St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Together as one family


‘The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.’

Barack Obama



What is geography?

Geography is a subject packed with excitement and dynamism that synthesises aspects of the world and helps us to better understand its people, places and environments, and the interactions between them. Geography also helps us understand how and why places are changing, and to better imagine, predict and work towards, likely and preferred futures. Underpinning all of this is a strong spatial component that deepens our understanding of what places are like, why and how they are connected, and the importance of location.


Geography It is an enquiry led subject that seeks answers to fundamental questions such as:

  • Where is this place?
  • What is it like? (And why?)
  • How and why is it changing?
  • How does this place compare with other places?
  • How and why are places connected?
  • It is also imperative that a geographer doesn’t just answer questions but also asks and debates them:
  • What could/should the world be like in the future?
  • What can we do to influence change?


Geography draws on its vast range of vocabulary to identify and name places, the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there. Such core knowledge provides the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding; providing entry points to geographical conversations about the world.

Geography is more than just core knowledge. Places are dynamic and often space is perceived, used and contested by people in many different ways. Geography seeks to understand how different views, values and perspectives influence and affect places and environments at different scales. It helps explain why places are changing, how they are interconnected and why patterns of inequality exist at both local and global scales.

Geography deals with the 'here and 'now' of real life and as such, is a vital 'living' subject that contributes to and enhances the wider curriculum. Although geography can be taught alone, it also offers meaningful contexts for high- quality cross - curricular work.


'Geography teaching and learning should be an enjoyable, creative, stimulating

and magical experience for pupils and teachers alike.'


Planning the curriculum, Paula Richardson,

Ch22 Primary Geography Handbook. (2010)


The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in geography lessons. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in geography.

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our geography lessons. We believe in whole-class teaching methods and combine these with enquiry-based research activities. We encourage children to handle artefacts and to ask as well as answer geographical questions. We offer them the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures, aerial photographs, geographical footage and we enable them to use IT in geography lessons where this serves to enhance their learning. Children take part in roleplay and discussions, and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the children in ‘real’ geographical activities, e.g. research of a local environmental problem, visiting relevant sites and carrying out fieldwork.

We recognise the fact that we have children of differing ability in all our classes, and so we provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies which are differentiated by task, expected outcome and/or support from peers or adults.


At St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, geography is taught through a topic approach alongside History. Our Curriculum, which is based on the National Curriculum, is carefully planned over a four-year cycle to engage and excite all our learners. Sometimes the skills are used in a cross curricular manner, to support other subject areas; for example, while studying the Romans, children will look at maps to learn about the extent of the empire. On other occasions, there might be a geography focused topic, for example on our local area, where geography skills will be the focus of the work.

Our long-term plans map out the themes covered each term for each key stage. These plans define what we will teach and ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term.


Long Term Plan