Geography At Grange

The Geography Curriculum at Grange

Geography at Grange is taught through our topics and through on-going ‘Learning without lessons’ in which we use the outdoor environment, the application of maths and science skills, regular use of maps, discussion of national and international events, children’s interest and relevant news stories.

We teach Geography to create geographers! Children with a thirst to find out more about their environment, the area they live in and the extraordinary world around them. In all of our planning for learning we ask how we are developing the Key Characteristics of Geographers.

The key Characteristics of being Geographers we want for Grange Children

Grange Geographers have:

  •  An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
  • A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
  • An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.
  •  An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
  • The ability to apply questioning skills
  • Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.
  • Well developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.
  • The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment; Including a growing understanding of climate change and their role in combatting it.

Throughout our planning we consider how to embed the Grange Drivers: Creativity, Resilience and Community

In Geography we build up our children’s sense of community through: map work, local visits and walks, comparisons with other areas in this country and across the world, finding out about events that have impacted on and changed our area, finding out (alongside work in history) how historical changes shape the geography of an area and the community we have today. They will explore the possibilities within the subject through visits from people working in related areas as well as visits for first hand study. They will seize opportunities to find out about the lives of children in other parts of the world and build up links and contacts.

Resilience and creativity: We want children to be challenged by our curriculum. As Geographers they should look at first hand data, information and their own observations and should critically, debate, reflect and problem solve. Throughout our curriculum we ask children to embrace ‘sticky work’. In Geography lessons we set problems that require deeper thinking and often collaboration with others.

Threshold Concepts in Geography

Threshold concepts are the ‘big ideas’ that shape children’s’ thinking within each subject. The same threshold concepts will be explored in every year group and students will gradually increase their understanding of them. Threshold Concepts help our children think and act like Geographers.

  • Investigate places: This concept involves understanding the geographical location of places and their physical and human features.
  • Investigate patterns: This concept involves understanding the relationships between the physical features of places and the human activity within them, and the appreciation of how the world’s natural resources are used and transported.
  • Communicate geographically: This concept involves understanding geographical representations, vocabulary and techniques.

Knowledge Categories - Themes

Across our  Curriculum there are key themes that help our children to link knowledge. As educators we help our children to notice and discuss these links. These include; democracy, community, the environment, bravery, inequality and fairness, change and consequence, significance and diversity.

In Geography we organise our learning to help the children understand the subject. We ask:

  • Are looking at natural or human made locations?

  • Where a location is and how it affected by its global location?

  • What are the physical features of a place?

  • What is life like for the people who live there?

  • How are humans impacting the environment globally and locally?

  • What geographical skills and techniques will we need to find out more?

The Key stage 2 Curriculum has been divided up with Gosforth Central Middle School. This is the content we cover to create our Geographers

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2

• Investigate the world’s continents and oceans.

• Investigate the countries and capitals of the United Kingdom.

• Compare and contrast a small area of the United Kingdom with that of a non-European country.

• Explore weather and climate in the United Kingdom and around the world.

• Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to and describe key physical and human features of locations.  

• Use world maps, atlases and globes.

• Use simple compass directions.

• Use aerial photographs.

• Use fieldwork and observational skills.

• Locate the world’s countries, with a focus on Europe and countries of particular interest to pupils.

• Identify key geographical features of the countries of the United Kingdom, and show an understanding of how some of these aspects have changed over time. 

• Locate the geographic zones of the world and understand the significance of the geographic zones of the world.

• Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region or area in a European country. (Spain)

• Describe and understand key aspects of:

     • physical geography, including:, rivers, mountains,  volcanoes and earthquakes and the water cycle

     • human geography, including: settlements and land use.

• Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.

• Use the eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and keys to build knowledge of the United Kingdom and the world.

• Use a wide range of geographical sources in order to investigate places and patterns.

• Use fieldwork to observe measure and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs and digital technologies.


Assessing Progress in Geography: By the end of Year 2 and Year 4 our children will be able to:

    Concepts                            Milestone 1

                         Milestone 2

To investigate places

• Ask and answer geographical questions (such as: What is this place like? What or who will I see in this place? What do people do in this place?).

• Identify the key features of a location in order to say whether it is a city, town, village, coastal or rural area.

• Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied.

• Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of the school and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.

• Use aerial images and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic physical features.

• Name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.

• Name and locate the world’s continents and oceans.

Ask and answer geographical questions about the physical and human characteristics of a location.

• Explain own views about locations, giving reasons.

• Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features.

• Use fieldwork to observe and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods including sketch maps, plans and graphs and digital technologies.

• Use a range of resources to identify the key physical and human features of a location. 

• Name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, including hills, mountains, cities, rivers, key topographical features and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time. 

• Name and locate the countries of Europe and identify their main physical and human characteristics.

To investigate patterns

• Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom and of a contrasting non-European country.

• Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles. 

• Identify land use around the school.

• Name and locate the Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle and date time zones. Describe some of the characteristics of these geographical areas.

• Describe geographical similarities and differences between countries.

• Describe how the locality of the school has changed over time. 

To communicate geographically

• Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to: 

  • key physical features, including: beach, coast, forest, hill, mountain, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation and weather. 
  • key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office and shop.

• Use compass directions (north, south, east and west) and locational language (e.g. near and far) to describe the location of features and routes on a map.

• Devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key. Use simple grid references (A1, B1).

• Describe key aspects of: 

  • physical geography, including: rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes and the water cycle. 
  • human geography, including: settlements and land use.

• Use the eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and key to communicate knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.