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Geography

Geography Through St Thomas'

 

FS1 + FS2

 

Me and My Community

 

In this project, children learn about communities and conduct fieldwork to explore the nursery and school environment. Children learn to look after their immediate environment and are introduced to maps as pictorial representations of places and journeys. They make sketches of familiar routes and journeys. Children are introduced to positional language, such as forwards, backwards, next to, in front of, behind and under.

 

Exploring Autumn

 

In this mini seasonal project, children conduct fieldwork to explore the changes that happen during autumn and how these affect their local environment, including typical autumn weather.

 

Winter Wonderland

 

In this mini seasonal project, children conduct fieldwork in the school grounds to further develop their knowledge of how seasonal changes in winter and wintry weather, first introduced in the project Exploring Autumn, affect the local environment. They explore countries with cold climates and learn how habitats and wildlife differ worldwide.

 

Dangerous Dinosaurs

 

In this project, children build on their geographical knowledge of map making as they create imaginary dinosaur island maps. They build on their knowledge of positional language introduced in Me and My Community to give directions for journeys.

 

Puddles and Rainbows

 

In this mini seasonal project, children conduct fieldwork in the local area to discover how seasonal changes and weather in spring affect the local environment, building on learning from Exploring Autumn and Winter Wonderland.

 

Sunshine and Sunflowers

 

In this project, children conduct fieldwork in a local park or garden to explore the features of new environments. They apply how weather affects the local environment to reflect on and describe seasonal changes over the year. Children build on their map making skills from Once Upon a Time and Dangerous Dinosaurs to make sketch maps depicting real journeys and places they have visited. They are introduced to digital maps, such as Google Maps, and explore satellite images of the local area.

 

Big Wide World

 

In this project, children explore world maps and globes and use Google Earth to view places worldwide, including the United Kingdom. They make sketch maps to depict journeys and analyse maps and photographs to learn about a contrasting environment to where they live, comparing similarities and differences between the two places. They build on the knowledge of climates around the world introduced in Winter Wonderland and explore locations and find out how the weather, plants and animals are different. They develop their knowledge of looking after their immediate environment introduced in Me and My Community and learn about the importance of recycling and making their classroom environmentally friendly.

 

Let's Explore

 

In this project, children conduct fieldwork to find out about their immediate and local environment. They explore and create sketch maps to represent real and imaginary journeys and use Google Maps to explore aerial photographs of their local area. They begin to explore the physical features of their local environment by looking at photographs. They use world maps and globes, identify the United Kingdom and make comparisons between locations. They look at photographs and maps to explore how their local environment has changed over time. Children use positional language, such as under, over, above, below, through and next to.

 

Ready Steady Grow

 

In this project, children carry out fieldwork and collect data. They build on their geographical knowledge of maps from the project Let's Explore to create maps of imaginary journeys.

 

Signs of Spring

 

In this mini seasonal project, children carry out fieldwork to explore the changes during spring and the effect of springtime weather on their local environment.

 

Animal Safari

 

In this project, children carry out fieldwork to explore the plants and animals in their local environment. They build on their knowledge of worldwide locations from the project Let's Explore and compare and contrast unfamiliar environments to their own.

 

Moving On

 

In this transition project, children explore and discuss how weather affects the environment and seasonal change.

 

Year 1

Childhood

 

In this history project, children develop their geographical knowledge of picture maps. They apply their understanding to make comparisons about how a place changes over time and begin to consider the causes and consequences of change. They revisit their learning about human features and name and locate them on a map.

 

Our Wonderful World

 

In this essential skills and knowledge geography project, children learn about the meaning of the terms 'geography', 'physical feature' and 'human feature'. They are introduced to maps, including globes, online mapping tools and world maps. Children use positional and directional language and become familiar with the north, south, east and west cardinal compass points. They explore picture maps and are introduced to simple keys to identify features.

Children learn the names and positions of the continents and oceans of the world. They discover the terms 'equator', 'Northern Hemisphere' and 'Southern Hemisphere'. They identify the locations of hot and cold places worldwide.

