At St Edmund’s, we teach a clearly mapped out journey starting in EYFS and developing through a tailor-made curriculum. Our units follow the National Curriculum and the EYFS framework, as well as the context of the local area.  Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding of their local environment, the wider world as well as their place in it. The children are taught the subject knowledge and geographical enquiry and fieldwork skills they need to behave like a geographer. We want them to leave St Edmund’s with an excellent knowledge of where places are, their key features and how they are similar and different to their own environment.

Through the provision of our Geography curriculum, it is our aim for pupils to:

  • have developed a range geographical skills,
  • know how to carry out a fieldwork enquiry,
  • be able to ask key questions and explore patterns in their data,
  • have a skilled knowledge of a wide variety of maps.

We aim to promote the children’s interest and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.


We follow the National Curriculum and the Early Years Curriculum and the children are taught the subject knowledge and geographical enquiry and fieldwork skills they need to behave like a geographer.



Enabling pupils to take on the role of a historian and a geographer, exploring, discovering and beginning to make sense of the world around them, is an important consideration when planning for the seven areas of interconnected learning and development that make up the EYFS framework.

The area focusing on ‘Understanding the world’ in particular presents the opportunity for pupils to reflect on the events and routines that they and their peers experience. They should be given the opportunity to formulate questions to investigate the similarities and differences that exist and be encouraged to discuss these with interest and sensitivity.

Pupils should be supported to make sense of the world around them through having multiple opportunities to explore their physical world, local community and beyond. These experiences will be a mixture of ‘first hand’ and ‘imaginary’ but will fundamentally be practical in nature and involve an enriching vocabulary. For example:

First hand and sensory:

  • Visit local places of significance such as the library, park, fire-station or market.
  • Explore the school grounds in different weathers, seasons and times of day.
  • Interact with visitors such as police officers or shopkeepers.


  • Role-play, including the use of small world play, loose parts and manipulatives, as well as mark making.
  • Construction with a range of materials from block and boxes to sand and water.
  • Exploration of what places and people/characters are like through sharing a range of fictional and non-fictional stories.
Nursery 1 2 3 4 5 6
Past and present

My family and friends.

People, culture and communities

Experiences of celebrations in my home.

Past and present

I remember when…

Link to seasonal changes.

People, culture and communities

My experiences of people who help us.

Past and present

Passing of time linked to growth and planting.

Past and present

I remember when-Memories from nursery.

The Natural World

Changes in Autumn.

Autumn walk.

Our school environment.


Understanding the world

Care for the environment.

The world around me linked to family celebrations.

The Natural World

Changes in winter.

Winter walk.

Rain, snow and ice.


The Natural World

Changes in spring.

Spring walk.

Changes in the environment.


Understanding the world

Maps-linked to were going on a bear hunt.

Physical features in story book (grass, mud, cave etc).

The Natural world

Changes in summer.

Summer walk.

Changes in the environment.


1 2 3 4 5 6
Past and present

My family.

My home.

People, culture and communities

Names of different countries where celebrations take place.

Past and present

I remember when…

Link to seasonal changes.

Compare Toys-past and present, changes from baby to now.

Past and present

Compare characters from stories old and new.


Past and Present

Compare past and present based on own experiences and stories read in class.


Past and present

I remember when…

Memories from Reception.


Understanding the world

School environment.

Where we live.

Journey to school.

Autumn walk-seasonal changes.

Forest School

Understanding the world

Discuss and compare different environments.

Names of different countries where celebrations take place.

Discuss and compare different environments.

Forest School

The Natural world

Hot and cold countries.

Winter walk-seasonal changes.

Differences between Autumn and winter.

Forest School

Understanding the world

Local walk around area.

Walk to park.

Simple maps based on journeys.

Spring walk-seasonal changes.

Forest School


Understanding the world

Visit to a farm.

Features of a farm.

Observe animals and plants in the environment around them.

Forest School


The Natural world

Summer- seasonal changes.


Changes in the environment and reasons for change.

Forest School




Over the course of an academic year, each class studies two or three Geography units which include a mixture of physical and human geographical knowledge, enquiry skills and fieldwork skills  Each unit starts with an overarching enquiry question and is broken down into five or six big questions which the children will address over the course of the unit. We ensure that there is a balance between the acquisition of geographical disciplinary skills and substantive knowledge so that at the end of the unit of work, pupils will be able to use this understanding to give a well-reasoned, substantiated answer to the enquiry question.

