Subject Intent      

Geography at Barnehurst ensures our children are equipped with good knowledge and understanding of their ever-changing world and the impact they will have as Global Citizens. We recognise the importance of balancing the core knowledge that children need as geographers, with a ‘Sense of Place’ which allows them to engage emotionally; sharing their opinions, thoughts, and feelings on a range of issues and enquiries undertaken across a variety of scales.


Our geography sessions include units that drive our vision of harnessing the ‘Power of Me’ to unleash the ‘Power of We’ in line with global citizenship.  


The knowledge and skills progression are underpinned by the National Curriculum and selected outcomes in-line with Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Our children will achieve the outcomes for the skills and knowledge within the areas of ‘Places’, ‘Patterns’, ‘Environmental and Global’, and to ‘Communicate Geographically’ by the end of each Key Stage (KS1, LKS2, UKS2).

The ‘7 Big Ideas’ or ‘Key Concepts’ of geography: Place, Space, Scale, Environment, Interconnections, Cultural Awareness and Environmental Impact ensure our children to think geographically through enquiries, fieldwork, research, comparison, local and topical geography. These are our schemas which form a web to achieve our knowledge and skills progression outcomes. 

In lessons, teachers ensure children are connecting prior learning through selected flashbacks on knowledge organisers and relevant schemas to embed long term memory, build upon their understanding and deepening their learning to ‘think like a geographer’. Children develop these through quizzing opportunities, effective questioning, and small steps in learning. The phases of the lessons move on from making connections, to explicitly teaching relevant subject specific vocabulary, modelling and application of knowledge and skills taught in the lesson. Our children at Barnehurst are encouraged to broaden their use of selected academic and subject specific vocabulary relevant to Geography- from EYFS through to Year 6, concisely.


In EYFS, the development of the geography curriculum under the umbrella of ‘Understanding the World’ makes way for Graphicacy, Fieldwork, Enquiry and Placemaking.  The EYFS curriculum lays the foundation of selected schemas linked to the 7 big ideas which progress through the school: Place, Space, Scale and Cultural Awareness. These are carefully planned through lesson delivery, provision opportunities and enhancements of play based mapping, placemaking and high-quality discussions which become more abstract as they progress through Reception to meet their ELGs.


From EYFS and through to the end of Key Stage 2, we enhance the children’s opportunities to learn and develop data collection, analysis and reach conclusions to build the fundamental fieldwork skills.


Linked to our school values, our Geography lessons allow the children to engage and develop their understanding of equality in the wider world, show kindness in and to their environment and peers when discussing social and moral issues. We want our children to have courage to explore and learn key skills for geographical knowledge and enquiry and to be resilient whilst investigating moral and ethical issues in their own locality as well as the rest of the world.




Moreover, we strive to ensure that SMSC is at the forefront of our geography lessons, providing a rich cultural experience whereby the children enjoy learning about oneself and their surrounding environment, as well as that of others and the changing world around them. Our children make a difference in the local community, educating themselves and others about issues and facts about their environment. Our geography teaching and lessons provide children with the chance to exercise responsibility and initiative; working independently and co-operatively through interaction with peers and adults to deepen their understanding of geographical knowledge, skills, culture and to celebrate diversity.


Through well planned lessons, children can recognise and understand contrasting localities, processes of cultural development and immerse themselves into other cultures. By learning the skills of communicating geographically, they develop their understanding as to what it means to live in a multi-cultural society.

At Barnehurst, we strive for our children to be in awe and wonder of the natural world- to question ‘why?’, explore, enjoy, and be fascinated with the world around us.



Subject Implementation

At Barnehurst, the children will experience geography through standalone units which are linked to the National Curriculum outcomes, with one unit having a deeper focus on Environmental impact which is supported by the focused global goal for sustainable development within that year group. Through this, we ensure good coverage, and a deepened knowledge and understanding of the subject. This is turn will promote the children’s geographical knowledge and skills to form opinions, act and be drivers of change as global citizens.

In EYFS, the curriculum is mapped over 3 full terms. Teachers will plan for explicit inputs, provision and enhancements. Moreover, our skilled adults will carefully observe opportunities to question and develop the children’s understanding and skills further through play- based opportunities.

In Key Stage One, continue their learning from EYFS, revisiting and revising key knowledge and skills, starting with their own local environments, and progressing in scale to view the wider world. Year 1 explore Geography in x3 5-6 week units.

In Years 2- 6, children enjoy x2 6 week standalone units, and 1 extended environmental unit which includes further mapping/ fieldwork opportunities.

The standalone units ensure coverage of key geographical knowledge, such as Biomes (Year 4), Rivers (Year 3) and Extreme Weather (Year 6). Other units feature comparison studies, mapping or and sustainable planet topics.





The curriculum is planned and sequenced carefully to ensure new knowledge and skills are taught and developed, drawing on what the children already know and where they need to get to, so they become successful geographers.                                                  

These will reflect on the schemas which have been built around the ‘7 Big Ideas’ for Geography, Leading Primary Geography (Geographical Association, 2019), ensuring coverage of the procedural knowledge for geography is covered at least once in the academic year.


Teachers support the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world, from their local, everyday experience to the global picture. The children will gain a deeper and more extensive insight into both natural processes and human actions, and influences at difference scales. The lessons allow for our pupils to develop a sense of responsibility for Earth’s environment, places, and people. They become better informed, so they recognise and appreciate the variety of their own and distant surroundings.

The geography lessons provide a balance of the core knowledge and skills as set out within the National Curriculum, whilst engaging opportunities to acquire a ‘sense of place.’ By focusing on a ‘sense of place’ within our units, children get an understanding where they are in the world, whilst providing opportunities to generate awe and wonder of contrasting localities. Our teachers recognise that a ‘sense of place’ makes an essential part of the cognitive, social, and emotional development of the child. ‘A sense of place comes from the feeling of connectedness, be it physical, emotional or spiritual to a specific geographical area’ (Relph, 1976).


We have high expectations for our children as geographers. Teachers ensure they are modelling and displaying quality geographical vocabulary and questioning; and provide great subject knowledge for children to reach their full potential.

Activities are devised for children to be more autonomous in their learning, to ensure they embed core knowledge and reflect upon their understanding and emotional connections with their world.




EYFS and Year 1 children have access to high quality challenge areas and throughout the school, displays to promote key vocabulary.




All year groups use computing extensively to access further geographical resources and deepen their learning, through Showbie and supporting apps.





Our teachers refer to knowledge organisers to plan and draw on specific knowledge for the lessons they deliver. They direct the children to use and apply the key vocabulary, focus maps and diagrams for the unit studied. Knowledge organisers for geography also provide the opportunity for ‘flashback knowledge’ to ensure key concepts taught prior to the unit are continued  to be revisited and embedded in long term memory.









Geography assessments are conducted after the unit has been taught. Teachers will complete a ‘Wider Curriculum Assessment’ document referring to the geography building blocks taught for that unit.

Teachers assess against the key stage outcomes stated in our Geography building blocks and the schemas planned and taught within the lessons will build up to the key stage outcomes in which the teachers assess to.

These will determine our Barnehurst children to be successful geographers.

When our children leave Barnehurst, they will:

  • Have a growing knowledge of the world and a sense of place.
  • Make informed decisions and opinions about the world as a global citizen.
  • Have a wider vocabulary of geographical terms.
  • Have awe and wonder of our world and a desire to explore more.
  • Develop their geographical skills, such as, evaluation, creativity, problem solving and enquiry.