BerkswichCE Primary School

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Berkswich CE Geography Policy

Click on the file below to download our geography policy. Alternatively, scroll down to read an online copy. Please do feel free to speak to our geography lead or your child's teacher if you would like to discuss any aspect of this policy.

Legal framework

This policy has due regard to statutory guidance, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • DfE (2013) ‘Geography programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2’ (please see The National Curriculum page found via the Learning tab on the school website (
  • DfE (2017) ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’ (please see Early Years area found via the Learning tab on the school website (


The intent of the geography curriculum

At Berkswich, we strive to inspire our children to have an innate curiosity and fascination about the world that we live in and the diversity around them. Our goal is for all children to develop a love of geography.


Our ambitious geography curriculum is designed to have concepts weaved throughout every year group to encourage purposeful repetition to ensure the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills. This consistently builds on previous understanding so that our children are striving to become geographers who understand their own significance in the world which will remain with them for the rest of their lives.


Our high-quality teaching of geography, and our enrichment offer, enables our children to understand their rights and responsibilities towards other people and the environment in which we live.  All children will be equipped with advanced knowledge about diverse places, people, resources, and natural and human environments. This ensures that each child, including SEND children, gain the real geographical experiences of their community and the wider world.


Our aim is to create a learning environment where children have a thirst for investigation and new learning. This is underpinned by geographical vocabulary, enabling children to effectively communicate the interaction between physical and human processes.



The implementation of the geography curriculum


  • Meeting the aims of the National Curriculum (NC)

To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school which enables all children to gain real-life geographical experiences. Our geography curriculum focuses on knowledge and skills stated in the National Curriculum which provides a framework outlining the knowledge and skills taught in each Key Stage to enable pupils to:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
    • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
    • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
    • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.


  • Key concepts

Planning in school is structured systematically and has been tailored to the needs of our children using the Chris Quigley Geography Curriculum Companion: this ensures that units are in line with our school approach of a concept-driven curriculum. Although a unit may have a particular focus, the learning progress is based on the geographical concepts:

  • location,
  • physical features,
  • human features,
  • diversity,
  • physical processes,
  • human processes,
  • map techniques.

We recognise that these, and the connections between them, will strengthen the schema as the basis of all geographical knowledge.


  • Geography in the Early Years (EYFS)

In Nursery and Reception, all children are taught geography as an integral part of the learning covered during the academic year. All geographical objectives within the EYFS are underpinned by the objectives of the early learning goals (ELGs). The geography curriculum in the EYFS enables children to:

  • know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects materials and living things.
  • talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another.
  • make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur and talk about changes.

This provides an excellent foundation for learning into Key Stage One and beyond.

In planning and guiding children’s activities, our teachers constantly reflect on the different ways that children learn and this is seen in their practice. It allows the teaching staff to provide all children with rich geographical opportunities through playing, exploring and active learning. Children are continually encouraged to make meaningful connections in their learning.


  • Teacher subject knowledge

The needs of our children are met through a range of resources built on the Quigley Geography Curriculum Companion, Oddizzi and Digimap for Schools. The support materials that have been chosen ensure that teachers have full access to expertise when planning; these maintain the integrity of the geography curriculum whereby the children’s geographical skills and knowledge remains at the heart of all planning.

Through CPD provided by the geography lead and self-learning, teachers are equipped with the necessary subject knowledge.


  • Learning sequence and repetition

Teachers know their children’s prior learning and are mindful of their own end points in relation to the expectations contained in subsequent years. Please see the school website (Geography | Berkswich CE Primary School) for further overviews of the curriculum, including the children’s learning journey resource that enables children, parents and carers to understand the progression of units throughout the years.

A coherently planned and sequenced set of lessons is taught using our progression of knowledge and skills document which consistently builds on previous understanding to embed key concepts in the long-term memory. This repetitive approach ensures that geographical concepts are woven throughout every year group to encourage purposeful repetition, and to ensure the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills. Children have opportunities to revisit, apply and extend what they have already covered to ensure that learning is both cumulative and permanent. We believe that this is the best way for children to develop the knowledge and skills needed for mastery of a subject.


