St Mary's

Catholic Primary School

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"The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world."

President Barack Obama


Geography at St. Mary's is about equipping the children with the skills and knowledge to explore the world we live in.  

Geography is an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Through an engaging curriculum and meaningful experiences, we aim to nurture our future geographers and equip them with the knowledge they will need to become mindful citizens of the world.


Throughout their journey in geographical enquiry, pupils will build their:

  • Deep knowledge of locations, places and geographical landscapes across the world
  • Understanding of the conditions, processes and interactions that explain features, patterns and changes over time and space
  • Application of skills in observing, collecting, analysing, evaluating and communicating geographical information


Pupils will learn the location of places and regions across the globe and the key features and characteristics of these places. Through an understanding of aspects of both human and physical geography, pupils will discover how places across the globe are both similar and different and how they are changing. They will identify patterns in human and physical geography and understand the links between places, people and environments. Pupils will learn that human and physical geography are intertwined through a concept known as environmental geography. Human, physical and environmental geography will be studied at all scales, from localised regions to the wider world. As pupils develop their geographical knowledge and understanding, they will also develop their geographical skills: using maps, atlases and globes as well as using directional language, a compass and understanding grid references and keys.


In Key Stage 1, pupils begin their journey in geography with a study of the familiar – the local area. They then move outwards to study the United Kingdom and outwards again to gain an overview of the world and the continents and oceans within it. Pupils then study a contrasting location within Kenya, Africa.


Through Key Stage 2, pupils develop their understanding of locations, places, processes and people. In Lower Key Stage 2, they use their knowledge of the UK to understand settlements and land use before exploring Europe, North and South America. The exploration of these continents includes identifying the location of and characteristics of a range of the most significant human and physical features as well as the opportunity to explore three places in more depth and compare them to their own locality. Pupils also learn about climate zones, biomes, rivers and rainforests.


In Upper Key Stage 2, pupils explore Asia before focussing once again on the wider world. They explore the human and physical characteristics of Asia and learn about mountains and natural disasters such as volcanoes and earthquakes. A case study of a natural disaster allows pupils to see the impact on both a place and the people within it. When looking at the world, pupils consider the global challenges faced in the movement of people, growing populations, the distribution of natural resources, fair trade and the impact of climate change. They will also discover what they can learn from different maps of the world and draw their own maps based on fieldwork within their own locality.

Our Geography Unit Overview

Teachers at St. Mary's work hard to ensure our children are excited and engaged during their Geography lessons.

Before the unit begins, children are sent home with a knowledge organiser and homework challenge to complete over their half term break. We encourage parents to use this to introduce ambitious vocabulary and key knowledge or concepts whilst creating something they can bring back to school to share with the rest of their class.

We use immersive classrooms and exciting 'hooks' to make sure children are eager to learn about their new unit as soon as they come back after a half term. When possible, fieldwork is used to further enhance children's geographical understanding and give purpose to the learning they do in the classroom whilst building teamwork, communication and enquiry skills. We also provide life experiences for our children through educational visits or visitors into the classroom. 


Children at St. Mary's want to explore the world they live in! They have both the geographical knowledge and the skills that they can apply to other areas of their learning. They will gain a deep understanding of the world we live in, their impact on our world and how they can make a difference to our planet. Looking in their project books; their knowledge and understanding is clear and progressive year on year. Teachers mainly use formative assessment tools with elements of summative assessment to ensure their judgement, of each child, in geography is accurate. 

How do we enhance our learning in Geography?