They study a map to learn the names, capital cities and positions of the four countries of the United Kingdom and are introduced to the three settlement types: village, town and city. Children study aerial photographs and learn the term ‘bird’s eye view’. They use satellite imagery from Google Earth to spot familiar areas of their locality from above. Children learn about the importance of protecting woodlands, meadows and hedgerows.

Children carry out fieldwork to find out which physical and human features are present in their local area. They follow a map and use a spotting sheet to record their data.

 

Bright Lights, Big City

 

In this geography project, children build on the geographical skills and knowledge introduced in the Y1 projects Childhood and Our Wonderful World. They revisit the map of the United Kingdom and identify its four countries, their relative positions, their capital cities, the surrounding seas and oceans and the cardinal compass points.

They consolidate their understanding of the term ‘physical feature’ and learn about the physical characteristics of the United Kingdom using geographical vocabulary. To help children compare and contrast places, they are reintroduced to urban landscapes from the project Our Wonderful World, including the human features of towns and cities, such as landmarks. They explore how people work and live in cities, including how transport helps people to move around.

Children carry out fieldwork in their local area and use spotting sheets to name human features observed. They deduce why the human features are important to the community and their use.

Children build on their knowledge of weather from the Early Years projects by identifying and describing typical weather patterns across the seasons and use charts to record the weather. They revisit weather symbols and use these in their recording.

As an in-depth study, children explore the characteristics of London. They use geographical resources, such as digital mapping tools and aerial photographs, to investigate human and physical features. They build on their understanding of the term 'landmark' by learning about London’s most significant monuments, buildings and bridges. They are introduced to grid maps and use positional and directional vocabulary to plan routes and give directions around a grid map of London. The children apply their knowledge of London to make comparisons with the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

 

Seasonal Changes

 

This science project is taught alongside the geography project Bright Lights, Big City and connects with children's understanding of the weather and typical weather associated with the seasons.

Children also revisit geographical learning about Earth, including the term 'Northern Hemisphere', which is first introduced in the Y1 essential skills and knowledge geography project Our Wonderful World when learning about changes in day length across the seasons.

 

Taxi!

 

This design and technology project is taught alongside the geography project Bright Lights, Big City and connects with children’s understanding of transport.

 

School Days

 

In this history project, children build on their geographical knowledge of maps and map making by using satellite imaging, such as Google Earth and Street View, to locate their local community and school. They make sketch maps of the locality, label physical and human features and build on their earlier experiences of planning and drawing routes on a map previously introduced in the Y1 project Bright Lights, Big City.

Children revisit the concept of map keys and use a key to identify and locate physical and human features. They make maps to show where they would place litter bins and posters to improve the school’s grounds. Children also build on their understanding of change over time, introduced in the Y1 project Childhood, by comparing maps from the Victorian era with modern maps.

 

Year 2

Let's Explore the World

 

In this essential skills and knowledge geography project, children learn to use an atlas and read world maps to discover new information. They revisit the four cardinal compass points and use their knowledge to describe the locations of places in the United Kingdom. Children use a key to help them read and make sense of a map. They collect and interpret primary data to determine how many different vehicles pass their school and answer related geographical questions.

As they study the world, children revisit learning from the Y1 project Our Wonderful World, including the location of the equator, Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the North and South Pole. They revisit facts about places worldwide, including hot and cold places, and are introduced to the term 'temperate'. They learn that temperate regions are between hot and cold places and have a mild climate. Children learn the term 'sustainability' and identify how humans can have a positive and negative impact on the Earth.

Children learn more about the characteristics of the four countries in the United Kingdom as they collect and compare data about population sizes, cities, the landscape, physical features and human features. They use their knowledge of the United Kingdom to compare England to Somalia in Africa and identify their similarities and differences.

Children carry out fieldwork, collecting data about how people use a local human feature. They begin to interpret the information gathered to help them decide how to improve their chosen human feature.

