At Copthorne Primary School, we recognise the importance of Geography as a subject that helps pupils make sense of the world around them. Our curriculum is rooted in the Early Years Foundation Stage & National Curriculum’s guidelines and aims to provide pupils with a broad and balanced understanding of geographical concepts, knowledge, and skills.

The curriculum covers:

▪ locational knowledge
▪ place knowledge
▪ human and physical geography
▪ geographical skills and fieldwork.

Learning begins in Early Years where children begin to find out about their home, places nearby and features of their environment such as trees and traffic. In Key Stage 1, children learn the component knowledge of Bradford and the UK, such as the names of the countries, capital cities and key human features and make comparisons between their own lives and the lives of children living in Australia. Pupils continue to deepen their knowledge of Bradford, the UK and the world across Key Stage 2 culminating in Year 6 with studies of South America, biomes and world trade.     

Our children use a range of maps and atlases so that geography map and fieldwork skills are systematically developed. Resources are introduced progressively to ensure that pupils develop a deep and comprehensive understanding of geographical concepts, skills, and knowledge over time. For example in Early Years simple picture atlases with colourful illustrations are used to introduce children to different places around the world and their basic geographical features. In KS1 pupils also use world maps to help them to identify continents, oceans, and major countries, building on their understanding of the world beyond their local area. In KS2, children use globes of different scales to support their understanding of the Earth’s rotation, latitude and longitude and time zones.

Our Geography progression map details the careful long-term curriculum sequencing of essential skills.  For example, in Key Stage 1, our children learn to locate and compare the position of major cities and seas on a UK map using the four basic compass directions.  This culminates in Upper Key Stage 2 with children using the eight points of a compass and six-figure grid references to locate a range of human and physical features studied, such as settlement locations and river features.  

Essential geographical concepts such as the features of rivers, volcano formation and factors effecting settlement location are taught by focussing on specific locations and regions.  This allows comparisons to be made between the UK and other areas of the world. 

Our Geography curriculum is designed to develop learners who have:

  • an excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like;
  • 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;
  • fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques;
  • the ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings;
  • significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter;
  • highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques;
  • 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;
  • the ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.