All learning will start by revisiting prior knowledge. This will be scaffolded to support children to recall previous learning and to make connections. Staff will model explicitly the subject specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills relevant to the learning, to allow them to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. Learning will be supported through the use of knowledge organisers that provide children with scaffolding that supports them to retain new facts and vocabulary in their long-term memory. Knowledge organisers are used for pre-teaching, to support home learning and also as part of the lesson review.

Our geography curriculum is designed to teach children to learn to question, to investigate and to think critically about issues affecting our planet and people’s lives currently and in the future. Geography tells us where places are, explains how landscapes developed, how people interact with their environment and how we are all connected by our economies, societies and environments.

This is done through:

  • Locational knowledge
  • Knowledge of different places
  • Human and Physical Geography
  • Geographical skills and fieldwork

The key Geographical themes which the children will revisit during their time at St. Edmund’s are:

  • Where we live and why: Understanding the physical and human factors which influence where humans settle.
  • Connections: The migration of people. Understanding the push/pull factors that influence population movement.
  • Sustainable Planet: Human impact on natural resources and the environment how these can be used more sustainably.
  • Shaping the planet: The major physical processes which shape our landscape.
  • Ecosystems: Explore the different ecosystems of the world.
  • Geographical enquiry:-  Map reading, data collection and fieldwork skills.



Year 1 and year 2 curriculum has a clear focus on developing the child’s sense of place, first looking at the immediate area around school and home, before setting that in a national and global context. The children have the opportunity to compare and contrast localities, developing their geographical enquiry and fieldwork skills in the process. During their first three years at school, all children study the following at least once:

  • Local area
  • Contrasting locality
  • Cities
  • Environments

This means that the children have a wide range of experiences and allows them to revisit key geographical ideas in different contexts.



Year 3 and 4

In year 3 and 4 there is a strong emphasis on the physical processes which shape the planet and how physical and human factors influence where we live and why.

Year 5 and 6

In year 5 and 6 children use and develop the geographical knowledge and enquiry skills, with a clear focus on the relationship between humans and their environment, investigating the factors which influence where people live, why populations migrate and how we interact with our environment.

The local area is fully utilised to achieve the desired outcomes, with extensive opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice. We visit many local surroundings, landmarks and places of interests to support our geography learning contexts which develop children’s understanding of the world around them.



Where is my school?

  1. What does my classroom look like?
  2. What places are in my school?
  3. What does my school look like?
  4. What is around my school?
  5. Can I map my journey to school?
  6. How can I describe where my school is?


Where do I live?

  1. Where in the world is Abingdon?
  2. What are the 4 countries of the United Kingdom?
  3. What is England like to live in?
  4. What is Scotland like to live in?
  5. What is Wales like to live in?
  6. What is Northern Ireland like to live in?


How different is Abingdon to an Australian town?

  1. Where in the world is Australia?
  2. Is Australia a country or a continent?
  3. Which oceans surround Australia?
  4. What are the famous natural and physical landmarks of Australia?
  5. How does the size of Australia compare to the UK?
  6. Is it always hot in Australia?


Would you prefer to live in a hot place or a cold place?

  1. Why are some places in the world always hot and some places always cold?
  2. How can you use maps or a globe to locate hot and cold places?
  3. How have people adapted to living in a hot climate?
  4. How have people adapted to living in a cold climate?
  5. Which animals would we find living naturally in hot or cold climates?
  6. Do we live in a hot place or a cold place?


Why do we need to care about the oceans and seas?

  1. What is an ocean?
  2. Where are the world’s oceans?
  3. How deep is the ocean?
  4. Why are oceans so important?
  5. What lives in the ocean?
  6. How can we protect our oceans?


Why do volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur?

  1. What is the earth made of?
  2. What are fold mountains?
  3. How are volcanoes made?
  4. How does an earthquake occur?
  5. What happens when a volcano erupts?
  6. What happens when an earthquake occurs?


Where do people live?

  1. Where are the worlds people?
  2. What is a settlement?
  3. What can affect where people live?
  4. How are settlements shaped?
  5. What makes up a big city?
  6. How are villages and cities different places to live?


Are all migrants forced to leave their home?

