Geography Curriculum 


Within our federation at Orchard Lea, we believe that Geography should be taught in a way that inspires curiosity and a love of learning about the world around us. We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that allows children to develop their geographical knowledge, skills and understanding progressively from the Early Years Foundation stage to the end of Key Stage 2. The Geography curriculum encourages children to develop a greater understanding of the world around them, ask questions and seek answers. Through this, our children develop skills and knowledge that are transferrable across the school curriculum and into wider life.

As children enter our Early Years setting, children have opportunities to interact with their environment and begin to understand how their surroundings influence them. Our strong and experienced Early Years team follow the EYFS Statutory Framework to guide children to make sense of their physical world and their community. In doing so, this allows them to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment which is the first step in becoming a geographer at our Federation.

Geography, by nature, is an investigative subject. Therefore, at KS1 and 2 an enquiry approach is used when planning to continue to progressively develop pupil’s Geographical skills, their knowledge of place and the interaction between physical and human features within these, in line with the National Curriculum guidelines. All pupils will experience through their lessons, a wide range of different locations and environments at different scales, both locally and across the globe and have opportunities to conduct investigations in the real world through fieldwork. By also using atlases and digital resources and quality  first teaching, learning is designed to be relevant, engaging and inclusive for all pupils. Through a planned progression of skills and knowledge, and sequenced units of work our children will increasingly understand how Earth’s features are shaped, connected and change over time.

At our school, it is our aim to not only develop a deep subject knowledge but for children to enjoy learning and discovering the world, and finding their place within it. Through links across the curriculum and our school values we want to inspire our children to be able to think about their rights and responsibilities and become informed, environmentally conscious citizens.


Geography at Orchard Lea School is taught in units throughout the year, following the National Curriculum Guidelines and EYFS Framework. The key knowledge and skills for each unit of learning have been mapped out to ensure that knowledge and skills build progressively across the Key Stages. Within each unit, well sequenced lessons are designed to meet the identified key knowledge and skills required at this stage.

Throughout our units, an enquiry approach is followed, starting with a key question or statement (the Big Question) followed by a series of lessons that enable children to investigate, use geographical skills, collect and present evidence and form opinions. Their final outcome gives pupils the opportunity to share their views, backed up by the knowledge they have learned and, as they progress through the school, develop and awareness that the views of others may be different to their own.

Each lesson has carefully selected tasks that are engaging, offer suitable age-appropriate challenge, enrichment activities and can be scaffolded to meet the needs of all pupils. Teacher questioning is tailored to the child and aims to promote high -order thinking in all learners. Pupils are provided with opportunities for discussion and debate, while learning the correct Geographical language and vocabulary to express their thoughts. Teachers model and scaffold responses while pupils develop their independence and promote pupil questioning to widen understanding.

Key locational knowledge and vocabulary is revisited frequently, especially at the starts of lesson sequences, and units of work aim to provide links and build on the previous understanding of the pupils. Assessment forms a key part of this, and data is monitored to address any gaps so further learning may be incorporated into future units. Planning is revisited yearly and changes made to ensure studies remain relevant, current, engaging and accessible for each cohort. Evidence of learning can be seen in books in a variety of ways, but may also take other forms such as video, oral work or photographs.

Fieldwork plays and integral part to Geographical earning at Orchard Lea, further enabling all pupils to understand the area in which they live and develop their investigative skills. Currently KS1 and KS2 undertake fieldwork at least once each year, while Foundation year children visit the forest in the school grounds at least twice a week, as well as take part in a local area walk. Where places studied do not allow for a first-hand visit experience, fieldwork enquiry can be enabled out using digital technologies.

Further opportunities for cross-curricular Geographical learning occur through theme days and weeks, assemblies and other outdoor activities.

Geography - Progression of knowledge and skills