Updated: 20/03/2024 1.07 MB
Updated: 09/06/2023 182 KB
Updated: 09/06/2023 159 KB

Curriculum Intent

Our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s knowledge, understanding and curiosity of the world in which we live. At St. William's, we intend for children to:

  • Be enthusiastic Geographers: developing a love for learning, curiosity about the world around them and a love of people and the environment.
  • Develop their interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources, and natural and human environments.
  • Deepen their understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
  • Feel prepared and informed, both now and as future learners beyond our school, in geographical issues.

Our Geography curriculum builds on children’s prior learning and develops their knowledge of the world around them so that they know more, remember more, and understand more. Learning about Geography enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development.


As a school within Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust, we teach a scheme of work designed by a transition team of our primary school staff working with subject specialists from our secondary schools. This means our curriculum has been designed to ensure clear progression, in the acquisition of knowledge and for key skills, building on pupil’s prior learning. We teach termly, discreet topics for all pupils from Year 1 to Year 6.

The curriculum units of work have clearly identified minimum knowledge ‘end points,’ and have been sequenced to ensure that pupils know more and remember more as they move through primary school and transfer into KS3.

Our curriculum covers the National Curriculum and is underpinned by the building blocks of Geography (Threshold Concepts) which are emphasised and reinforced in the geography curriculum across our Trust schools from KS1 to KS5.

  1. Location and Place Knowledge
  2. Geographical techniques and terms.
  3. Physical features and processes.
  4. Human interaction with the environment.

Each unit of work has a clear rationale, key topic vocabulary, builds on pupil’s prior learning and defines the minimum knowledge and skills (end points) that pupils will learn. Assessment strands in topics give pupils the opportunity to demonstrate their learning and the knowledge companions that we call ‘Learn it! Link It! help pupils to remember the key elements of the topic. This helps pupil organise their learning into relevant areas and make links to other areas and subjects. Conceptual (Golden) threads of Geography such as cause, effect response and the ‘Geotrio’ of social, economic, and environmental factors, are woven through our curriculum to ensure consistency, add focus and promote purposeful learning.

Topics and units lay out sequential components of learning which equates to 8-10 hours of teaching. Our curriculum is reviewed annually as new units developed through our partnership are added.

Key Stage 1

Topics include:

  • The local area: where I live.
  • Weather patterns
  • A contrasting locality: Antarctica
  • A contrasting locality: Brazil

Key Stage 2

Topics include:

  • Angry Earth: Volcanoes
  • Angry Earth: Earthquakes
  • Biomes: Tropical Rainforest
  • Biomes: Deserts
  • Swimming in Plastic
  • Seaside Rocks/Coastal Erosion
  • Journey of the River
  • Angry Earth: Japanese Tsunami of 2011
  • Climate Change is Real
  • Migration
  • Country study: North America
  • Natural Resources/European comparison
  • Settlements

Developing Awareness of Locality

Our Bespoke Curriculum allows pupils to explore their own identity and unique locality as a village school in County Durham. Examples of this can be seen through our interleaving local geography topics e.g. Key Stage 1 ‘Where We Live’ and the Key Stage 2 Topics of ‘Our Place In The World’ and ‘The River Tees’. These topics, and fieldwork around our locality, allow children to make links to prior learning and deepen their understanding of locality.

Visitors and Enrichment Opportunities

Our Geography curriculum offers planned educational experiences, driven by shared principles and creative approaches that make full use of opportunities for ‘real world’ learning. We plan Educational visits to bring our schema to life and develop ‘real world’ learning. Some examples of these include:  Sunderland RNL Lighthouse (Y1/2), Explore4 All Residentials to London and Berwick, Map reading at Hardwick Park (EYFS and Y6)

We have sharing assemblies to allow classes to share and celebrate their learning in Geography to the wider school community.

Working In Partnership With Experts

We invite experts and participate in partnership projects also help children apply the knowledge taught and develop their geographical understanding further.  Examples of partnerships that help us design and deliver learning opportunities include:  The Canals and River Trust, Trimdon Parish Council, The Kilimatinde Trust (providing school links with Tanzania), RNLI, RSPB, OASES (environmental sustainability/Climate Change is Real), Durham CC  and SSP / Durham Cathedral  (Mapping Skills).

Curriculum Sequence

We have chosen to sequence the curriculum over a two-year rolling cycle,

Each topic includes a knowledge retention/recap element so that we build on prior learning.

Pupils take an assessed task in each unit which draws on their learning and vocabulary.


When pupils leave our school, pupil will know more, remember more, and understand more about Geography.  They will have developed the geographical knowledge and skills to help them explore, navigate, and understand the world around them and their place in it.

The majority of pupil will achieve age related expectations in Geography and clear progress will be evident in their topic work and in topic assessed tasks.  Outcomes in Geography books will demonstrate the pupil’s acquisition of key knowledge and topic, ‘end points’.

They will have the firm foundations in Geography and are well placed to make good progress at Key Stage 3.