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Geography at Princess May

Princess May Primary School’s values and philosophy about Geography teaching and learning in our school is about developing an understanding of our world, through experience, investigation and learning from secondary sources. Geography helps children to gain a greater understanding of the ways of life and cultures of people in other places. This will help to enable children to take responsibility for their role in society and to develop a caring attitude towards others, animals and plants in our environment. Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes which shape them and the people who live in them. Children study their local area and contrasting places in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. The study of the local area forms an important part of the geography taught at our school and activities are planned to build upon the children's knowledge and understanding of the local area.


Through our teaching of geography we aim to:

  • Develop children's geographical understanding and competence in specific geographical skills.
  • Help children acquire and develop the skills and confidence to undertake, investigation, problem solving and decision making.
  • Stimulate the children's interest in and curiosity about their surroundings.
  • Create and foster a sense of wonder about the world.
  • Inspire a sense of responsibility for the environments and people of the world we live in.
  • Increase the children's knowledge and awareness of our changing world, so that they will want to look after the Earth and its resources and think about how it can be improved and sustained.
  • Begin to develop respect for, and an interest in, people throughout the world regardless of culture, race and religion.
  • Develop a sense of identity by learning about the United kingdom and its relationship with other countries.

We also hope to:

  • Improve pupils skills across the curriculum, especially in Literacy, Numeracy and ICT.
  • Develop thinking skills.
  • Develop pupils as active citizens.
  • Promote awareness and understanding of spiritual and moral issues.

The programmes of study for both Key Stage 1 and 2 are based on:

  • Locational knowledge
  • Place knowledge
  • Human and Physical geography
  • Geographical skills and fieldwork

Teaching at Princess May ensures that geographical enquiry skills are used when developing knowledge and understanding of places, patterns and processes, and environmental change and sustainable development.

By the end of Key Stage 1, most children will be expected to:

  • Describe the main features of localities and recognise their similarities and differences
  • Recognise where things are and why they are as they are
  • Recognise changes in the environment of localities and how people affect the environment
  • Find out and express views about people, places and environments by asking and answering questions and by using their own observations and other geographical skills and resources 

By the end of Key Stage 2, most children will be expected to:

  • Explain the physical and human characteristics of places and their similarities and differences, and know the location of significant places and environments in the UK, Europe and the World
  • Explain patterns of physical and human features, and recognise how selected physical and human processes cause changes in the character of places and environments
  • Describe how people can damage and improve the environment and recognise how and why people may seek to manage environments sustainably
  • Undertake geographical enquiry by asking and responding to questions, identifying and explaining different views and using a range of geographical skills, resources and their own observations

Teaching and learning style

Geography teaching focuses on enabling children to think as geographers. We focus on helping children understand that geographical phenomena can be interpreted in different ways, and we encourage children to ask, as well as answer, investigative questions.

We place an emphasis on using resources, secondary sources or primary sources where available on trips to form an important part of our curriculum delivery. As part of their geographical work, all pupils have opportunities to use ICT (iPads) and a variety of data, such as maps, statistics and graphs where this serves to enhance their learning. They also have opportunities to use the following resources: maps, atlases, pictures, photographs, aerial photographs, compasses, measuring equipment and non-fiction books. Regular trips are booked to support the delivery of the curriculum.

We recognise that in all classes children have a wide range of ability in Geography and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child, such as whole-class lessons, group, paired and individual work and we combine these with enquiry-based research activities.

Cross-Curricular Links

Each Geography unit incorporates many cross curricular links with Maths, Literacy, History, Science, Art, and PHSE to name a few.

We recognise and value the importance of cross curricular learning, drama and experiments in Geography teaching and learning, and we regard this as an important way of stimulating interest in the Earth and its people.

History is an integral part of Geography as the ways of life and cultures of people in other places are central to children gaining a deeper understanding of their role in society. Many of the tasks our children tackle in Geography lessons draw upon this understanding.


Y3 Display: The Water Cycle
The Water Cycle Y3

Display: Our World Y1
Our World Y1

Display: Ocean Habitat KS1
Ocean Habitat KS1

Geography Trips

We strongly believe that geographical skills need to be put into practice and high-quality learning opportunities can be developed through practical fieldwork. Our staff is always looking at how to incorporate these trips into the curriculum.

Geography at Home

Children’s learning is always deepened if the support at home is provided in addition to work done inside the classroom. London provides our children with a great opportunity to discover more about the world around us. As well as many museums, London Transport Museum, Hackney Museum, there are also plenty of outdoor spaces and habitats to explore, e.g. Clissold park, Hackney Farm, the Thames. We would encourage children to stay up date with what is going on in the world by following the news. Having access to an atlas is a fantastic way for children to ask questions and become curious about the various countries around the world. Spending a few minutes a week investigating a new country within the world is a great way to inspire children’s fascination with our planet. For example, you could look at another city’s location in comparison to London; investigate transport that might be used there, food that is eaten there, the climate etc. Google Earth is another great tool for doing this. Children can also learn a lot from their own personal stories which allow them to understand that the world is different as you move around it. Below are some websites you might find useful: