In Key Stage 1, pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
In Key Stage 2, they extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.
At Shepherd Primary our interest in Geography begins in Early Years with both the Nursery and Reception classes. The children are interested in their immediate environment and their family. Throughout the year the children will explore and begin to understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them. We talk with the children about their families and explore their origins and heritage. We will learn that there are different countries in the world and talk about the differences they have experienced or seen in photos. We will recognise some similarities and differences between both the environment and life in this country and life in other countries. During our play we will explore early map work skills such as building 3D depictions of towns and environments using small world resources and always make and follow our own treasure maps!
When the children move into Year 1, they will begin to focus on the environmental makeup of their local area. The children will investigate and explore the surrounding area within the school grounds and conduct their first fieldwork study. They will build their mapping skills by exploring maps and atlases and by hand drawing maps of their route to school as well as the school grounds introducing themselves to aerial mapping and imagery. They will explore the town of Rickmansworth in greater detail and compare it to Peru – linking across the curriculum with art and design technology.
Year 2 will see the children explore in greater detail the weather patterns in the UK. They will learn about how these differ from the North and South poles and how that affects the environment. The children’s mapping skills will progress further, learning about globes and how to use atlases to help them locate continents, countries, and oceans around the world. In the Summer the children will explore the topic of Land and Sea – learning about the five oceans of the world and linking these to the continents.
As the children move into Key Stage 2, Year 3 will see them conduct comparisons between a UK region and Spain. The children will begin to explore and identify the main physical and human characteristics of each area and begin to ask and answer geographical questions about locations. They will use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies. The children will then look at rivers, mountains, and the water cycle and look to describe and understand key aspects of this physical geography.
In Year 4 the children will learn about aspects of Europe including the names and locations of some of the countries and their capital cities. They will continue exploring the human and physical features and characteristics and recognise the difference between man-made and natural landmarks. The children will then consolidate their learning by investigating Watford and its twin towns. Later in the year the children will then learn about the River Nile and complete a detailed river study. Their map work skills will progress with the children learning about longitude and latitude as well as using maps to identify key topographical features.
In Year 5 the children will investigate how places and land use have changed over time, linked with the local High Speed 2 project. They will explore maps and digital mapping to explore how the physical and human characteristics of the area have been impacted. Their map work will now include 6 figure grid references, Ordinance Survey symbols and keys. The children will explore aspects of trade and fair trade including how this is driven and impacted by human and physical features of an area. They will learn about the route of a product from field to shelf and who is involved in the production at each stage. The children will then learn about different climate zones and biomes linked to Africa. They will learn to interpret and gather evidence from a range of sources of geographical information including globes, maps, diagrams, aerial photographs, and Geographical Information Systems. They will be able to use maps to identify climate zones and describe the main features.
At the end of Key Stage 2 in Year 6 the children will explore Mexico and locational knowledge in relation to both North and South America. They will collect and analyse information and begin to draw conclusions about locations. They will investigate and create maps of the location adding in detail such as land use, climate zone, population density, and topographical features. Later in the year the children will learn about volcanoes and earthquakes. They will explore how these occur, where, and the impact these natural disasters have on the environment.