to Richmond Park.

Comparison of key human and physical features of a safari park.

Counties and cities in England

Regional study of the Lake District.

Compare Uk to Italy - London to Naples

Locational study: regions of Greece

Physical features of Greece

Locational study: the Amazon basin 

North America: What is special about the Caribbean? 

Compare human and physical features of Kingston Jamaica to Kingston Upon Thames

Human and  


Local and Global  


Identify seasonal & daily weather patterns (UK & local scales) Identify hot  & cold areas of the world in relation to Equator & North & South Poles

Describe and understand key aspects of: Climate zones, biomes, vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, water cycle Types of settlement & land use, economic activity, trade links, distribution of natural resources: energy, food, minerals, water cycle.

Starting to use globes and maps - identifying cold and warm regions in the world

Weather in winter - daily recordings

Hot and cold areas and North and South poles

 Weather patterns - seasonal and daily

UK Locality Lake District: The journey of River Derwent 

The continent of Europe: how are mountains formed?

Volcanoes - where and why do they happen? 

Link to History - Where did Anglo Saxons and Vikings come from and where did they settle - migration routes 

Costal study - erosion, gorges Greece)

Biomes - rainforests, sustainability, Amazon basin 

Migration - why humans move around

Investigation of large cities and push and pull of migration.link to the Windrush generation. 

Layers of the earth - natural disasters 

Natural resources and sustainability

Water cycle

Rivers and the water cycle (Thames - Teddington Lock)


Begin to ask questions. Identify places using maps, atlases, globes, aerial  images & plan perspectives, make maps, devise basic symbols, fieldwork,  geographical vocabulary.

Develop questioning. Locate, describe, explain using maps (including OS maps), atlases, globes, digital mapping, measure, record and communicate using a range of methods including maps, plans, graphs, writing at length. Fieldwork in local & wider localities & more  distant localities – residential.

Enquiry, mapping,  fieldwork, critical  thinking,  


Walk to Richmond Park - noticing human and physical features - record on own map the route taken

Local area walk.

Visit to Richmond park - identifying human and physical features

Walk in our locality, drawing a map of route taken

Local study-

Kingston market place- how has it changed over time.

Shop survey

Visit Kingston museum.

Is our park noise polluted? Use of observation and measurement of sound using data loggers, interpreting and presenting findings.

Local study of Kingston area- observe, measure and record the human and physical features in the local area 

Thames boat project-

School on the river.

Paula Owens 2016 @primageographer  


In Geography, teachers assess children’s progress by making observations during lessons and discussions, using evidence in books and at the end of unit assessments.

Assessment is used to inform future lessons, ensuring children are supported and challenged appropriately.  At the end of a unit, children’s knowledge is assessed through written and discussion based assessment, giving them the opportunity to reflect on their knowledge of the unit as a whole.

Final end of year assessments are made using criteria that have been developed in line with the National Curriculum.  Children in the Early Years are assessed within the Understanding of the World criteria in the Early Years Framework. Age related expectation levels are reported to parents at the end of the year.   Geography is monitored through a variety of strategies including planning and book scrutiny, lesson observations and pupil voice.


Our local area provides us with great opportunities to explore, with our proximity to Richmond Park and the River Thames.

Our school values of excellence, nurture, community and exploration are at the core of our teaching and learning.