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Bolton Primary School

Caring - Inspiring - Enjoying - Excelling



Geography at Bolton


Subject Lead: Andrea Moody

Monitoring Governor: Andrew Booth


We aim to:

  • provide a happy, stimulating school environment, where individuals are encouraged to develop their ability to work as contributors within co-operative groups, within school and within the community in which they live.
  • to develop their understanding of the world in which they live and of the inter-dependence of individuals, groups, nations and the environment.


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.



The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils: 

  • 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.



All children will be taught the skills and knowledge of Geography as outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum for Geography.


Early Years

Early Years children will be given the opportunity to compare themselves to others, and among families, communities and traditions. They will be encouraged to know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They will talk about features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.


Key stage 1

 Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

Pupils should be taught to:

Locational knowledge:  name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.

Place knowledge: understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.

Human and physical geography:  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.

use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:  key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather  key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop.

Geographical skills and fieldwork:  use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage.

 Use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far; left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map.

Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key .

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


Key stage 2

Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge. Pupils should be taught to:

 Locational knowledge:  locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities.

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

 Identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night).

Place knowledge:  understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region within North or South America.

Human and physical geography:  describe and understand key aspects of: 

Physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle.

Human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.

Geographical skills and fieldwork:  use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and§ describe features studied.

Use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.

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


Teaching and Learning:

All children will study either History or Geography one session per week. They are taught in mixed aged classes Y1/2, Y3/4 and Y5/6 and over a two-year cycle. The knowledge, skills and understanding will be taught within Geography topics to ensure continuity and progression through the two key stages and to provide a sound structure on which to build as they continue to KS3. The children will generally work in their classes and the lesson content will be pitched to the children’s individual needs, interests and abilities.   Where possible cross curricular links will be made and visits, visitors, drama & role play will enhance the meeting of objectives. All units will be planned, taught and monitored by teaching staff.

Children will have the opportunity to complete Geography Foundation Homework linked to the Geography key objectives taught within the current topic. There will be many opportunities for children to use Geographical skills in many cross-curricular activities both for homework and across the curriculum. There will also be some opportunities for field work within Geography topics where appropriate. It is important to note that crucial themes such as Climate Change will be taught to children throughout the curriculum e.g. literacy, art, assemblies, philosophy, and Science.



Resources are managed by the subject co-ordinator. All geography related resources and equipment for KS2 are stored mainly in class 2. In KS1 the resources are stored in cross curricular topic boxes in the KS1 outdoor storage or classroom cupboard. Some other specific equipment is stored in the science trolley. Sets of atlases are available. The children are encouraged to develop independence in use of atlases and equipment, particularly at KS2.



Those with special needs may have extra support for the activities or the language content altered. The recording of information can be changed to oral or pictorial communication and resources modified to be accessed more easily, where appropriate.



There will be a unit assessment at the end of the block of learning based on key learning objectives. Assessment will also take place informally through observation, open questioning, discussions and marking children’s work. This information will be recorded on our school’s Foundation Tracking sheets and shared termly with parents.


Evaluation. Monitoring and Review:

This policy is a working document and should be updated every two years.

The subject lead is Andrea Moody (w.e.f. September 2020) and the current governor with responsibility for Geography is Andrew Booth. 

The Geography policy was reviewed Summer 2020 and will be reviewed again Summer 2022.