  1. What is migration?
  2. How do migrants vary?
  3. How does migration affect people and places?
  4. What is economic migration?
  5. What is a refugee?
  6. How will climate affect migration?


What impact do rivers have on people’s lives?

  1. Where is the earths water?
  2. Where are the world’s rivers?
  3. How do rivers shape the land?
  4. What landforms can a river create?
  5. Why are rivers important to people?
  6. What happens when a river floods?


To what extent is our use of natural resources sustainable?

  1. Where are the worlds natural resources?
  2. How has the use of natural resources changed?
  3. What resources does Chile have?
  4. What resources does the UK have?
  5. How does resource exploitation cause problems?
  6. What is the circular economy?


Should all slums around the world be shut down?

  1. What is a slum?
  2. How and why do slums develop?
  3. What is life like in the slums?
  4. What are the challenges people face in the slums?
  5. How can life in the slums be improved?
  6. How can crime in the slums be tackled?


‘Humans are not capable of living sustainably’ to what extent do you agree?

  1. What is sustainability?
  2. How do we produce energy? 1
  3. How do we produce energy? 2
  4. What can we learn from Curitiba?
  5. What can we learn from Freiburg?
  6. What does the future hold?


Are the earth’s biomes fragile environments?

  1. What are the earths biomes?
  2. What affects an ecosystem.
  3. What is the tundra?
  4. What is the Taiga
  5. What is the savanna?
  6. How are biomes being damaged?


What is the biggest population challenge of our time?

  1. Where are all the people?
  2. Why does the population change?
  3. What is a population pyramid?
  4. What challenges can a growing population present?
  5. What challenges can an ageing population present?
  6. How do we feed the planet?


“Globalisation has made the world a better place.” To what extent do you agree?

  1. What is globalisation?
  2. How has globalisation changed the way we communicate?
  3. How does globalisation affect trade?
  4. What does globalisation have to do with fashion?
  5. What does globalisation have to do with food?
  6. Where will globalisation lead us?



At St Edmund’s, we have carefully considered the sequence of our learning.

We deliver the national curriculum through our long-term plans alongside an extensive array of extracurricular opportunities which bring to life our pupils’ learning. Geographical questioning helps pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of the world and its people. Schemes of work explicitly set out the essential knowledge and disciplinary skills of geography to be taught.

Through the high quality first teaching of Geography taking place at St Edmund’s, we will see the impact of the subject in different ways e.g. through books, assessments and pupil voice. Work will show that a range of themes are being covered, concepts are revisited, and cross curricular links are made where possible. Assessments and monitoring will show standards in Geography will be high and will match standards in other subject areas.

Pupil voice shows that pupils are confident and able to talk about what they have learnt in Geography using subject specific vocabulary. Pupil voice also demonstrates that pupils enjoy Geography and are able to recall their learning over time. Pupils work demonstrates that Geography is taught at an age-appropriate standard across each year group with opportunities planned in for pupils working at greater depth. Work is of good quality and demonstrates pupils are acquiring knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an appropriate sequence.

We monitor the children’s progress through regular moderation and scrutiny of pupils’ books, and we encourage professional dialogue between teachers to share good practices.

By the end of the geography curriculum at St Edmund’s, our children will:

  • Have a growing knowledge of the world and their place in it.
  • Have a wider vocabulary of geographical terms.
  • Aspire to discover more about the world, through reading, travel or the media.
  • Know that they can use their voice to express themselves and their opinions.
  • Develop their geographical skills, such as, evaluation, creativity, problem solving and enquiry.



Embedded within the geography curriculum are links to Catholic Social Teaching as Guardians of God’s Creation and people’s movements within it.

We believe:

  • In Stewardship: that God has entrusted us with the responsibility to look after the God-created Earth and every living thing in it.  In Geography the children learn about the physical world of God’s creation and how to look after it, for example, through sustainable living and the use of renewable energy.
  • That through education about the dangers of pollution, the use of fossil fuels and deforestation the Common Good is built.
  • That solidarity is built through Geography by learning about the lives and experiences of peoples living in different regions around the globe.
  • That the dignity of work is promoted by teaching our children about Fair Trade.
  • In the option for the poor. We aim to teach children about the lives of those living in less developed countries so that they might deepen their understanding of the hardships faced by others both in the UK and abroad and so grow in compassion for those in need.