Curriculum Overview and Policy

Download: Geography Curriculum Overview 2023-2024 [PDF]
Download: Geography Progression of Skills Overview 2023-2024 [PDF]
Download: Geography Vocabulary Progression 2023-2024 [PDF]

Download: Geography Policy 2023-2024 [PDF]

School vision for the teaching of Geography

The National Curriculum states, “a high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

At St Oswald’s Catholic Primary School, we aim to provide a comprehensive and engaging Geography curriculum which both excites and challenges all pupils in school. We aim to offer high-quality geography education, which will develop a progression of geographical language and skills. Through gaining a deeper understanding of their locality, diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, children will be encouraged to become global citizens. They will develop respect for the physical environment and the diverse cultures that make up our fascinating planet. We aim to nurture their interest and wonder in exploring their own place in the world. At our school, the children are given the opportunity to think spatially and critically; using images, atlases and maps to present and analyse information. To deepen their knowledge and understanding of places near and far; we aim to ensure that all of our children are given the opportunity to use a range of investigative and problem-solving skills inside the classroom within each topic area. These skills can then be transferred into practice outside the classroom, through local fieldwork. The children’s locality offers excellent opportunities for this.

Liverpool is a unique city with an abundance of outdoor spaces, ranging from parks and coastal walks to famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Liverpool’s nearby beaches and nature reserves are also great places to appreciate the outdoors. Through studying their locality, children can be provided with first-hand experience, enabling them to become geographers of the future.

Geography Curriculum Drivers

Language – Our Geography curriculum encourages pupils to use language in all areas of learning; communicating their ideas in a range of different and imaginative ways, so they are able to communicate effectively with confidence and enthusiasm. This could be in the form of a presentation either individually or as part of a group, through newspaper articles or even using computing software to present ideas. (Faith in Our Voice)

Diversity and Inclusion – Geography lessons allow ample opportunity for group work, allowing children to support each other as they learn more about the world. Children learn about the effects of climate change and how they can work together to slow it down. All children access Geography within school in meaningful ways to them as well as learning about the effects of our own actions on the world and how we can help others. (Faith in Others)

Resilience – Throughout Geography lessons and whole school assembles children will build a common understanding of the issues being faced by people around the world, such as Fairtrade and CAFOD. The aim is to help children to become more resilient and responsible citizens. The children are given the tools and vocabulary to present their geographical findings with confidence. (Faith in Ourselves)

Enrichment – Our Geography curriculum here at St Oswald’s aims to introduce children to a wide-range of places, cultures and people and to open our students’ eyes to all the possibilities that are out there in the wider world: possibilities of travel, possibilities of fieldwork and exploration, possibilities of understanding world affairs, possibilities of appreciating other cultures, possibilities of making a positive change both in our local communities and to broader global issues. (Faith in Our Journey)


At St. Oswald’s Catholic Primary School, our curriculum is aligned with our mission statement that, ‘Together with Jesus, we will Learn and Grow in Faith’. We are committed to providing a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum which provides our children with the knowledge, skills and experiences’ that they need to succeed in life.

It is our intent for the Geography curriculum to inspire our pupils with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Through high quality teaching, we intend to equip our pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a greater understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

We believe that our curriculum should encourage the children to show respect for their local, national and international environment, as well as enable them to develop knowledge and skills that are also transferable to other curriculum areas, including a richly diverse vocabulary. We endeavour to provide children with learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom, including educational visits and visitors, which are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

The Geography curriculum at St. Oswald’s is carefully planned and structured to ensure that current learning is linked to previous learning. It is designed so that intricate links have been built within and across subjects so that nothing sits in isolation and knowledge is deeply embedded and reinforced as the children move from EYFS, through to Year 6. Thus, developing knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time at St. Oswald’s and also on to their further education and beyond.


To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in Geography at St. Oswald’s, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability or additional needs, to flourish and become the very best version of themselves they can possibly be.

We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression document. The skills and knowledge for each year group have been mapped out across the school from EYFS to Year 6, ensuring progression between each year group. Key skills are then revisited, embedded and built upon as pupils move through the topics and year groups. Teachers plan lessons for their class using our progression of knowledge and skills document and high-quality teaching responds to the needs of the children.

At St. Oswald’s, Geography is taught every other term, in rotary with History, for three terms across the year, with the exception of our Opening Worlds Scheme, which is followed in Years 3, 4 and 5 . Here, Years 3, 4 and 5 pupils’ access one, one-and-a-half-hour lesson, per week.

Opening worlds is a humanities programme combining History and Geography, where children learn both topics working simultaneously alongside each other, thus promoting a deeper understanding of the interlinking topics. The Opening Worlds programme follows ten unique teaching techniques and approaches to ensure knowledge is embedded rapidly, enjoyably, efficiently and inclusively.

The ten teaching strategies and techniques to promote high-leverage teaching are:

  • Pre-teach key vocabulary
  • Practise storytelling
  • Don’t ask one, ask five
  • Pronounce new words in different contexts
  • Pupils pronounce new vocabulary
  • Retrieval practice
  • Secure fluency
  • Use core knowledge
  • Secure pace
  • Avoid guessing games

As with all subjects, Geography lessons incorporate a wide range of different methods of pedagogy, engaging all our pupils, challenging them and demanding high expectations. The local area is utilised to achieve desired outcomes, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practise. School trips and fieldwork opportunities are provided to give first hand experiences, which enhance children’s understanding of the world beyond their locality. Using one of the key skills adapted from our Opening Worlds Scheme, we put a lot of emphasis on key terminology through pre-teaching. By doing this, children can broaden their vocabulary, allowing them to deepen their knowledge and understanding and improve their knowledge retention.

Geography is formatively assessed at the end of each topic, when children answer the big topic question, by completing an end of topic task, and similarly, during the Opening Worlds end of topic synoptic task. They are also continually assessed throughout each lesson due to our live marking policy, and again during the plenary stage of the lesson. Monitoring takes place through a variety of strategies including lesson observations, pupil voice, monitoring of work completed etc. Staff are supported by the Geography lead to ensure a high-quality curriculum is delivered for all our pupils.


By following our clear intent and implementation process consistently as a school, our children should prove to be confident geographers, that can talk about what they have learnt in detail, expressing a coherent knowledge and understanding of the world. The children will be able to discuss their Geographical learning, drawing upon prior knowledge and using key facts and vocabulary, which we are able to use to help with our assessment of topic understanding, as well as help us to identify areas in which we need to encourage deeper learning.

Continuity and progression in the curriculum is built around the essential knowledge, understanding and key skills within Geography, which are broken into Year group expectations. The essential knowledge, skills and understanding within the curriculum help us guarantee that the learners’ essential skills are being developed, alongside National Curriculum requirements and ensure that the standard of learning will be evident in children’s work, which will show progression, key skills and core vocabulary used throughout.

Our whole school Geography data is also analysed to make sure that any patterns or anomalies can be investigated and plans can be put in place to make adjustments to the implementation if required. The findings of this data, alongside robust termly monitoring, are used to inform next steps for the children and the implementation of Geography across the school as a whole, ensuring pupils remain ‘on track’ and grow in confidence and attainment as they move through the school from EYFS to Year 6.

Additional Resources

If you would like to explore the fascinating world around you with your child, take a look at some of the following websites:

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