Coastline

 

In this geography project, children study the geographical features of the United Kingdom's coastline. They carry out fieldwork at a coastal location to identify physical features of the coast and are introduced to new terms, including 'bay', 'arch', 'stack', 'sea wall' and 'headland'. They revisit positional and directional language, introduced in the Y1 projects Bright Lights, Big City and Our Wonderful World and identify physical features' size, location and position, and begin to ask and answer questions about how they were formed.

In their classroom-based studies, children explore detailed maps of the United Kingdom and revisit map keys, using the cardinal compass points to describe the direction of travel. Children build on learning about how places can change over time from the Y1 project School Days, looking at how the physical process of coastal erosion is changing the coastline and prevention strategies.

Children study the traditional coastal town of Whitby and explore and identify its human and physical features by analysing a map with a key. They make comparisons between Whitby and their fieldwork location. They focus on Saltwick Nab, a coastal stack, and learn why it is dangerous. Children study how and why Whitby's human and physical features have changed from the past to the present. They explore the dangers of the coastline and find out about the RNLI. They use online mapping tools to identify lifeboat stations and answer questions about their locations.

Children use their knowledge of coastal environments to design a coastal town with a range of human and physical features and describe it by creating a map and key.

 

Uses of Materials

 

In this science project, children revisit learning from the Y2 essential skills and knowledge geography project Let's Explore the World about sustainability and recycling.

 

Beach Hut

 

This design and technology project is taught alongside the geography project Coastline and connects with children’s understanding of human features at the coast.

 

Magnificent Monarchs

 

In this history project, children develop their geographical skills and knowledge by revisiting a map of the United Kingdom, its four countries and surrounding seas and oceans, and the four cardinal compass points. They also revisit keys, using the map's symbols to identify and locate significant human features. The children learn how a feature's use can change over time.

 

Year 3

Through the Ages

 

In this history project, children revisit geographical learning about significant landmarks. They are introduced to Stone Age monuments, including long barrows, henges, cursus monuments, standing stones and stone circles. They study Stonehenge as a significant prehistoric landmark and use maps, diagrams and information texts to study it in depth and record their learning as a detailed report.

 

One Planet, Our World

 

In this essential skills and knowledge geography project, children analyse maps to locate countries and begin to use four-figure grid references. They sort and classify human and physical features and are introduced to the intercardinal compass points of north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west to locate geographical features on a map. Children analyse data and draw conclusions about the structure and environment of three settlements, building on learning from the Y1 projects Our Wonderful World and Bright Lights, Big City. They learn the term 'carbon footprint' and identify practical ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Children name and describe the Earth's four layers and are introduced to plate tectonics. They discover Earth's five major climate zones and begin to use longitude and latitude to locate places on a world map. They also locate and name European countries and capital cities.

Children continue to deepen their knowledge of the United Kingdom by studying significant human and physical features. They learn about the unique features of significant cities in the United Kingdom and conduct fieldwork to study the effect of weather on the local environment. The children learn the five main types of land use and investigate the locality to discover how land is used.

 

Rocks, Relics and Rumbles

 

In this geography project, children revisit the structure and characteristics of the Earth’s layers from the Y3 project One Planet, Our World. They work alongside a geologist to explore different rocks and their properties, including sorting and classifying activities.

They revisit the concept of plate tectonics and study maps to locate plate boundaries. They find out how tectonic plates move and what impact this has on the Earth. They learn about the location of the Ring of Fire and are introduced to volcanoes.

Children revisit latitude and longitude and practise using them on a world map to locate volcanoes. Children explore types of volcanic eruptions and gather information to make a fact file and collaborative database. They use a range of geographical resources, such as photographs, information sheets and maps, to find out how a landscape changes after a volcanic eruption. They are introduced to earthquakes and learn about causes and consequences. They investigate the earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy.

Children revisit cardinal and intercardinal compass points and use these to describe the location and direction of the tsunami created by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Children use their knowledge and understanding of geological activity to research and write a factual report about Quito in Ecuador, and the potential short and long term effects of tectonic activity in the area.