  • The language of geography

Teachers have high expectations of children to use discussion to further learning. Children are increasingly expected to give precise explanations, using technical and geographical terminology appropriately. Teachers model this practice, using the correct language within all learning. Each ‘Breadth of Study’ is started with a Knowledge Organiser where children have access to key vocabulary and concepts to understand and readily apply their skills in a purposeful context. The promotion of a language-rich geography curriculum is essential to the successful acquisition of knowledge and understanding in geography.


  • SEND

We are ambitious for all children. Teachers will adapt lessons to ensure access for all and to provide tailored support for individuals with SEND. Examples of adaptations can be seen in blue on teacher’s planning. The SEND and geography lead are available to guide and support teachers in ensuring that all learning is inclusive and that children are well-supported and challenged.


  • Equal opportunities

All children will have equal access to the geography curriculum: we are ambitious for every learner. Gender, learning ability, physical ability, ethnicity, linguistic ability and/or cultural circumstances will not impede pupils from accessing geography lessons. All efforts will be made to ensure that cultural and gender differences are positively reflected in lessons and the teaching materials used. Where there is underrepresentation of a group of people within an associated area (i.e., very few women in a particular role within the field of geography), then a positive representation will support future equality.


  • Diversity

Geography is fundamentally concerned with the diversity of people and places on the planet. It is important to explore this in geography and to explore the world by using geographical enquiry, focusing on how people and places are represented in different ways. Teachers will be mindful about representing all children in school and in our wider communities; for example, representing all groups of children in the recording of the children’s learning on the school website.


  • Cultural capital

Children regularly access a range of resources to acquire learning through globes, atlases, maps, digital technology and photographs. Regular educational geographical visits from external providers, teachers, parents and members of the wider community provide vital opportunities for children to enhance their cultural capital by integrating their knowledge into larger concepts and applying to the real-life world. Children have regular fieldwork opportunities and educational visits to enhance their cultural capital and have first-hand experiences of geography.


  • Sustainability

The teaching of geography enables children to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of humanity. Children will learn about climate change through knowledge-rich education where they will learn about both the challenges and opportunities that they will face. Through their experiences throughout primary school, opportunities are provided to develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the importance of nature, sustainability and the causes and impact of climate change. This will help to translate this knowledge into positive action and solutions and the hope that they can be agents of change for the future.


  • Greater Depth

Berkswich CE is ambitious for all pupils; challenge is a part of every child’s learning. We provide Greater Depth pupils with the opportunity to extend their geographical thinking through planned opportunities to broaden and apply their learning within contexts of increasing complexity. Greater Depth pupils also benefit from providing peer support and articulating their own understanding to encourage and supportively scaffold learning in others.


Roles and responsibilities

  • Governors

Berkswich CE Primary has a designated link governor who meets with the geography lead at least once a year to find out about:

  • progress towards whole school improvement priorities.
  • the school’s systems for planning units, supporting staff and monitoring progress.
  • the allocation, use and adequacy of resources.
  • the attainment and progress of all children.
  • the children’s experiences of geography and attitudes towards the subject.


The curriculum governor will report back to the governing board.


  • The headteacher

Overall responsibility for monitoring the teaching of geography throughout the school lies with the headteacher who will support the subject lead in continuing to develop:

  • how geography should support, enrich and extend the curriculum
  • staff development through in service training and provision of resources.


The headteacher will also be responsible for overseeing the review of this policy with the subject leader.


  • The geography lead

The subject leader is responsible for:

  • modelling best practice
  • preparing and reviewing policy documents, curriculum overviews and progressions for the subject which support the challenging demands of the national curriculum, the school’s curriculum intent and drivers, as well as the Berkswich enrichment offer.
  • ensuring the continuity and progression from year group to year group and that learning is cumulative and ambitious from EYFS to Year Six, in preparation for High School.
  • keeping abreast of current thinking, research and policy changes which impact geography in school and helping to develop colleagues’ expertise in the subject by leading staff training and providing staff members with the appropriate professional development.
  • liaising with the high school geography lead to ensure that provision is also tailored to the children’s needs when they move to their next school setting.
  • liaising with the named governor to report on progress and attainment in geography.
  • monitoring the learning and teaching of geography, providing timely support for staff where necessary and ensuring that learning time is maximised.

carrying out audits of all geography-related resources and organising their effective deployment and the purchase of additional resources as necessary. 

  • ensuring that opportunities and resources are inclusive and diverse.
  • advising on the contribution of geography to other curriculum areas, including cross-curricular and extra-curricular activities.
  • ensuring common standards are met for assessing children’s attainment and progress.
  • collating assessment data and setting new priorities for the development of geography in subsequent years.


