Geography at VRPS


In Victoria Road Primary School it is our intent for our Geography curriculum to inspire pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its inhabitants that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching will aim to equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Through teaching and fieldwork we want our children to gain confidence and practical experiences of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. 

VRPS is an ECO school and we are proud of the work that we have done to achieve our Green Flag status which was achieved though our annual projects that enable pupils to find out more about our natural environment and how we can protect it. The children are active in their role as ECO leaders and have a positive voice through this and the environmental links that are weaved through the curriculum. 


The curriculum is led and overseen by the Geography lead. Our Geography lead regularly monitors, evaluates and reviews the work by children thus celebrating the good practice. This allows the curriculum to be evolved and improved further. 

The teaching, learning and sequencing of our Geography curriculum follows:    

  • Ensures coverage and progression in all knowledge and skills relating to Geography. 
  • In each new unit of learning, teachers will revisit Geographical skills and key knowledge to further embed prior learning and to use new knowledge to enforce prior skills. 
  • In KS1, children will aim to develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. This will include looking at human and physical features and gaining a hands on experience to these. 
  • In KS2, children will aim to extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include locating and identifying key characteristics of a range of the most significant human and physical features in the UK, Europe, North America and South America. Throughout KS2 focus will be on developing their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
  • Each geography unit is taught with an overarching key question. The subsequent lessons will build upon each other to allow the children to fully answer the question at the end of the unit. 
  • Lessons will develop long term memory by allowing for repetition of learning within the year and year on year.  
  • Geographical vocabulary is taught within the unit and reinforced throughout the year.  
  • Our Geography curriculum helps to learn and revisit the importance of our world and how it should be treated through a range of Cultural capital activities and experiences including educational visits where appropriate.  
  • Through Geography our children will access their local environment to get hands on experience in their learningChildren will become more aware of their local environment as they progress through their geographical education.
  • Children will access resources to acquire learning through atlases, text books, maps, digital technology and photographs to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. 


  • Children are to retain prior-learning and explicitly make connections between what they have previously learned and what they are currently learning.
  • Children demonstrate knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes
  • Children will develop geographical skills including fieldwork skills topursue their own interests in geography and ask questions relating to their learnt knowledge
  • Children will understand how geography ‘happens’ in their local area and also develop an awareness and understanding of geography not at just a local level but national and global level also. 
  • Children will begin to understand their wider world and the implications that we as citizens have on it developing an understanding of environmental issues.
  • Children will work collaboratively to solve problems and explain the processesthat they have taken/observed within a real life context.



Early Years

During early year children develop an understanding of place within their daily life experience. Through role play children and fieldwork the children explore the school and thier journey to school. The children further develop their understanding of place when they explore other countries through their topics. The countries the children will learn about will be relevant to themselves or children in their class, making it a purposeful link.

Early geographical vocabulary is discretely taught and explained and then regularly referred to in direct teaching and continuous provision.

Year 1 

In Year 1 the children focus on their immediate proximity using simple plans and maps and aerial photographs to learn about their local area. They begin to learn and use the four compass points. Through fieldwork they extend their understanding of geographical directional language and knowledge to the local area. They identify both physical features such as the River Weaver, the Neuman Flashes and human features shops, houses, roads and can locate these on simple plans and aerial photographs, interpreting simple symbols or keys. The children will begin to understand how their locality has changed over time during their history study of houses and homes. The children will use maps to compare the changes. The children identify seasonal weather patterns in the UK. Focusing on local weather by carrying out fieldwork to collect weather data on the school grounds. They will use simple equipment to complete their fieldwork enquiry.

Year 2 

In Year 2 basic knowledge of the human and physical features of the locality is visited through fieldwork within local a focus on railways and structures. They build upon features from fieldwork to extend beyond the local area to the wider UK, learning to name, locate and identify the characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas. They will recap over weather from Year 1 and carry out local fieldwork to find out where the best place to locate a bench would be depending on the geography of the school grounds. Through the use of atlases, digital technology and globes, the children then move beyond the United Kingdom and learn to name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans and begin to have a basic understanding what characteristics each continent has. They will identify hot and cold areas around the world such as North Pole, South Pole and the equator and the temperatures around the world in-between. They also begin to make use of simple ordinance survey maps. They use simple maps and aerial photographs to recognise landmarks. They construct and use simple keys on maps.