 

Forces and Magnets

 

In this science project, children revisit learning from the Y3 project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles about the composition of Earth's layers. They link this learning to new learning about the Earth's magnetosphere and how this enables navigational compasses to work.

 

Ammonite

 

This art and design project is taught alongside the geography project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles and connects with children’s understanding of rocks and fossils.

 

People and Places

 

This art and design project is taught alongside the geography project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles and connects with children’s understanding of landscapes and place.

 

Emperors and Empires

 

In this history project, children revisit geographical skills, using maps to observe the growth of the Roman Empire across Europe and the wider world.

 

Year 4

Invasion

 

In this history project, children revisit the physical and human features of the United Kingdom. They use maps to identify the geographical features of the United Kingdom that might have affected the progression and outcome of invasions from different groups of people.

 

Interconnected World

 

In this essential skills and knowledge geography project, children revisit the cardinal and intercardinal compass points. They revise their knowledge of four-figure grid references first introduced in the Y3 project One Planet, Our World and use eastings and northings to locate a range of geographical features. Children extend their learning to six-figure grid references to accurately pinpoint features on a map.

Children learn about the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn and begin to understand the characteristics of a tropical climate. They learn the names of North and South American countries and use an atlas and key to label them on a map. They use their previous knowledge of climate zones to study their contrasting climates. Children discover the geographical characteristics of North and South America and complete an in-depth study of one significant feature. They also learn about North and South American culture, including their histories, religions, values and pastimes.

Children learn to identify significant physical features in the United Kingdom, including mountains, rivers, lakes and forests, and create an in-depth study into one. They learn about the properties of soil and investigate soil samples from the local area. They revisit their map reading skills to learn about the National Rail network and learn about the development and uses of the canal network in the past and the present. Children describe the terms renewable and non-renewable energy and find out the benefits of harnessing renewable energy sources.

They conduct an enquiry to prove or disprove a hypothesis and use maps and surveys to gather information. They begin to interpret data, drawing conclusions from the evidence.

 

Misty Mountain, Winding River

 

In this geography project, children are introduced to rivers and mountains. They begin by learning specialist vocabulary to help them describe the features of rivers and use this knowledge as they visit a river course. They prepare for their visit by studying its location on a map and use their knowledge of four-figure and six-figure grid references from the Y4 project Interconnected World.

Children carry out fieldwork tasks during a river visit, including taking samples and measurements. They record their observations using tables, charts and diagrams, and compare their data using collaborative tools. Children build on their first-hand experiences by studying the stages of a river in more depth, including upper, middle and lower courses, the source and the mouth. They identify the characteristics of each stage and answer questions about them.

Children use satellite images to view an aerial perspective of the River Trent, using the technology to observe, describe and locate the four stages of its journey. They draw on their understanding of physical and human features, learned throughout the curriculum, to find and identify features along the river and write a geographical description.

Children develop their understanding of how landscapes can change, previously studied in the Y3 project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles, by learning how rivers change the landscape through the physical processes of erosion, transportation and deposition. They locate world rivers and answer questions about them, using an atlas and online information as sources. They choose one world river to research in detail and write about its features and characteristics. Children also find out how we use rivers and why they are important for leisure, energy, farming and transportation.

They are introduced to the geographical aspects of the water cycle and use their knowledge and understanding of rivers and extreme weather, first introduced in the Y3 project Rocks, Relics and Rumbles, to carry out a detailed case study of flooding in Somerset.

Children learn about mountains and study the characteristics of different mountain types. They sort and classify mountains, including fault-block, fold, plateau and volcanic. They are introduced to topography and contour lines and use Ordnance Survey maps to identify landscapes. They build on their prior knowledge of the physical features of the United Kingdom, explored in previous projects across the curriculum, to study significant mountains and mountain ranges. They use a range of geographical resources to research one mountain range in detail and present it as a case study. They extend their knowledge of mountains by studying world mountains and mountain ranges and revisit their understanding of continents and countries.

