The Spinney Primary School

Teaching and Learning Together

The Spinney Primary School

Teaching and Learning Together


Our vision


Why do we study Geography?

At The Spinney our geography curriculum aims to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for geography; providing a broad, balanced, ambitious and inclusive curriculum whilst also ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills. We follow the national curriculum in both key stages and in KS2 this is supported by the Opening Worlds curriculum. 


Our learners are encouraged to be inquisitive, to pose questions and seek answers. Our geography curriculum inspires children to look closely at the world around them and develop the skills necessary to be able to interpret what they see. We want geography to be creative, fun and above all be relevant and meaningful to the children’s own lives and experiences. As such we seek to build upon the child’s “personal geography” by developing locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork, starting with them and their immediate locality before branching out and examining the national and international world. We seek to broaden children's real-life experiences both inside and outside of school through educational visits, visitors, exploration and discovery. We encourage the use of cross curricular links, encompassing the use of subjects such as technology, art, and maths as well as allowing opportunities to develop our literacy skills. We are fortunate to live in a community rich in culture and diversity and we embrace the opportunities this affords us. We want to encourage our pupils to be global citizens, educated and aware of the world we live in and the positive impact we can have.


Our curriculum will equip pupils with a knowledge of diverse places and people, together with a deep understanding of our planet’s key physical and human processes. As the environment is a key priority, we want our curriculum to empower children with a deep understanding of local, national and global ecological issues and provide them with the necessary knowledge to make positive change.


Geography lends itself as a highly cross-curricular subject that encourages children to critically examine, explore, appreciate and comprehend the world in which we inhabit. At a primary curriculum level, the study of Geography focuses on notions of place, space and environment, whereby students develop the skills of understanding a locality and how humans have adapted to this physical space, transforming it – over time – in to a ‘place’. Furthermore, a fundamental element of working geographically is the notion of physically venturing out into the world and exploring the processes of our planet through practical fieldwork investigations.


Links to English:

As with all subjects in the curriculum, the humanities provide the powerful knowledge that, if thoroughly and securely taught, builds the wide and secure vocabulary acquisition that underpins literacy and all successful communication. We know that pupils only read with the speed necessary for fluency when 5 they have adequate prototypes for abstract words and phrases, and when their densely structured schemata allow them to ‘chunk’ the incoming text for meaning. Vocabulary size is the outward sign of the inward acquisition of knowledge. Moreover, the types of account that form each subject’s processes and products – its narratives, analyses, arguments – give pupils continuous, focused practice in reading and writing, both fiction and non-fiction. Pupils reading and will always be richly grounded in stimulating content in which pupils will be increasingly secure, and always driven by a clear disciplinary purpose.


Aims and Objectives

· to deliver program of study for Key Stages 1 and 2 of the National Curriculum

· to develop children’s knowledge of the world

· to stimulate children’s interest in their immediate surroundings and beyond

 · to develop an understanding of local, national and world geography

· to develop a sound understanding and appreciation of physical and human geographical features of the world we live in

· to develop an awareness of the environment and natural world we live in and the responsibilities we have to protect it

How we plan and teach Geography


Geography is taught every half term in KS2 and every term in KS1 and through a knowledge and vocabulary rich approach. Lessons are carefully sequenced across the curriculum to ensure that each unit will build on and develop the children’s substantive knowledge, their understanding of geographical disciplinary concepts and provide all of the vocabulary needed to meet later topics with confidence. The scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing of the content has all been considered to ensure that the learning is organised in the best way to allow pupils to make progress and to thrive in their study of the subject.


Geography at The Spinney explores:

  • Locational knowledge
  • Place Knowledge
  • Human and physical geography
  • Geographical skills and fieldwork.

Alongside geographical knowledge, the children at the Spinney learn geographical skills. As the children progress through the school, they will develop their enquiry, interpretation and communication skills.


Early Years Foundation Stage

 In Early Years Foundation Stage children are supported in their learning through a range of child initiated and adult directed tasks. In Early Years history is a part of “Understanding the World”. Children are encouraged to think, talk about and explore their own personal history, examine past and present event in their own lives and those of family members.


Key Stage 1

Our teaching follows the National Curriculum which sets out that:

 Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.


Pupils will be taught to

· name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans

· name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas

· understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country

· identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles

· use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather and key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop

· use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage

· use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far; left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map

 · use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key

 · use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school, the grounds and the key human and physical features of the surrounding environment.


Key stage 2

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


Pupils will be taught to:

· 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)

· 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 or 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

 · 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

How we evaluate learning in Geography:


The impact of our Geography curriculum can clearly been seen in the children’s Humanities books. Our rich Geography curriculum is also evident in the texts that we have selected for our children to read, displays in our classrooms, class assemblies where children share their knowledge with their parents and the geographical fieldwork our children take part in We believe that if children have become knowledgeable, then they will be able to articulate their understanding with confidence. This is why pupil voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress. At the end of each unit a synoptic task will be carried out, which will explore the children’s understanding of the enquiry question. 

Children will be assessed throughout the term orally and through careful teacher observations, which will be used to inform future planning through adaptation of the lesson plans. Children at the Spinney will gain ‘Sticky’ knowledge that will be retained in their long term memory. Children will be able to demonstrate this knowledge by making across their learning as they progress through the school. By the end of Key Stage 2, children are able to give articulate definitions of key geographical conceptual threads that run through the curriculum.


How does the study of Geography directly foster moral values, attitudes and the disposition to challenge and and improve our world?



Given that they uniquely address the study of humans in society through time and their interaction with the planet, the humanities subjects provide distinctive contributions to pupils’ overall education. If scope, rigour, coherence and sequencing are properly configured, these subjects foster the knowledge, skills and dispositions for pupils to:

● thrive through informed curiosity about the world

● view human challenges, quests and achievements through the lens of the long traditions that have shaped them

● think critically about how to change the world for the common good

● gain the language and concepts to notice, analyse and question how power works in society, and how inequality or suffering arises

● understand and value the diverse experiences and contributions of others who may be very different from themselves

● enrich their own sense of identity as they look across time, space and culture and see many positive versions of themselves

● understand the power of learned communities working collaboratively to seek truth in their claims about the world

● gain the concepts which give them the tools for precise thought and rigorous argument with which to describe, explain and change the world

 ● build strong standards of truth about the conditions under which valid claims can be made about the world, society, culture and belief, on multiple scales

● appreciate and participate in the arts – music, art and literature – through richly diverse artistic outputs within the many sources studied, properly understood in their cultural, temporal and geographical contexts and providing richly informed stimulus for pupils’ own creativity