The children bring together their knowledge developed so far to consider a contrasting non-European locality, comparing a small area in Northwich with a small town in Kenya. This area links to one of our school charities, Under the Mango tree. They focus on human and physical features, settlement, together with climate. They build on early geographical vocabulary from EYFS.

Year 3

Through making explicit links with history studied, children revisit key locational knowledge from Key Stage 1 including the world’s seven continents and oceans and the four countries and capitals in the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas. They then extend from this to consider local counties in the UK identifying their key physical and human features using more detailed ordinance survey maps. The children will begin to look at contour lines on OS maps and see how this impacts on where settlements could be built. Through drawing on history knowledge children begin to understand the importance of rivers and mountains when considering where people settle and how this impacts on physical features. This includes an opportunity to look at mountains in greater detail. They also look at the change in land use over time. They further build on geographical vocabulary from Key Stage 1 developing deeper understanding of the differences between villages, towns and cities. Their work on compass directions extends to 8 points of the compass. They also begin to use 4 figure grid references on maps. The children will look at mountains and their formation. They will study the environment around mountainous regions and identify land use. The children will use their knowledge of contour lines and map symbols to identify mountains in the UK using a range of maps and online mapping tools with a focus on Snowdon in Wales. The children will look at mountains and how the environment provides challenges. During the study of early civilisations, the children will build upon their knowledge from Year 2 and locate the equator, northern and southern hemisphere. The children will identify continents located in each hemisphere. Fieldwork builds on simple plans and maps to include graphs to support children in collating information on change over time.


Year 4

During Year 4 children take a more in depth look at Europe. This links to history work on Greeks, Romans and Invasion. Within Europe the children focus on environmental regions looking at key physical and human features. They locate major cities. They use atlases, maps, globes and digital technology to develop their knowledge. They extend mapping skills to read 4 figure grid references.

The children then follow an in depth study of one European region, North West Greece including Athens. Building from work in Key Stage 1 the children consider geographical similarities and differences such as climate, physical and human features.

Children will compare River Weaver with the River Danube understanding the physical features of a river. They will then build form this to understanding the importance of rivers in development of human features, considering settlements and trade, linking from work on settlements in Year 3. During this study they will learn about the water cycle.

Year 5

When revisiting locational knowledge of the United Kingdom, children will extend their knowledge to counties (making links to history of names of counties and how some have remained the same from Anglo Saxon era). As the children move from Romans to Vikings in history, they will look at changes in land use and understand why land use changes over time. The children will look at both human and physical reasons for changes in landscape. In revisiting world locational knowledge, the children will extend learning to consider climate zones and have an introduction of longitude and latitude. This will be further developed in their science unit. Children will now be taught the significance of the Equator, the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Arctic and Antarctic Circle.

The children then move on to a focus study on North America understanding geographical similarities and differences between a region in the UK (North West) and a region in North America (Central America linked to Mayans in history). The children will do this through fieldwork, exploring a range of Ordnance Survey and online digital maps and aerial photographs of the UK region and a region of North America.

Within this study of North American the children will look at physical and human features and how humans have changed the physical landscape. The children will revisit their learning of settlements, mountains and rivers from Year 3 and 4.  They will study fair and unfair distribution of resources, including the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water looking at difference between North and Central America.

During their history study of the Maya, the children will look at Biomes and vegetation belts and how the Maya adapted to living in the Rainforest Biome.

Year 6

Children will revisit the locational knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.

Linking to local history, the children will look at change in local land use over the last 100 years using interactive NLS maps, fieldwork in local area, land use maps and ordinance survey. Children will be taught to use 6 figure grid references. Children will revisit the significance of the Equator, the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Arctic and Antarctic Circle.

The children will be introduced to how volcanoes and earthquakes are formed. The children will build on their prior settlement knowledge from Year 3 to look at why people live near volcanoes and in earthquake zones. They will look in further detail at a volcanic eruption and an earthquake and examine the human and physical impacts.

Their locational knowledge, together with their learning in Year 5 about North America, will then lead into a study of South America. Within this study the children will look at climate zones, biomes, vegetation belts as well as the human geography of the locality including the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water and compare this to their work in previous year on North America.

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Victoria Road Primary School
Victoria Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 5RE