Children use their knowledge of geographical features and characteristics of different areas of the United Kingdom to create an information booklet for visitors to the Lake District National Park.

 

States of Matter

 

In this science project, children revisit learning about climate zones and how this relates to states of matter on Earth.

This science project is taught alongside the geography project Misty Mountain, Winding River and connects with children's understanding of changes of state within the water cycle.

 

Vista

 

This art and design project is taught alongside the geography project Misty Mountain, Winding River and connects with children’s understanding of physical features in the landscape.

 

Electrical Circuits and Conductors

 

In this science project, children revisit learning from the Y4 essential skills and knowledge geography project Interconnected World about renewable forms of energy and the future of electricity production. They also learn about rechargeable batteries and battery recycling to protect the environment.

 

Year 5

Investigating Our World

 

During this essential skills and knowledge geography project, children continue to study Ordnance Survey maps using the key, compass directions and scale to write a description of the local area. They revisit topography and contour lines, introduced in the Y4 project Misty Mountain, Winding River, to recognise peaks and steep and gradual slopes. Children revise their knowledge of six-figure grid references and use their understanding to interpret a 1km² grid square.

Children are introduced to the Prime, or Greenwich, Meridian and learn that Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is taken from the Prime Meridian. They discover that the Earth is split into 24 time zones and use their knowledge of GMT to calculate the times in places around the world. The children recap and deepen their awareness of climate zones and are introduced to vegetation belts and biomes. They build on learning from the project Misty Mountain, Winding River, understanding that the climate and vegetation in an area determine its resident plants and animals. Children also learn more about the human geography of the continents and locate capital cities around the world. They learn about sustainability and how manufacturing processes can be more environmentally friendly.

Children deepen their understanding of location by identifying relative locations and using the scale bars on maps to find the distance between places. They study the United Kingdom's motorway network, learning how these fast roads connect towns, cities and transport links. Children develop their understanding of settlements by studying settlement hierarchy, including relative size, significance, and settlements' populations. They carry out a fieldwork enquiry to discover which settlement types are in their local area.

 

Sow, Grow and Farm

 

In this geography project, children revisit land use in the United Kingdom, first introduced in the Y3 project One Planet, Our World, focusing on agricultural purposes. They begin by using local council websites to identify small agricultural plots (allotments) in their locality and draw conclusions about their locations. They visit a local allotment to find out what geographical features make a successful site. They extend their understanding of agricultural land use by studying a map of the United Kingdom and using a key to identify the locations of different types of farming, such as arable, pastoral and mixed farming. They find out how the influencing factors of climate, topography and soil determine the type of farming. Children revisit Ordnance Survey maps, and use six-figure grid references to locate local and regional farms. Children carry out a detailed case study of potato farming on the island of Jersey.

Children answer questions about the characteristics of each climate zone. They revisit the continents of North and South America, first explored in the Y4 project Interconnected World, to identify environmental regions and biomes. They learn about citrus farming in California and use a range of geographical resources to learn about the climate, soil type and environmental features that make it successful in this region. They make comparisons with coffee growing in Peru and find out about the challenges faced by farmers.

To determine how far their food has travelled, children use world maps to locate where specific goods have come from. They explore methods of transportation and use a range of geographical resources when researching the need to keep food fresh and transport it as quickly and cheaply as possible. They explore the journey of bananas from central American, South American and African countries.

Children use their knowledge of farming and growing to write a proposal for a small market gardening business, considering the climate, soil type and transportation needed.

 

Human Reproduction and Ageing

 

This science project is taught alongside the geography project Sow, Grow and Farm and connects with children's understanding of life cycles and reproduction.

 

Eat the Seasons

 

This design and technology project is taught alongside the geography project Sow, Grow and Farm and connects with children’s understanding of the seasons and seasonal foods.

 

Nature's Art

 

This art and design project is taught alongside the geography project Sow, Grow and Farm and connects with children’s understanding of natural materials, the environment and seasons.

