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Our School  »  Curriculum  »  Geography

Subject Overview - Geography


Our intent in teaching geography at Barkston Ash Catholic Primary School (BACPS) is for children to have the opportunity to develop an interest, fascination  and enjoyment about the world, difference through studies of countries and their cultures, and to develop knowledge and a thirst for continuing to learn and explore throughout life. 

We aim to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum.

How is the curriculum organised to achieve this?

Geography Overview
Year A Autumn Spring Summer
C1 Where do I live? Around the World The Four Seasons
C2 At the Farm Let’s Go on Safari My World and Me
C3 Countries of the World In the Desert Our European Neighbours
C4 Earning a Living The United Kingdom Investigating Rivers
C5 South America Extreme Earth Our Local Area
Year B Autumn Spring Summer
C1 Life in the City Weather around the World Oceans and Seas
C2 Let’s Go to the Arctic Map Makers York
C3 Investigating India Investigating Mexico Volcanoes
C4 The Grand Canyon Water World Village Settlers
C5 North America Exploring Scandinavia Trade and Economics

Our curriculum design is detailed above. 

The first opportunity to see how a child interacts with their environment and how it influences them is in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Staff follow the Early Learning Goals, which aim to guide children to help them make sense of their physical world and community by allowing them to explore, observe, find out about people, places, technology and the environment. These are crucial first steps to becoming a geographer. Children in the EYFS have opportunity to experience the world around them using lessons delivered in class, but by also having access to an outdoor area and playground which enable children to explore their local area. Children have opportunity to track long term changes within the climate in Science and consider contrasts between seasons. Pupil Voice from children in EYFS shows that as well as learning about the local area and country, children are fascinated by the wider world around them. Opportunities were developed throughout the curriculum in order for children to be able to research and have exposure to learning about other countries. This enables us to enhance children’s understanding of ‘People and Communities’ by considering whether people around the world live like us and lead the same lives that we lead. 
Teaching throughout Key Stages 1 and 2  (KS1/2)  aims to ensure that pupils become sound geographers. Our overarching focus concentrates on ensuring that children are able to learn and develop knowledge about the world. This then enables children to better understand locational knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork as described in the National Curriculum. All children are afforded opportunities to learn about other countries through cross-curricular teaching, theme days and learning challenges. 

In KS1, pupils first learn about their locality and its place within the U.K. Children continue to display enthusiasm and excitement about other countries, so the opportunity was developed to allow children to learn about the locality of the U.K. in relation to Europe and the other 7 continents. Children build on this knowledge to progress as detailed below.

In KS2, children continue to build and develop the knowledge from KS1 and consider the continent of Europe and North and South America. This includes significant human and physical geographical features of the areas studied. 

Progression of Skills and Knowledge in Geography

In KS1, children develop the essential skills to recognise, identify, describe, and observe and select key information to aid their understanding. These are the absolute minimum skills children need to ensure they have a good foundation with which to develop their knowledge later in school and life. Once these skills are taught, children are given the opportunity to develop further skills, such as comparison between locales, or recalling information from past lessons or topics. Naturally, some children may access some of the higher order skills listed, so this process should be seen as fluid rather than regimented.

In KS2, children further develop their geographical progression. Here, children are challenged to use their knowledge to explain concepts, such as answering why there are more rainforests around the central belt of Earth than there are in the north and south, or to explain why a city such as Hull developed in the location it did. 

Progression in Geography


A geography topic is taught termly and occasionally through cross-curricular teaching. Teachers plan their topics from the Geography Long Term Plan. The geography long term plan was planned in conjunction with teachers and children to ensure interest, clarity of teaching and cross-curricular links with current teaching. 

Medium term plans should incorporate learning objectives detailing what children will learn in that lesson. These are accompanied by ‘top tips’ for children to follow to enable them to achieve the learning objective. Lessons are differentiated by teachers in order to enable all children to access and challenge learning. 

Throughout the year, children have experience of a variety of theme days to increase their exposure to the geography curriculum. European Day and International Day are penned at the start of the year. Closer to the time, teachers choose an appropriate country and deliver lessons that focus on the cultural aspects of the respective countries. These are well received by children, and examples of activities include tasting/creating local cuisine, learning simple phrases in the native language and research on aspects of the country, including human and physical geographical landmarks.

  Below Working Towards Working Towards B Working Towards A In Line B In Line A Exceeding B Exceeding A
Y1     5% 52% 9% 5% 29%
Y2       33%     56%
Y3   6% 6% 62% 13% 13%  
Y4       10% 74% 16%  
Y5     6% 44% 44% 6%  
Y6     14% 41% 9% 18% 18%

Results throughout school are good and differentiation effectively caters for our pupils. This has resulted in a lack of children who are achieving below ARE. There is a clear lack of children achieving the very highest percentages in LKS2 and Y5. Results are banded more tightly in KS2 between ILB and EXB than KS1. KS1 have 85% of children across 2 classes gaining the highest percentages compared to KS2 with 18% across three classes. This needs to continue to be investigated to identify whether children are finding the subject more difficult throughout KS2 or whether there is uncertainty amongst staff as to what is expected from students to achieve the highest percentages. This will take place during a subject analysis and when we meet as a staff to identify the skills and knowledge we expect our children to have to achieve particular gradings. 

Geography is assessed using a spreadsheet tailored to BACPS. After a subject analysis identified a lack of children achieving ‘exceeding’ percentages, the spreadsheets were adapted by teaching staff to create a challenging set of high-level skills to be displayed by children. Geography is on the next rotation to identify sets of skills and content we believe is important for our children. 

Lesson observations have shown a high level of geographical knowledge from staff and from children. Book scrutinies have shown a high level of work with differentiation in classes. 


We have recently invested in a teaching scheme for the school. Over a number of staff meetings, we discussed a range of schemes that would best provide the challenge and subject content we needed for our school. We have also invested in a number of new resources including Ordnance Survey maps and new atlases for KS1 and KS2. These have been utilised effectively when teaching map skills or for identifying human and physical features of an area. There is also some cross curricular teaching utilising atlases and maps, such as history and science.