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Geography - The Subject Story



At Bourne, our intent for the geography curriculum is to inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; and for the children to develop a love for geography.

Geographical knowledge and skills are progressive and are sequenced to provide the framework and approaches that provide explanation of how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. Teaching should equip pupils 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, including knowledge of their local environment and community in Eastbourne. Children have opportunities to developing their geography skills in action through engaging with sources (maps, atlases etc) and through fieldtrips in the local area and further afield.

Within our school community we have a large population of EAL children and families. We use our geography curriculum as a way of celebrating and learning about the various countries and continents that our community have links too. Furthermore, maps are displayed in around the school and in classrooms and are used in a variety of ways. For example, each class will pick a country (from the learning or from a special interest) and link this to their daily mile run, calculating how long it will take the class to run to their chosen country.


Geography at Bourne Primary Schools takes a spiral approach to learning to secure skills, knowledge and understanding for children to build on throughout their learning journey. Geography is taught through four main themes: locational knowledge; place knowledge; human and physical geography; and geographical skills and field work. These themes have been mapped out across the school, ensuring that knowledge builds progressively and that children develop skills systematically. Within these themes, the following concepts are explored:

  • Environment
  • Location
  • Scale
  • Distribution
  • Process
  • Change
  • Interaction
  • Interdependence
  • Sustainability
  • Diversity

Teachers plan lessons for their class using our Skills Progression Map and Vocabulary Progression Map. Additionally, teachers use these documents to plan their geography lessons suitable to their class’s interests and what they want to learn. The progression documents ensure the curriculum is covered and the skills/knowledge taught is progressive from year group to year group.

Across EYFS, KS1 and KS2, geography teaching withing the creative theme should follow the children’s interests to ensure their learning is engaging, and balanced. In KS1 teaching is focused on their local environment and expands to develop knowledge of the UK. In KS2 this continues to progress through learning about Europe and comparing the UK to another European country in LKS2. Then in UKS2, learning about the geography of different continents.

Geography teaching focuses on enabling children to think as geographers. A variety of teaching approaches are used based on the teacher’s judgement.

Geography provides excellent opportunities to enhance the learning of more able pupils through the investigations, analysing sources and writing extended pieces.


Our geography curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. We focus on progression of knowledge and skills and discreet vocabulary progression also form part of the units of work. Children will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environments.

When planning, the outcomes to be assessed are clearly identified at the beginning of a unit. They are linked explicitly with the development of skills at three different levels; working towards the expected standard; working at the expected standard and working at a greater depth. Through on-going assessment involving practical activities and discussions pupils are able to show the knowledge and understanding in a variety of ways. 

Geography Curriculum Road Map

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