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At Sandilands, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the physical and human aspects of the world. We believe our high quality Geography will inspire in our pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils’ knowledge grows, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and 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 change over time. Children are encouraged to develop a firm understanding and knowledge of their local area; as well as where it sits in the wider world. At Sandilands, we want our children to develop a love and value for the world we live in!

Beginning in Early Years, children discuss their familiar world, such as where they live or the natural world. From Key Stage 1, the Geography curriculum at Sandilands is designed outwardly, giving children a firm grasp of key geographical features of their local area. Following this, children in Key Stage 2 will compare their local area to other areas of the United Kingdom, other European countries and finally countries in other continents.

We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about their local area and the wider world and its people. We endeavour to promote the children’s interest and understanding of a range of people, places, and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical processes.

How is the Subject Content from the National

Curriculum Covered?

(Page 185-187 in the National Curriculum)

In Key Stage 1, 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.

Locational Knowledge

  • name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans (Sydney – Y2)
  • name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas (The Lake District – Y2)

Place Knowledge

  • 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 (The Lake District – Y2, Sydney – Y2)

Human and Physical Geography

  • 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 (The Four Seasons – Y1, Sydney – Y2)

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 (All Around Me – Y1, Manchester – Y2, The Lake District – Y2, Sydney – Y2)
  • key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop (All Around Me – Y1, Manchester – Y2, The Lake District – Y2, Sydney – Y2)

Geographical skills and fieldwork

  • 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 (The Lake District – Y2)
  • 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 (All Around Me – Y1, The Lake District – Y2)
  • 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 (All Around Me – Y1, Manchester – Y2, The Lake District – Y2)
  • use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment (All Around Me – Y1, The Four Seasons – Y1)

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. The four geographical strands – locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork – become more discrete as children develop their ability to think geographically.

Pupils should be taught to:

Locational Knowledge

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities (Volcanoes – Y3, Extreme Earth – Y3, France – Y5, Brazil – Y6)
  • 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 (Manchester Airport – Y3, Llandudno – Y4, Rivers – Y4)
  • 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 (Earth in Space – Y5)

Place Knowledge

  • 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 (Manchester Airport – Y3, Llandudno – Y4, France – Y5, Brazil – Y6, The Amazon – Y6)

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 (Volcanoes – Y3, Extreme Earth – Y3, Rivers – Y4, The Amazon – Y6)
  • 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 (Manchester Airport – Y3, Llandudno – Y4, France – Y5, Brazil – Y6)

Geographical Skills and Fieldwork

  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied (Volcanoes – Y3, Rivers – Y4, The Amazon – Y6)
  • 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 (Volcanoes – Y3, The Amazon – Y6)


Across Key Stage 1 and 2, children interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Children are taught to communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Curriculum documents

Skills progression:

Click here to see EYFS 

Click here to see KS1 

Click here to see KS2 

Curriculum overview:

Click here to see EYFS and KS1

Click here to see KS2