 

Groundbreaking Greeks

 

In this history project, children revisit their geographical knowledge of Europe. They use atlases and world maps to locate Greece and study aerial photographs to describe the characteristics and features of the Greek landscape. Children compare modern features and maps with maps of ancient Greece. They identify geographical features of ancient Greece, including islands, significant city states, landmarks and surrounding seas and countries. They use information texts and other source materials to answer questions about the climate and geographical features of ancient Greece.

 

Year 6

Maafa

 

In this history project, children revisit their geographical understanding about the continent of Africa. They learn about its countries, natural resources, populations, climates and physical features. They choose one African country to investigate further, using a range of resources and write geographical fact files.

 

Our Changing World

 

During this essential skills and knowledge geography project, children revise the features of the Earth, including lines of latitude and longitude, the equator and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. They are introduced to the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. They consolidate their knowledge of time zones, calculating the differences in time between places around the world. Children recall how to use lines of latitude and longitude to locate places on a world map and learn about map scales. They measure distances on a map and revisit grid references, contour lines and map symbols.

Children learn about global warming and climate change and begin to understand how these changes affect biomes. They study data from the Global Climate Risk Index and identify the effects of climate change and extreme weather on people, especially in developing countries. Children learn about trade worldwide and study countries whose manufactured goods, food, or natural resources are exported across the globe. They also learn about natural resource management and the importance of sustainability.

Children analyse data and make conclusions from recent road traffic accident figures. They carry out fieldwork to collect data about the safety of a local road and use their findings to suggest positive changes. Children study patterns of human settlements, using terms such as 'linear', 'circular', 'rural', 'urban', 'compact' and 'dispersed'. They conduct a fieldwork investigation using maps, photographs and primary data to analyse and describe settlement patterns in the local area.

 

Frozen Kingdoms

 

In this geography project, children revisit their learning about the equator, Northern and Southern Hemispheres, latitude, longitude, Prime Meridian, Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle, and discover their exact locations in degrees. They learn about Arctic and Antarctic regions using geographical information texts, maps and data. They use this learning to identify similarities and differences between the two regions. Children build on their understanding of climate zones from the Y6 project Our Changing World and make observations about the location of the two polar zones.

Children build on learning about daylight hours from the Y5 project Investigating Our World to investigate the phenomenon of day and night in the polar zones. They focus on the Arctic Circle and observe and compare daylight hours during different seasons. They are introduced to the terms 'polar day', 'Midnight Sun' and 'polar night'. They use geographical resources, including websites, information texts and photographs, to conduct a geographical enquiry to find out how polar oceans are similar to or different from other oceans around the world.

They master their understanding of physical features by studying new physical features found in polar landscapes, including icebergs, glaciers, ice fields, tundra and boreal forests. They use maps, images and information texts to discover more about each feature and use their knowledge to make comparisons. Children continue to learn about climate change by considering the causes and effects. They revisit the idea of the Earth as a source of natural resources by finding out about the natural resources of the polar regions, including fish, oil, natural gas, minerals and wood, and find out about the problems and challenges of human demands on these resources. Children are introduced to the indigenous peoples and discover how these communities have successfully adapted to the climatic conditions.

Children revisit the term 'tourism', studied in previous projects including the Y2 project Coastline and the Y4 project Misty Mountain, Winding River. They find out the positive and negative effects of tourism on the polar regions, including land use for building hotels and venues, overcrowding of popular areas and pollution. They analyse data to draw conclusions about the impact of tourism on Antarctica. They use their knowledge to write an article for a fictional publication that specialises in Arctic Circle cruises.

 

Inuit

 

This art and design project is taught alongside the geography project Frozen Kingdoms and connects with children’s understanding of Inuit culture, in particular their relationships and beliefs about the natural world.

 

Environmental Artists

 

This art and design project is taught alongside the geography project Frozen Kingdoms and connects with children’s understanding of environmental conservation.

 

Britain at War

 

In this history project, children use maps of Europe and world maps to learn about the geographical locations of the warring nations, making comparisons between those involved in the First World War compared to those involved in the Second World War.

 

 

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