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Welcome to

St. Michael & St. Martin

Catholic Primary School

Learning our faith, living our faith, loving our faith


Geography Curriculum

Subject Leader for Geography: Mr Gardner


'Geography underpins a lifelong "conversation" about the earth as the home of humankind.'

Geography Association



Intent - What are we trying to achieve? 

At St Michael & St Martin school, we aim for our pupils to possess the ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current issues in society and the environment. Through our bespoke curriculum, we will provide a purposeful means for exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved, as pupils adopt the role of ‘explorers’. 

Designing and allocating units of study which develop an understanding of locality, knowledge of cultural capital and where people fit into its overall structure. These opportunities must match the needs of all children, particularly pupils with SEND needs, EAL and disadvantaged pupils. 

Embedding the three aims of the geography curriculum by developing contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places, understanding the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, and that the pupils are competent in the geographical skills. 

Developing and showing a progression of reading fluency and vocabulary across the school and broaching on ‘sticky knowledge’ – Teachers are well informed of previous learning experiences and are equipped in creating elements of challenge units whilst supporting the needs of pupils with SEND and EAL pupils, many of whom are beginners to English on entry. 

Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills, as well as effective presentation techniques.

Providing pupils with hands-on experiences to build and develop geographical and fieldwork skills appropriate for their stage of learning, for future education and employment. For the demographic of our children, these experiences are vital.


Implementation - How is the curriculum being delivered? 

To ensure all staff share the same vision, communication through insets, training and faculty meetings are fundamental. As a subject leader, attending CPD training was pivotal in raising the profile of Geography, and demonstrating how to build on and develop topic subjects so that they are not regarded as stand-alone subjects, but how we can diversify our lessons by including cross-curricular links. 

  • A monitoring cycle is in place for planning and book scrutiny’s, learning walks or observations, pupil voice and moderating teacher assessment of the class. Prompt feedback with areas to improve upon is integral to seeing Humanities regarded as important as core subjects.
  • The National Curriculum objectives for each unit of study are provided to staff to ensure they can inform their planning and ensure the pupils meet and develop the required skills. Teachers deliver a broad and balanced curriculum with rich content to develop upon prior knowledge. Teachers use APP to successfully assess the pupils against the National Curriculum skills and objectives ensuring they are meeting the recommended criteria and addressing any misconceptions or gaps in learning by informing future planning.
  • The learning environment must demonstrate emphasis on unit of study, vocabulary progression, enquiry questions and examples of cross-curricular work. Textbooks, resources and knowledge organisers also support these areas and provide contextual relevance for the pupils. Teachers are encouraged to use knowledge organiser quizzes to support learners’ ability to block learning and increase space in the working memory.
  • Differentiation through outcomes and tasks are really important – providing opportunities of challenge, support, independent enquiry and feedback through all aspects of a lesson. 
  • Subject leaders collaborate at the end of each year to create a whole school curriculum overview which encourages many cross-curricular links across the curriculum.
  • Rich extra-curricular opportunities such as trips, workshops and themed days/weeks are suggested by subject leaders to encourage, enhance and compliment an area of study. It is paramount that these are well-chosen and timed so that they are purposeful in enriching the learning experience and build upon their cultural capital. 
  • Demonstrate and model a high standard of speaking, writing and reading skills across all areas of the curriculum. By building new vocabulary consistently into each lesson, the children will become familiar with the topic language and confidently implement this within their own vocabulary.


Impact - What difference is the curriculum making? 

In light of our school vision:

Pupils will acquire good subject knowledge of topics taught, developing and building on previous skill sets and independently organising research and data appropriate for audience and purpose. This will be assessed using the objectives and skills outlined in the National Curriculum and through discussions with the pupils.

Pupils will leave primary education with coherent understanding of the three aims in the geography curriculum and be able to use these transferable skills in secondary education and beyond. Pupils of all abilities, including those with SEND needs will have access to the same curriculum, with support and VAK resources to ensure they make the best possible progress.

Pupils will present their work and geographical recordings to a high standard, demonstrating consistency across all subjects and for this to be instilled through cross-curricular links and extended writing opportunities with the same requirements and criteria outlined in English. 

Pupils will use all opportunities to read resources and research, demonstrating growing comprehension and progression of vocabulary through their primary education. When presenting data and analysis, they are able to broach on mathematical knowledge and concepts from prior learning.


If you visited a Geography lesson at St Michael’s you would see: 

The awe and wonder created through a ‘hook’ lesson as well as an overarching ‘Big Question’ to focus on throughout the unit to aid in building an inquiry. You would see pupils engaged in their learning using I-pads to research and collect information as well as assessing their understanding. 


Pupil Voice (quotes across both KS1 and KS2)

Year 1 pupil – ‘I like learning things in Geography. I like learning why stuff happens in the world’.


Year 3 pupil – ‘It’s really interesting to imagine and see what daily life is like for people in other countries. We all have different cultures and different ecosystems where we live’.


Year 5 pupil - 'I love using iPads to research new countries that we learn in our topics. We also do flashback warm ups so we can remember the old places we learnt.'


Cultural capital

As a school, we ensure our children are provided with extra-curricular experiences to enhance their knowledge across the curriculum through workshops, off-site trips and themed days/weeks. These opportunities are carefully selected each year to provide diversity, promote current affairs and developments locally, and to celebrate the geographical sites in and around London. 


How do the pupils at St Michael and St Martin Catholic Primary School develop the school ‘STRIVE’ values through Geography? 

We have created a set of values that we feel are critical to becoming effective learners. We want to enable our children to STRIVE to be ‘lifelong learners’ by following our Learning Values:

Spiritual - develop higher order thinking skills and question the way in which the world works, promoting their spiritual enlightenment. 

Thinkers - challenge themselves through the use of critical thinking and develop effective approaches to apply this thinking to make sense of the world.

Resilient - take risks and challenge their geographical thinking;  recognising that locations and seasons vary greatly and are both challenging and at times complex. We develop a culture where we are here to learn and that mistakes are expected and corrected. 

Independent- Call upon their prior learning and classroom support to embrace tasks.

Valued - confidently share their thoughts and approaches, instilling within themselves that they are valued members of the class.

Empathetic - show empathy towards their peers, establishing a safe and supportive learning environment.