How do we teach Geography at Abbeyfield?

The National Curriculum

The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure all pupils:

  • 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

Pupils should also be 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.


At Abbeyfield, we know that geography is essential in ensuring that children understand the world in which we live. As pupils progress through school, they will increase their knowledge of the world as well as their place in it. By the time they leave Abbeyfield, they will have completed an in-depth study of an area on every continent.

Geography is an investigative subject and therefore our curriculum will encourage children’s curiosity and fascination about the world, giving them the enquiry skills they need to find out more. It promotes their understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Geography lessons are underpinned by Geography Key Concepts in order to not only provide children with knowledge but also develop the disciplinary skills to ‘think geographically’.


Our geography scheme of work is based upon the requirements set out in the framework of the 2014 National Curriculum. The curriculum map outlines the geography topics taught throughout a child’s time at Abbeyfield. Each term, all year groups carry out half a term of geography lessons. Teachers use medium-term plans co-created with the geography subject leader in order to ensure that there is clear progression as the children move through school. Lessons and units of work are carefully sequenced to build on prior learning and ensure that substantive knowledge is regularly revisited. Map work and fieldwork are interweaved throughout the topics.


Our geography curriculum at Abbeyfield will ensure that children leave us being able to understand the key themes of what it is to be a successful geography and how this links to other subjects and topics. They will leave school with sufficient knowledge and skills to succeed in geography in the next stage of their education. Importantly, pupils will also gain an understanding of the impact that they have on the planet and be able to articulate how important it is to live sustainably. This notion is also developed by our in school Eco-Council.

Core Concepts

We have broken up our geography curriculum into the following core concepts.

Curriculum Overview

By the time the children leave Abbeyfield Primary Academy, they will have completed an in-depth geographical study of a country in each of the 7 continents.

Learning Journeys

We send out learning journeys to families at the start of each half-term. Here is an example of a Y1 learning journey for a study of the local area. Click on the link below to see the detailed medium-term plan: