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At Carlton Miniott, we aim to give pupils a variety of learning experiences in Geography...

Geography Intent

At Carlton Miniott Primary Academy, we aim to provide a high-quality Geography education which inspires pupils to have a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. The ultimate goal is for this to stick with our pupils throughout their lives. Our teaching aims to equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources, natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Like other subjects in school, the teaching and learning in Geography will aim to develop children’s cultural, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual awareness.


Geography Implementation

How is the Subject Taught at Carlton Miniott?

At Carlton Miniott, Geography is primarily delivered in ‘topics or themes’ outlined on our Long Term Plans followed by staff. They are available for parents to view on our school website. We link pupil learning with a range of subjects to reinforce pupils’ knowledge and skills, including English, Design Technology and Art.

The five areas of learning that pupils’ study through both key stages are:

  • Map Making
  • Enquiry and Investigation
  • Locational Knowledge
  • Human & Physical
  • Following Directions and Maps

At the start of each topic, we use ‘launch days’ as a vehicle to inspire pupils; at the end of topics, we use ‘landing days’ to review the learning and to ensure that topics provide a lasting impact to pupils.


Geography is delivered through, ‘Understanding the World.’ Children look at the features of their own environment, including discovering, observing and investigating as part of ‘Fresh Air Fridays.’ They look at how seasons change over time and how environments differ. Children in EYFS talk about things that spoil the World, including pollution; they investigate recycling and its importance.


Pupils will develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They will 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:

Locational knowledge

  • 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

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

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
  • 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
  • key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop

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
  • 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 and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.


KS 2

Pupils will 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 will develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge


Pupils will be taught to:

Locational knowledge

  • 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)

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

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

Geographical skills and fieldwork

  • 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


Pupil Feedback

The school has implemented a ‘Keep Up not Catch Up’ (KUNCU) approach to learning. In lessons, teachers monitor work carefully and give immediate feedback to pupils. This not only gives quick praise to pupils who have successfully addressed an area of the learning objective but helps them address misconceptions. Teachers are able to adapt their teaching based on this. At the start of each topic or theme, staff also do ‘prior’ learning activities to assess pupils’ current knowledge and use this to adapt teaching.


Learning Environment

Pupil work is mainly completed in a ‘Wonderful Work’ book but also includes oral work and practical activities e.g. role play and artwork. We encourage pupils to produce neat work that mirrors work in other subjects, like English writing. Some geographical writing may be in English books if it is part of a particular genre. To support the teaching of Geography, classes have access to a range of topic boxes that contain artefacts, books and display materials e.g. South America containing examples of instruments, maps, posters and books. Classes also use geography themes as the basis of both class and school displays to promote pupils’ learning.

To give pupils’ a greater appreciation of the subject and to enhance their experiences, classes take part in educational visits to venues like The River Swale, East Barnby, Whitby and the local town. Visitors to school and theme days also add to the richness of the subject in school.

In everyday lessons, use of computers for research and multi media, including sound recordings and films, give children a greater insight into geographical themes.


Assessment and Tracking of Pupil progress

Staff use an assessment software program (Insight) to both record and monitor pupil progress in Geography. Assessment is an ongoing process and is used to identify and enhance pupil learning.  Staff use this information to analyse pupil strengths to identify and ‘gaps’ in pupils’ geographical knowledge and skills. The Long Term Plan clearly shows the assessment objectives that will we addressed in a particular theme/topic. The subject leader uses information from this to present to staff and governors.


Staff Subject Knowledge and Continuous Professional Development

The subject leader (through analysis of pupil work, ‘pupil voice’ discussions, assessment data and subject monitoring) will identify any development areas in subject knowledge. Staff questionnaires and discussions (including staff meetings) will also identify areas of subject knowledge that may need enhancing. The subject leader will give feedback and will lead training sessions in staff meetings. He/she will also identify external training that may be utilised to develop staff skills and knowledge.

Impact of measures taken

Pupil Voice very positive: 

KS1 pupils talked about map work, using atlases and some even mentioned cardinal points of a compass. Older children cited use of ‘Google’ maps to help their geographical knowledge.

Geography knowledge of topics covered was good e.g. South America and volcanoes in Yrs 5 & 6.

Older pupils able to mention books that they had read to reinforce their knowledge e.g. Kapok Tree for South America unit.

Trips have continued to be an integral part of the History curriculum. These have been well received by children and have really contributed to their learning experience. Trips have include a 'Rivers' trip to a local stream in Thirsk (May 2021); local history trips to investigate the our local area and develop map reading skills (October 2021) and visiting the Farne Islands, Northumberland, to learn about islands and their wildlife as part of our 'Galapagos' topic (October 2021). 

 Data from July 2021 shows lots of strengths in attainment in school.

Geography still has high profile with themed displays. These are changed half termly to enthuse pupils and celebrate their work. 

Lots of evidence of Geography being linked to other subjects, like DT, Art and Writing.