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"The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together." - Barack Obama

The member of staff responsible for Geography is Miss Booles.


How Dovecotes Primary School’s Geography Curriculum Promotes Our Core Values:


Be Kind – We will consider ways in which we can be kind to our planet, with a focus upon sustainability and climate change.


Be Honest – We will tackle key global issues in an honest yet sensitive way, including migration and refugees.

Be Brave – We will aim to create an inquisitive learning environment within classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving. 


Be Creative - We will encourage children to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research to enable them to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of the world and their place in it.


Be Healthy - We will study the interaction between physical and human processes and consider how humans can impact upon our planet positively.


Intent – What Do We Aspire For Our Children?


At Dovecotes, our aims are to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography, providing a broad and balanced curriculum, ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills and for the children to develop a love for geography. Pupils will develop an understanding of both the physical and human geography of their local environment, the UK and the wider world.  We will study countries that are significant to our diverse school community. Our learners will acquire geographical knowledge sequentially and logically. For example, they will learn about their local area, Pendeford, before studying their city, Wolverhampton, the UK, Europe and the wider world.


We will deliver a curriculum that:

  • Inspires a curiosity and fascination about the world and the people in it;

  • Equips children with an understanding of diverse places, people, resources and environments around them and the wider world;

  • Allows children to build on prior learning about physical and human processes and the formation and use of landscapes and environments;

  • Develops an understanding that the Earth’s physical features are interconnected and change over time;

  • Encourages exploration of their own environment and supports children to make connections between their local surroundings and that of contrasting settlements;

  • Systematically develops essential geography map skills: collecting and analysing data; using maps, globes, aerial photographs and digital mapping to name and identify countries, continents and oceans; and communicating information in a variety of ways.


By the end of Early Years children will:

  • Explore the natural world around them;

  • Begin to understand how they are part of their own locality which is part of a bigger world;

  • Comprehend the features of their immediate environment and how this might vary from others;

  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments;

  • Understand how to draw information from a simple map;

  • Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and other countries.


By the end of Key Stage 1 children will:

  • Use and make a range of geographical resources such as photos and maps to locate features in their locality and the world;

  • Understand the principle of directions and look at land use, climate and physical features of Great Britain and other locations in the world.


By the end of Key Stage 2 children will:

  • Compare their own locality to different locations around the world;

  • Conduct simple fieldwork to exemplify common geographical processes and develop an understanding of map work such that these features can be examined and identified in a wider context;

  • Gain knowledge of the impact of humans on the landscape and recognize the impact of themselves and that of nature in shaping the world in which they live.


Implementation - How Will We Deliver The Curriculum?


Knowledge at the Heart of the Curriculum - Understanding Different Types of Knowledge in Geography.


Substantive Knowledge


Substantive knowledge sets out the subject-specific content that is to be learned - the geography National Curriculum. It is the ‘know what’ and ‘know how’ of geography. This can be divided into declarative knowledge (‘know what’) and procedural knowledge (‘know how’). Declarative knowledge includes: locational knowledge, place knowledge, and human and physical processes - i.e. they are the facts of geography that can be declared. ‘Geographical skills and fieldwork’, can be termed as procedural knowledge - this about ‘knowing how to do geography’ (e.g. knowing how to draw a map; knowing how to conduct a survey etc).


Disciplinary Knowledge


Disciplinary knowledge considers how we know what we know and teaches pupils to ‘think like a geographer’. It gives an insight into the ways that geographers question, collect, analyse, interpret, evaluate, communicate and debate. For example, we know about the water cycle by observing elements of it in the natural world, applying scientific knowledge, and creating geographical diagrams to explain it.


Units of work are structured around an overarching ‘big question’ to ensure teaching is focused. Each unit in our overview is underpinned by rich, substantive knowledge and ambitious vocabulary, whilst also ensuring children are developing their disciplinary knowledge (geographical skills). Human and physical geography is taught together since it is inextricably linked. The ‘Big Concepts’ of geography are taught: place/space/scale, physical world, human processes, human impact/interdependence/sustainability and cultural diversity/cultural understanding. Each unit of work is planned carefully to ensure such concepts are taught in a progressive manner and in an order that support children's understanding, allowing opportunities for revisiting and developing ideas and concepts. For example, place studies start locally and increase in scale to regional, national and global. Similarly, consideration of the weather and seasons progresses to a more in-depth study of the importance of climate and protecting environments from global warming and combating climate change. In Key Stage 1, pupils are taught about trade (imports and exports) which develops in Key Stage 2 to consideration being given to how buying fair trade products impacts upon the lives of farmers in other countries.


At the heart of our approach in geography is retrieval practice and recapping. Retrieval practice involves deliberately recalling knowledge from memory and we build in regular checks at the start and end of each lesson to establish what knowledge has been learnt. To further ensure that knowledge ‘sticks’, units of work refer to previous learning. For example, pupils study tectonic plates and the formation of the continents in Y3/4 including how the movement of tectonic plates cause natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Then, in Y5/6, pupils learn how tectonic plate movement has caused fold mountain ranges such as the Himalayas and Andes in the units on Asia and South America. They then return to tectonic plates when investigating the intense volcanic activity In Iceland caused by the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates slowly pulling apart.


And finally, children will learn geography through enrichment opportunities. For example, they take part in a visit to the Sea Life Centre in Y1/2, an extreme earth workshop in Y3/4 and carry out local area investigations in Y1/2 and Y5/6.

Dovecotes Whole School Geography Curriculum


EYFS teach through themes which are heavily led by the children’s interests. 


  • Cycle A

    • Santa Mapping, How can we help Father Christmas map the North Pole? 

    • Under the Sea, Where are our world’s oceans and how can we protect what’s in them?

    • Mapping my local area, What’s in my locality?

  • Cycle B

    • The UK, Which country would I most like to visit in the UK?

    • The Continents, How are places around the world different? 

    • Antarctica, Alaska and Cornwall, How is Alaska different to Cornwall?


  • Cycle A

    • UK counties and the Bostin Black Country, What are the counties and settlements of the UK like? How did the Black Country get its name?

    • Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis, Why do natural disasters like volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis happen?

    • Globalisation, What is globalisation and does it make the world a better place?

  • Cycle B

    • North America (Case Study: The Caribbean), Where in North America would I most like to visit? What is special about the Caribbean Islands?

    • Africa: A continent of contrasts. (Case Study: Kenya), How is Africa a continent of contrasts? How is Kenya different to the UK? 

    • Riveting Rivers. (Case Study: The River Nile), How are rivers formed and why are they so important?


  • Cycle A

    • Europe. (Case Study: Iceland), How are places similar and different in Europe? Why is Iceland named the Land of Fire and Ice? 

    • South America, Why is South America so important to the world? 

    • Marvellous Maps, Why does time differ from one country to another? What would I like to investigate in my local area?

  • Cycle B

    • Asia: Japan, China and India, What is it really like to live in the most populated continent in the world? Why is Bangalore the fastest growing city in Asia?

    • Migration (Case Study: Bangladesh and Poland), What are the reasons for migration?

Impact - How Do We Know Our Geography Curriculum Is Effective?


Pupil Voice


We believe that if children have become knowledgeable geographers, then they will be able to articulate their understanding with confidence. This is why pupil voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress. If a child is able to confidently formulate and explain their own responses to an overarching enquiry and recall their current and previous learning then the curriculum and its delivery have been successful.




After the topic has been taught, we ask children to complete quizzes linked to the current unit of work. This allows us to see how much the children have remembered and how much progress they have made.


For further information about the Geography curriculum please contact Mrs. Jones our subject lead through the school email address.

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