Geography is a subject which is filled with excitement and opportunity to synthesis aspects of the world. At Shortbrook, we value the power a good geography curriculum can have on our pupils’ understanding of people, places and environments, and the interactions between them. Furthermore, the geography curriculum at Shortbrook aims to allow our pupils to develop an appreciation for the diversity of location, places and environmental features, and to better understand how places are changing. Underpinning all of this is an intent to enable our pupils to have a deep understanding of their own place in the world; enhancing a sense of distance and scale.
As a result of the teaching and learning of geography at Shortbrook, we intend for our pupils to secure both disciplinary and substantive knowledge. The disciplinary knowledge of geography allows our pupils to understand how to work and think like geographers. The substantive knowledge of the curriculum sets out the content our pupils will learn:
- Locational knowledge
- Place knowledge
- Environmental. Physical and human geography
- Geography skills and fieldwork.
In line with a skill based curriculum, we intend to teach geography to our pupils with a well designed blend of both disciplinary and substantive knowledge- helping our pupils to understand the context of geography.
To have a sense of where they are in the world, it is vital for our children to know where they are locally and how their locality links to significant places nearby and nationally.
In EYFS, children will be introduced to place by studying their own environment, including a range of locations such as farms. They will communicate where they live and discuss local features. In KS1, children will develop an understanding of place through a study of the UK and the local environment (Wonderful Westfield). Just as vital as significant places in their local environment, children in KS1 will look into detail at what their place is like; is it rural? What type of house do they live in? Beyond their local environment, KS1 pupils will explore the continents of the world and the 5 oceans. By concentrating on a local study in KS1, pupils can build upon the knowledge they have gained in EYFS. In LKS2, Shortbrook students will have a chance to revisit their learning on place by studying continents and oceans through their earthquakes and volcanoes topic. Building on prior knowledge of their locality, LKS2 children will have the opportunities to compare their local environment (Sheffield) with contrasting parts of the world. By focusing on rivers and mountains, Year 3/4 children will have the chance to develop their knowledge of places around the world. Through the teaching of the “I Love Sheffield Topic”, children will be introduced to and get sense of their place in the Northern Hemisphere; compare countries in the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere. As we aim to interleave skills and knowledge as part of our overall curriculum, LKS2 children will have numerous opportunities to revisit their place knowledge through multiple topic areas, including: Volcanoes and Earthquakes, I Love Westfield, Ancient Egyptians.
Physical and Human Geography
The concept of physical and human geography is developed in EYFS through the study of their local
environment. In EYFS, the children will have the opportunity to be involved in activities which will lay
the foundations to understand the difference and similarities between natural and manmade
features of an area. Throughout KS1, digital and ariel photographs are used to help the children
grasp a different perspective on their local area. By the end of KS1, students will be able to talk
about the features which make an area rural, coastal, a city of a town. With a range of topics, such as Wonderful Westfield and Under The Sea, our KS1 pupils are given opportunities to secure their
knowledge of physical and human geography.
As children progress into LKS2, the concept of physical and human geography will be developed by
looking into volcanoes and earthquakes. Children will learn to understand the impact both the
physical and human geography of a place can have on the citizens and environment. As a result of
their topic on natural disasters, LKS2 children will develop a sense of importance when it comes to
the physical and geography aspect of an area. At this stage, children get an opportunity to look into
trade links through their study of the Nile in their Ancient Egyptians topic.
In UKS2, Shortbrook students continue to understand the difference between physical and human
geography. They begin to make links with what they have previously studied to concepts such as
Ancient Greece; by seeing the importance in the development of human geography, as well as the
impact the physical geography has on trade and exchange of goods.
Mapping is a vital skill our children need to learn and become confident in applying throughout their
geography lessons at Shortbrook. Starting in EYFS, children will experience map work by studying
and experiencing their local environment. Developing these skills into KS1, children will create
simple maps with a key of the school and places. Here at this early age, children will be taught to
understand scale by comparing the size of features of the school when creating simple maps.
Compass points will be a point of emphasis in KS1 as children are taught to use the compass points
to locate items on a map. Building upon early mapping skills, children in LKS2 will deepen their
knowledge of maps through the experience of OS maps, which include the use of symbols and six-
figure grid references. In addition to more complex maps, children in both LKS2 and UKS2 will
enhance their mapping skills by getting a deeper knowledge of an atlas. In both ‘I Love Sheffield’
topics as well as geography based areas of learning, children will get the chance to develop their
understanding of scale by describing the relative size and distance of features of maps.
Geography is assessed on a termly basis and sees children working towards, working at or working
above the age-related expectations. Using the outcomes of the national curriculum as end points for
assessment, staff are informed and aware of what is expected at the end of each year group and key
Children show an enjoyment and enthusiasm towards geography here at Shortbrook Primary School.
Children are aware of being part of a geography lesson and show a good understanding of what skills are required to be a good geographer.
We hope that our geography curriculum gives our children a good understanding of their position
and place in the world. We intend for our geography curriculum to have a positive impact on our
children to have the enthusiasm and ambition to study geography after their time at primary school.