We want to inspire our children to be curious and fascinated about the world and its people. Over time, children will develop their knowledge about their locality and about the diverse places and people around the world. As children progress through school they will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and the environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and changed over time. We also want our children to know the impact that they will have on the environment and what they can do to look after the Earth.

Our Geography curriculum is designed to help children understand the world, its environments, places near and far and the processes that create or affect them. It encourages a holistic approach of how the world works and develops the skills of place and locational knowledge, human and physical geography, mapping, fieldwork, enquiry, investigation, communication and technology.


In ensuring high standards of teaching and learning in Geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Geography is taught as part of a termly or half termly topic. Planning for Geography is a process in which all teachers are involved, to ensure that the school gives full coverage of the objects set out in The National Curriculum and the Early Learning Goals for ‘Understanding the World’ in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Geography teaching at our school involves adapting and extending the curriculum to match all pupils’ needs. Where possible, Geography is linked to class topics. Due to mixed age classes within our school, Geography units are taught on a 3 or 4 year rolling programme. This ensures skill progression between year groups and ensures content coverage, working on the notion of end points in learning.  Teachers use the school’s Geography Progression document to ensure progression is planned in for each year group within the mixed aged classes.

Link to Geography Progression Document

Geography teaching focuses on enabling children to think as geographers. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement. Educational visits are another opportunity for the teachers to plan for additional geography learning outside the classroom. The children have had many opportunities to experience geography on educational visits.

Children’s geographical learning starts with the familiar and slowly builds outwards, from our local area to the Yorkshire Dales, to the UK, to Europe, and South/North America. Their understanding of how their local area fits into the wider world is therefore gradually accrued. Understanding of physical geography also starts with the familiar: from the locality and seaside in KS1 to mountains and volcanoes and rivers in KS2. More in-depth studies allow children to develop their understanding of the interactions between physical and human geography, with units on Greece and Kenya in KS1, Italy, Japan,  South America and North America in KS2.

Progression within the curriculum is clear: it starts with what is familiar to children and extends outwards. Progression in fieldwork skills is built across units, with local visits in KS1 including our village, Ilkley town (Nell Bank) and our closest seaside, to visits in KS2 to contrasting coastal and urban areas and local fieldwork visits to River Wharfe and Grass Woods. These offer rich opportunities for mapping, technical drawing and exploring their environment in a concrete physical way. Other units offer scope for children to use digital resources, globes, atlases and Geographical Information Systems to explore regions. Key technical and geographical vocabulary is mapped and used within the planning; allowing children to build a rich bank of geographical language. Links are built with other subjects, predominantly, but not exclusively with writing, art, music, science and history.


Within geography, we strive to create a supportive and collaborative ethos for learning by providing investigative and enquiry based learning opportunities. Emphasis is placed on investigative learning opportunities to help children gain a coherent knowledge of understanding of each unit of work covered throughout the school. We aspire to promote children’s independence and for all children to take responsibility in their own learning, therefore our lessons are designed to promote self and peer assessment opportunities.

We also measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of geography concepts before and after the unit is taught through prior learning and end of unit tasks.
  • Summative assessment of pupil discussions about their learning.
  • Images and videos of the children’s practical learning.
  • Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
  • Moderation staff meetings where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers.
  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.
  • Marking of written work in books.

Helpful Websites

Up to date weather forecasts

Activities, games and stories about Barnaby Bear’s travels for KS1

Newsround current affairs

Environmental themes

The children’s section has many useful facts, activities and animations and includes sections on: air, energy, land, climate change, people and lifestyles, resources and waste, water and wildlife.


An introduction for key stage 2 on how maps work and how to interpret them. It includes these 8 sections: starting mapping, symbols, compasses and directions, grid references, understanding scale, measuring distance, relief and contour lines and compass bearings.

Local street maps including a ‘find my nearest’ function, which can be used to locate features e.g. schools, list them and link them to a map.

Search for local street maps by postcode, OS grid reference, place name or street name. Maps are extendable in eight compass directions.

Online mapping site which includes eye level ‘Streetview’

Maps resized to show population sizes, income, etc.

Distant locations

Very child-friendly site for understanding development issues.

Excellent site for global citizenship issues. Children’s pages include details of the history, geography and environment, people and society and a fact file for 14 countries), ‘children’ (exploring the lives of children in less developed countries) and ‘food’ (issues such as farming and fair trade).

Includes a range of resources for information supporting distant locality studies.


The Geograph® Britain and Ireland project aims to collect geographical photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland, and you can be part of it.

Photographic images of countries which can be selected by continent, then by country.

UK, Europe and USA images

Panoramic images