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Geography Curriculum



At Hillyfield Primary Academy, Geography is a vital part of the curriculum which provokes and provides answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Pupils will develop a sense of belonging through investigating perspectives to their personal, local and global importance and are taught to understand and respect the similarities and differences in a range of individuals. 

The curriculum is planned to enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas. Geography is taught half-termly through enquiry questions which promote the pupil's interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. For example, in Early Years, pupils build up an understanding of their identity within the world each half term focusing on local: ‘My local community’ to national: ‘My country’ to international: ‘My world’. In KS1, pupils are introduced to international countries and physical geography concepts, which is further developed throughout LKS2. In UPKS2, pupils are then taught to analyse similarities and differences between global communities and places. We ensure our local environment is investigated through termly fieldwork (in addition to implementing fieldwork week) , map activities and trips to explore Walthamstow’s fantastic area rich with wetlands and marshes. 

Our progressive curriculum is crucial for all learners in all key stages, with careful consideration given to vulnerable pupil groups and our pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Diversity and inclusion is embedded throughout the pupil's learning so they have the opportunity to understand multiple perspectives of local and global events and issues through enquiry questions such as, “How do responses to earthquakes differ from Japan to Tonga and why?” pupils will explore the effects of earthquakes not just on physical geography but how human geography is affected and why it differs.



At Hillyfield, each geography topic is launched with an exciting hook to engage the children and build excitement, which motivates them in their learning . During the hook lesson, pupils take part in a variety of opportunities such as:  watching video clips, listening to songs, and teamwork games to map the continents of the world. Overall, this starts the journey of children starting to think about their overarching enquiry question. Lessons are supported through Oddizzi resources, which provide teachers with outstanding resources to deliver excellent lessons. Oddizzi provides teachers with quizzes, linked texts, films and challenge questions to stretch children to above expected levels of knowledge. Teachers also have access to an additional bank of online resources focussing on skills such as map reading and coordinates, which can be used to add an interesting and engaging element to lessons. 

Over the course of a geography topic, lessons follow a mapped progression of enquiry questions each week which lead to them completing an assessment piece which answers their overarching enquiry question. Knowledge from each topic is complemented by relevant non-fiction texts and where appropriate, core texts which are taught in the children’s writing lessons. Geography and mathematical skills are intrinsically linked and we ensure this is explored with the children through engaging fieldwork lessons exploring our rich local area in Walthamstow. This might range from measuring the temperature of the local area over a period of time, to creating an Eco-map of the local school or community. 

As geography is taught weekly, children recall their knowledge and skills through recap quizzes which supports the retention of knowledge to the long term memory. Furthermore, learning is supported with knowledge organisers, which allows pupils to focus on building their geography skills. Map skills are embedded throughout geography topics through children regularly using Atlases (of which many are found in class libraries) and world and UK maps displayed on every working wall. Teachers are encouraged to refer to these regularly by adding discussed locations and areas with the class as and when the need arises. 

Geography topics conclude with a ‘Fantastic Finish,’ where pupil outcomes are celebrated and shared with parents, peers and the wider community through a range of exciting ways. This could be through a presentation, debate, podcast or even collaborative essay in order to ensure accessibility to all learners. Teachers identify potential misconceptions and take measures to address these for the next geography topic. 

Furthermore, the discipline of geography is celebrated in Hillyfield through our termly homework assessment tasks, in which children answer an enquiry question at home and present it to their parents at the end of term in the format of their choosing. The Eco Committee also celebrates geography throughout the year, with a particular focus on sustainability and bringing the whole school’s attention to days and events such as ‘National Tree Day.’


Geography is assessed termly by teachers to identify strengths and misconceptions to address in future topics. We do this by completing a “fantastic finish” at the end of each unit as well as:

Recap quizzes weekly to identify misconceptions
Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice) - oracy shows they are able to retain their learning through learning links and starters in lessons. 
Positive learning attitude - children enjoy their lessons greatly  due to the rich variety of learning opportunities, and this has impacted on the overall outcome of the school.
Moderation where pupil’s books are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their children’s work.
Sharing good practice in staff meetings and via whole school email
Marking of written work in books against the schools marking policy.
Trialling formal assessment methods as a school, use of low stake quizzes and fantastic finishes currently. 
Focus on oracy - geography has promoted oracy through constant discussion and debate, group work and presentation opportunities. e.g. ‘should the parthenon marbles be returned to Greece?’
Outcomes in reading and writing significantly above national average - geography impacts on this through opportunities to read and write throughout the curriculum, as well as students being encouraged to go away and research and present their own projects at home half termly. fieldwork also supports Maths in terms of coordinates, year 3 measuring temperature etc, Y5 creating an Eco map, year 6 calculating population density. 

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