Stanton Community Primary School and Nursery


Stanton Community Primary School and Nursery, Upthorpe Road, Stanton , Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP31 2AW

01359 250225


Geography Statement of Intent

We intend to promote children’s interest and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.  We aim to help them develop a greater understanding of their place in the world, and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment.  We aim for children to be ‘local citizens’ of today in order to become ‘global citizens’ of the future.

We have designed our curriculum with a clear purpose, so that throughout their learning children learn to consider how the knowledge and skills they are gaining can be put to positive use, for themselves and others.   We also recognise that in our school community we have a limited representation of a range of diverse cultures and beliefs, therefore it is essential that children learn to appreciate the value of diversity in Stanton and in Suffolk as a foundation, which will lead to a full understanding of human geography across the world. We want our children to appreciate what they have in common with others around the world and encourage them to think primarily about how children in other schools are similar to them, rather than focusing purely on difference.

In the Early years, being a geographer means using senses to explore the world around them, asking questions and making comments about aspects of their familiar surroundings. Children look closely at the features, similarities and differences of the place where they live and go to school as well as other locations.  From Year 1 we follow the programmes of study of the National Curriculum for Geography.   Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the framework to explain how the Earth’s features are shaped, interconnected and change over time. We also consider key underlying organising concepts or “threads” that run throughout our curriculum which help us identify questions, make links and give explanations, organise information and assist our decision-making.  We want the children to be able to communicate their learning in a variety of ways. We aim to develop skills and knowledge that the children can use throughout their life including:

  • Developing an age-appropriate, accurate knowledge of the location of a wide range of globally significant places
  • Using their locational knowledge to provide a geographical context in which to study and understand important geographical processes
  • Developing their ability to use key geographical vocabulary which is appropriate and accurate and which evolves from EYFS to Key stage 1 and through to key stage 2.

East Anglia exhibits a wide variety of landscapes. The coastline has fine sandy beaches, crumbling cliffs and the most Eastern point on the British Isles.  The centre of the region has vast areas of open fields. The River Waveney rises in the north-western corner of Suffolk at Redgrave and Lopham Fen, home to the rare Fen Raft Spider.  As Geographers, our pupils make full use of our local environment, with much of our fieldwork taking place in the local area; the school grounds, our forest, the Grundle or at Bluebell Woods.  Further opportunities are provided during educational trips to a diverse range of locations such as lakes and woods, towns and cities, museums, castles and the coastline.  Agriculture has been a major economic activity in Suffolk since the 18th century. The most important crops are cereals, sugar beets, and vegetables; food processing is a significant industry and we use our many links with the community to provide opportunities for learning including regular visits from one local farmer and his tractor as well as trips to the Schools’ Farm and Country Fair.   We hope that our commitment to providing children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about our local area will enable them to develop of real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special.

We aim to provide a high-quality geography education, that inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and it’s people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching will 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 will 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. Our curriculum is structured to introduce and revisit knowledge, following the principles of instruction, guided by understanding how the memory works and cognitive load theory.

Geography Implementation

Modular Approach – Knowledge
Geography is taught across each year group in modules that enable pupils to study in depth key geographical understanding, skills and vocabulary. Each module aims to activate and build upon prior learning, including EYFS, to ensure better cognition and retention. Each module is carefully sequenced to enable pupils to purposefully layer learning from previous sessions to facilitate the acquisition and retention of key geographical knowledge. Each module is revisited either later in the year or in the following year as part of a spaced retrieval practice method to ensure pupils retain key knowledge and information.

Subject Skills
As well as ensuring pupils are taught key knowledge, each module is designed to offer pupils the opportunity to develop their skills as a geographer in asking questions, planning and carrying out fieldwork, collecting and analysing information and drawing conclusions.

Cumulative Quizzing (Supporting Cognitive Load)
At the start of each module, pupils undertake a short quiz to establish prior knowledge and understanding of the module content. Throughout each module pupils continually revisit previous content to reinforce key knowledge and vocabulary. At the end of the module, pupils take another quiz to check their understanding and

All modules have a sequenced overview outlining recommended number of sessions, key concepts, knowledge and vocabulary to be taught. 

Knowledge Organisers and Knowledge Notes
Accompanying each module is a Knowledge Organiser which contains key vocabulary, information and concepts which all pupils are expected to understand and retain. Knowledge notes are the elaboration and detail to help pupils acquire the content of each module. They support vocabulary and concept acquisition through a well-structured sequence that is cumulative. Each Knowledge Note begins with questions that link back to the cumulative quizzing, focussing on key content
to be learnt and understood. Knowledge Organisers and Knowledge Notes are dual coded to provide pupils with visual calls to aid understanding and recall: both are referenced throughout each module and are sent home to families to support with home learning. 

In our Geography curriculum we encourage pupils to access high quality texts to support their learning and develop their skills in accessing information from a range of sources. Teachers model reading geographical texts and pupils spend time partner reading or reading independently to acquire knowledge or deepen their understanding.

Vocabulary forms a key part of our wider curriculum. Subject specific Tier 2 and Tier 3 words are incorporated in each module and pupils are encouraged to develop their own ‘Vital Vocabulary’ lists along with dual coding to expand their geography vocabulary repertoire.

When discussing their findings or presenting information, pupils are encouraged to speak using full sentences and incorporating the key subject vocabulary. Pupils are supported to develop their oracy skills throughout their time in school.

Pupils are encouraged to write across all areas of the curriculum and teachers model how to write purposefully in each subject using key structures and vocabulary. Pupils are encouraged to use their books as reference books, using previous work, knowledge organisers and knowledge notes.

Geography Curriculum

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.

Key Stage One
Pupils will develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They will 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. In Key Stage 1 pupils will 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.

Key Stage Two
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.  Across Key Stage Two, pupils will 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:
o physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
o 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 ofOr dnance 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

Geography in Early Years and Foundation Stage 

In Early Years, children are encouraged and guided to use investigation and exploration to develop their understanding of the world.  Our curriculum is designed to enable children to make sense of their physical world and their community.  Children are encouraged to:

  • Show curiosity and interest in the features of objects and living things
  • Describe and talk about what they see
  • Show curiosity about why things happen and how things work
  • Show understanding of cause and effect
  • Notice and comment on patterns
  • Show and awareness of change
  • Find out about and identify the features of living things, places and events
  • Look closely at similarities and differences between objects and places
  • Ask about why things happen and how they work 

Children are provided with many opportunities to develop a good understanding of the world around them by:

  • Making observations and drawing pictures of animals, plants, weather conditions and places
  • Looking at simple maps and aerial photographs of our school and village
  • Drawing simple maps and plans of their own
  • Exploring differences and similarities between the natural world around them and contrasting environments
  • Drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class and finding places referred to on a World Map and globe
  • Understanding some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons and changing states

Children 'Doing' Geography - coming soon...

Useful Documents

For more information on the school's teaching and learning in Geography please do not hesitate to get in contact with Miss Littleton, the Geography lead, or click on the links below for some informative documents.


Stanton Community Primary School Geography curriculum KS1 & KS2


Stanton Community Primary School Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural aspects of Geography





Useful links for Humanities