Geography Curriculum Intent

Enjoy achieving together … by being the best that we can be!

Our pupils learn best through experiential learning and our geography curriculum supports and promotes this. The geography curriculum allows our children to be prepared for life with practical skills such as map reading, identifying features on aerial photographs and digital mapping. Most of all we want our children to enjoy and love learning about geography both inside and outside the classroom to broaden their horizons, develop their geographical skills and be challenged and inspired.

At Usworth Colliery, through our teaching of Geography we aim to develop active members of society, citizens of the future who have an understanding of their responsibility to protect our planet and protect the world in which we live.


The curriculum is designed to ensure geographical knowledge is developed and built on from EYFS to Year 6. It is our intention that pupils become more expert as they progress through the curriculum, accumulating and connecting substantive and disciplinary geographical knowledge.


  • Substantive knowledge- this is the subject knowledge, concepts and explicit vocabulary used.


  • Disciplinary knowledge– this considers how geographical knowledge originates and is revised. It is through disciplinary knowledge that children gradually become more expert by thinking like a geographer.


In order to ensure progression substantive and disciplinary knowledge is mapped from EYFS to Year 6. Spaced retrieval practice and revisiting of concepts are used to facilitate the transfer of information from working memory to long term memory.


Geography gives our pupils an understanding of the great diversity of people and places that make up our world. Through learning about local, national and international communities our children become more tolerant.  We want our children to be curious about the world around them and to ask questions. We want to equip them with knowledge about places, people and resources in the environment and an understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes that have shaped our landscape and environments. Our children need to be able to communicate their learning in a variety of ways including verbally, sketching maps, creating keys, providing diagrams, tables, graphs and though writing.


To promote resilience and independence our geography curriculum encourages pupils to adopt a growth mind-set in order to learn from mistakes and develop as learners.


To support the unique needs of our pupils the curriculum has geographical vocabulary, reading and discussion is at the core. As pupils progress through school, children’s geographical vocabulary is improved through consistent exposure to new words from age appropriate, taught, subject specific vocabulary.  Teaching builds on previously learnt vocabulary and the acquisition of this allows the children to discuss and reason within the subjects. Pupils access a wide variety of high-quality written sources to develop their reading and geographical skills and spark their interest and enthusiasm for learning.


Our curriculum creates learners who are












Geography in the Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, Geography forms part of the learning that pupils acquire under the ‘Understanding the World’ branch of the Foundation Stage curriculum – which also covers Science, History, Design and Technology and ICT.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage pupils are given the opportunity to first explore the local world around them and develop an awareness of their own surroundings. Studies of the school grounds and local area give pupils a perspective of ‘near’ geography. Pupils look at aerial views and have the opportunity to draw simple maps of their own environment or imaginary story settings they are familiar with. This helps them to appreciate distances between their immediate locality and overseas places. Links to countries encountered through other subjects enable pupils to draw on and consolidate their learning about the geography of the wider world. Pupils are encouraged to record their experiences through drawing, writing and model making. They are also encouraged to discuss and evaluate their ideas with others using rich and varied vocabulary whilst doing so. Learning is enhanced through visiting parks, libraries and museums and meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters.