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Our whole-school Curriculum Development Leader for Geography is C Waterhouse

A high-quality geography education should inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip children 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 progress, 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 frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

Developing the young geographer at Someries Infant School and Early Childhood Education Centre

During their time at Someries Infant School and Early Childhood Education Centre, children will acquire the following key knowledge, skills and understanding in geography as part of our unique Prime Learning Challenge curriculum.

Early childhood education curriculum milestones

Developing the knowledge and skills I need to be a successful young geographer

The progress of pupils accessing our Early Childhood Education Centre is monitored using our unique curriculum milestone objectives to ensure they are suitably prepared with the foundational knowledge, skills and understanding they require to succeed in key stage one.

I explore and respond to different natural phenomena in my setting and on trips.

I know that there are different countries in the world and talk about the differences I have experienced or seen in photographs.

I talk about what I see, using a wide vocabulary and I ask questions about aspects of my familiar world such as the place where I live or the natural world.

I recognise some environments that are different to the one in which I live and know about similarities and differences in relation to places. I can draw information from a simple map.

I understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around me.

I describe my immediate environment using knowledge from observation and maps. I can also explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps.

I understand some important processes in the natural world around me, including the seasons.

Achieving these milestones throughout my early childhood education will support me in accessing my first steps in key stage one because they provide a foundation for me being able to:

  • know about some present changes that are happening in the local environment; for example, at school
  • describe seasonal weather changes
  • make simple maps and plans, for example a pictorial place in a story
  • use simple maps of the local area, including large scale, pictorial maps

Key stage one

How children will build on the foundational knowledge, skills and understanding they developed throughout their Early Childhood Education

Throughout key stage one, pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They gain an understanding of 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 are also taught to name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans as well as to name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.

They develop their understanding of 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.

They 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 and learn how to 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.

Pupils learn how to 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. They also learn how to 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. Pupils 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.

Pupils also learn how to 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.