Geography is taught through a Learning Challenge curriculum, as opposed to a discrete subject area. It features routinely in topic areas and planning addresses the need for skill and knowledge progression throughout the school.

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At Usworth Colliery Primary School, we recognise the role of Geography in achieving this aim. The geography we deliver is inspiring, relevant, motivating and fun. Through Geography, we aim to enable each pupil to develop confidence and knowledge of Geographical concepts and skills. We strive to develop knowledge and understanding of places, patterns and processes and awareness and understanding of environmental issues and sustainable development. Through a range of creative teaching and learning strategies, we aim to deliver progressive and effective coverage of geographical skills.

The teaching of the key skills, knowledge and understanding of Geography is incorporated into the Learning Challenge curriculum planning.

Staff ensure that, over the course of the school year, all of the relevant skills and knowledge are taught for any given year group.

The exciting and contextual curriculum ensures that age appropriate skills, vocabulary, and knowledge are taught regularly across the school (see the Whole School Geography Overview).

Year 1

  • Seasonal change & Weather – Features of hot and cold places, how the seasons and weather affect people, People who live in hot and cold countries




Year 2

  • a small area of the UK and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country
  • identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom
  • 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.

Year 3

  • European Country – holiday destination & famous cities
  • Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis – The power of the Earth

Year 4

  • UK City Study – Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/ computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
  • River Study and City locations – Settlements, land use, economic activity, including natural resources, especially water supplies.

Year 5

  • Brazil – Trade and growing economy, Fair Trade, Rainforests of the Amazon & physical features

Year 6

  • The importance of raw materials such as water









  • Mapping skills and fieldwork


Geography in the Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, Geography forms part of the learning that pupils acquire under the ‘Understanding the World’ branch of the Foundation Stage curriculum – which also covers Science, History, Design and Technology and ICT.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage pupils are given the opportunity to first explore the local world around them and develop an awareness of their own surroundings. Studies of the local area give pupils a perspective of ‘near’ geography. This helps them to appreciate distances between their immediate locality and overseas places.   Links to countries encountered through other subjects (e.g. RE work on Buddhism, Judaism etc. and science work on animals found in different climates) enable pupils to draw on and consolidate their learning about the geography of the wider world. Pupils are encouraged to record their experiences through drawing, writing and model making. They are also encouraged to discuss their ideas with others and use evaluative and comparative language whilst doing so.