  • Responsibilities of the teacher

The classroom teacher, in collaboration with the subject leader, will ensure that the needs of all children are met by:

  • acting in accordance with this policy.
  • instilling a love of the subject and the confidence in each child as a geographer.
  • being ambitious for every learner, including SEND and other vulnerable groups.
  • aiming to develop technical proficiency and conceptual understanding in parallel.
  • taking responsibility to strengthen subject knowledge and seek support as necessary.
  • having a working understanding of the prior learning of children and the needs of subsequent years.
  • writing and constantly reviewing short-term plans, taking into account pupils’ needs and outcomes.
  • ensuring that planning is progressive and cumulative over the year and that it meets the wider curriculum intent for Berkswich CE.
  • focusing on the key concepts in geography to enable the development of a deep structural knowledge and the ability to make meaningful connections.
  • providing opportunities for repetition to build long-term knowledge and skills.
  • guiding teaching assistants to ensure that pupils are effectively supported.
  • ensuring that the lessons are supportive, challenging, inclusive and celebrate diversity.
  • monitoring the progress of pupils in their class and reporting this on an annual basis to parents.
  • reporting any concerns regarding the teaching of the subject to the subject leader or a member of the senior leadership team.


  • Responsibilities of The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCo)

The SENDCo is responsible for:

  • advising staff how best to support pupils’ needs.
  • organising and providing any necessary training for staff regarding the geography curriculum for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
  • advising staff on the inclusion of geographical objectives in pupils’ individual education plans as necessary.
  • advising staff on the use of teaching assistants in order to meet pupils’ needs.


  • Geography across the curriculum

In the school, geography is taught both as a discrete lesson and as part of cross-curricular learning. When beneficial to both subjects, the geography curriculum will provide opportunities to establish links with other curriculum areas, for example, using maps in cross-curricular learning. The integrity of the geography curriculum is upheld and furthered through meaningful, purposeful connections. 



The impact of our geography curriculum

  • Assessment

Throughout the year, teachers will plan on-going assessment opportunities to gauge whether pupils have achieved the key learning objectives. Teachers constantly assess the children’s understanding, correcting misunderstandings. Teachers are responsive and alter planning accordingly to help children embed and use knowledge fluently and develop interconnected understanding rather than memorise isolated facts within a unit.  Formative assessment, which is carried out throughout the year, enables teachers to identify pupils’ understanding of subjects and inform their immediate lesson planning. Summative assessments may also be used at the end of a unit. Teachers will make a judgement about the learning of each pupil in relation to the national curriculum – the outcome of which will be recorded using OTrack (used by school to analyse and act on attainment and progress) and used to inform future planning.

The progress and development of pupils within the EYFS is assessed against the early learning goals outlined in the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’. For further information about assessment in EYFS, please visit our Early Years area found via the Learning tab on our school website (

Assessment will be undertaken in various forms, including the following:

  • talking to children and asking questions.
  • discussing children’s work with them.
  • assessing children’s written outcomes against the learning objectives.
  • children’s self-evaluation of their work.
  • analysis of recordings.
  • end of unit assessments.

Parents will be informed about their child’s attainment in geography during the Summer term every year. This will include information on pupils’ attitudes towards geography. Verbal reports can be provided during informal meetings with parents throughout the year. The progress of pupils with SEND will be monitored by the SENDCo.


  • Where are we headed?

By the time children leave our school, they will have a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes and a curiosity and fascination about the world we live in.

This will be evident in our children through:

  • secure contextual knowledge of the location (including the physical and human characteristics) of globally significant places.
  • an understanding that physical and human processes are interdependent and change over time.
  • competency in a range of geographical skills such as: collecting and analysing data; interpreting a range of maps and aerial photographs; communicating geographical information in a range of ways.
  • a love and passion for geography and the world we live in.


  • Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • pupils learn to work effectively with their peers and others, and build positive relationships and confidence.
  • pupils develop an understanding of other cultures and develop positive attitudes through appreciating traditions and beliefs from other societies.
  • pupils develop a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them and they reflect on their experiences.
  • pupils will learn to understand and appreciate the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage.


Policy Review

The geography policy is reviewed bi-annually or sooner if required. Any changes made to this policy will be communicated to all teaching staff.