Subject leader

Miss Stock is responsible for Geography. This means ensuring there is an ambitious curriculum set, supporting teachers to implement it through high-quality lessons and checking that everything is helping children to know more, remember more and do more.

If you would like more information in addition to that published on this page, please email:

Purpose of Study

A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Teaching should 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.

Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.


The National Curriculum - Geography key stages 1 to 2

    • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes

    • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time

    • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:

    • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes

    • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

    • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Oakfield's Approach


We are setting out to help our pupils be ...

  • Curious - Pupils should be interested in their world and the locations in the wider world.

  • Investigative - Pupils should develop their understanding of the Earth's physical and human processes as well as making local enquiries.

  • Reflective - Pupils should think critically about the world and how we can protect it from harm. Everyone has a responsibility to protect the environment.


We will do this by ensuring ...

  • Children are encouraged to ask questions and gather data to draw conclusions from their enquiries.

  • Content is taught progressively through 18 ‘threshold concepts- these are the ‘big ideas’ we want all children to know.

  • A range of geographical resources are used to help children become familiar with places and landmarks outside of the UK.


We will have made a difference when ...

  • All pupils ask questions - they are inquisitive about the local environment and the wider world.

  • All value and enjoy the curriculum we offer - they tell us this.

  • All pupils understand their responsibility to protect the planet, and what implications that we as citizens have on it.

Threshold Concepts

These are our big takeaways called ‘threshold concepts’ - an overview of what we want pupils to know. They are the same for every year group and help us to ensure we build learning on the same ideas, that way we help children to be able to remember more meaningful connections rather than remembering isolated facts.

  1. Human features and landmarks are man-made and include transportation across the world.

  2. A settlement is a place where people live. Land use and water systems include agriculture and leisure.

  3. Four seasons affect the weather and temperature of a country. This can have extreme effects on a settlement.

  4. A physical process is a process that occurs naturally, such as the weather, earthquakes and the water cycle.

  5. Atlases, globes and aerial photographs can help develop our understanding of the location of countries, cities and landmarks.

  6. Using fieldwork and primary and secondary resources, we can identify, observe and collect data ready to analyse and draw conclusions.

  7. We can construct a geographical enquiry by asking questions and gathering evidence.

  8. Natural and man-made materials can be found in the natural environment but can also affect the world in different ways.

  9. Physical features are naturally-created features of the earth, which may change over time.

  10. It is important to protect our environment from pollution and damage. Our environment is made up of different zones.

  11. The world is made up of seven continents and five oceans. Each continent is made up of countries and cities.

  12. The UK is made up of four countries and is in the continent of Europe.

  13. The time in a country is affected by the location of the country. We can see if a country is above or below the equator.

  14. Using a compass and grid references can help us to position and locate features of an area on a map or Ordnance Survey.

  15. Maps are made up of symbols, keys, contour lines and four or six-figure grid references.

  16. After research and/or fieldwork, we can discuss similarities and differences between two places.

  17. Significant places hold importance to a country, but may pose problems for the citizens.

  18. A place may change over time due to tourism, physical changes or man-made changes.

Progression on a Page ...

Here is an overview of what we expect children to be taught, know and do by the end of each year group.

Year R

  • Children will describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.

  • Children will explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and (when appropriate) maps.

  • Children will know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.

  • Children will understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons.

Year 1

  • Children will be introduced to human features and will be able to describe landmarks.

  • They will identify landmarks on aerial photographs and will be able to name important buildings and places.

  • The children will learn what settlements are and will be able to identify patterns in the weather. They will learn how to collect simple data during fieldwork activities.

  • They will identify the differences between natural and man-made materials and will start to use basic geographical vocabulary such as mountain, sea and river.

  • Children will name and locate the continents and oceans on a map, as well as the four countries of the UK.

  • Comparing two places will also be introduced. Children will draw or read a simple picture map and will use basic directional language.

Year 2

  • Children will now describe a local industry and understand the purposes of human features.

  • They will be introduced to the process of erosion. Children will collect and organise data in charts from primary and secondary sources.

  • They will describe the properties of natural and man-made materials, including where they are found.

  • Using the geographical language learnt in Year 1, they will now be able to describe the size, location and position of physical features. Children will discuss ways to improve the local environment.

  • They will name and locate seas surrounding the UK and will be able to locate the equator on a map.

  • Simple compass directions will be introduced. Children will draw and read simple maps using symbols and keys.

Year 3

  • Children will describe the type and purpose of different buildings as well as the type of settlements in an area.

  • They will recognise how the weather affects urban and rural environments.

  • The processes of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are introduced.

  • They will name and locate significant volcanoes and plate boundaries.

  • Children will analyse maps, atlases and globes as well as primary data.

  • They will be given the opportunity to gather evidence to answer an enquiry.

  • The different types of rocks are introduced as well as the Earth’s four layers.

  • Children will identify the five major climate zones and will locate European cities (including Russia) on a map.

  • Some counties of the UK will be introduced as well as the terms latitude and longitude.

  • They will use the eight compass points and a four-figure grid reference to locate features on a map.

Year 4

  • Children can explain how human features are interconnected and explain ways that settlements or water systems are used.

  • The water cycle is introduced.

  • They will study and draw conclusions about places and features using digital mapping.

  • Children will collect and analyse primary and secondary data and will investigate a geographical hypothesis.

  • They will explain the transportation of materials by rivers and the properties of soil.

  • Mountain types and rivers are introduced, which includes children describing the altitudinal zonation on mountains.

  • They will explain how a river changes a landscape over time.

  • They will explore North, South and Central America in detail.

  • Children will identify the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn on a map and will start to use six-figure grid references.

Year 5

  • Children will explain the location and purpose of transport networks across the UK.

  • Agricultural land uses will be explored, including how soil fertility and drainage can affect this, including topography.

  • They will explain how the climate affects land use. Conclusions from fieldwork can be made and children will be able to construct an enquiry.

  • Children will name and locate the world’s biomes and vegetation belts.

  • They will name and locate major world cities and will describe the relative location of cities.

  • Time zones will be introduced as well as looking at aerial photographs.

  • The children will use Ordnance Survey maps and will identify elevated areas, depressions and river basins on a map.

  • They will explore the settlement hierarchy and report on ways to support farming in developing countries.

Year 6

  • Children will describe the distribution of natural resources and industrial regions in an area and around the world.

  • They will evaluate how extreme weather affects people’s lives.

  • They will also describe patterns of human population of an area of the UK and how this might have changed over time.

  • Satellite imaging and maps of different scales will be used and children will be able to analyse and compare data from different sources.

  • Children will explain the importance of ice in the polar oceans and will compare the features of polar landscapes.

  • They can explain how climate change affects climate zones and biomes.

  • Children will describe the climatic similarities and differences between two regions.

Detailed Progression in Geography

1e - Threshold Concepts - Geography.pdf