Our school ethos and environment celebrates and reflect the diversity of the families at school and the links they have around the world. This is also reflected through our geography curriculum where we aim to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our geography curriculum develops children’s natural inquisitive nature and empowers them to become independent and resilient learners. As a Rights Respecting school we link the children’s right to environmental issues at a local and global level and we use geography to explore the rights of children in other countries including their basic rights such as food, water and hygiene. Ultimately we want children to be intrigues by the world and how it varies.


Early Years

The Early Years curriculum is planned using the guidance within the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.’ Geography is encompassed within the area of ‘Understanding the world’, enabling children to explore, discover and make sense of the world around them. In the early years, the children learn about their school, environment and locality. Topics including the artic, travel agents and restaurants, help to develop the children’s understanding of the locality as well as the wider world. Role play areas and small world activities support children in learning and using simple geographical language.

Key stage 1

In Key Stage 1 Geography is taught in half termly blocks throughout the year, using the 2014 National Curriculum. Medium term planning ensures that key knowledge and skills and taught in each block and consideration has been given to ensure there is progression across topics and year groups. Cross-curricular links are made, where relevant, to deepen the children’s understands of a topic. For example, habitats and continents are taught together and children find out about different explorers in history when learning about the arctic.

Where possible we use the knowledge and experiences of our community to deepen the children’s  understanding of a topic. For example, when teaching about the 7 continents, staff share their experiences of living in a different continent with the children highlighting the similarities and difference between Croydon and a different location.

Teachers ensure that the geography curriculum is inclusive and accessible for all children and opportunities are planned for children to select the level of challenge they feel confident working at. There are opportunities for children to work independently and collaboratively throughout the curriculum. Geography is taught using a range of resources including maps, globes, atlases, photographs, texts, the internet and the locality. Technical vocabulary is introduced and modelled and knowledge organisers are used to give children access to key vocabulary and their meanings in order for them to independently and readily use the vocabulary in their learning.

Stories are used as a starting point in geography, for example, ‘Lost and Found’ (Antarctica), ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ (Australia) and ‘The Dancing Turtle’ (South America).

Impact Statement

It is our expectation that children at Elmwood Infant School achieve age related expectations in geography by the end of their cohort year, and that they learn and build on their previous knowledge.

We strive to ensure that all children are given the opportunities and the tools necessary to gain and develop skills in the subject of Geography, from map reading to comparing countries based on their physical and human features. Our curriculum enables children to have an understanding and appreciation of their local area and its place within the wider geographical context.

The impact of our Geography curriculum is to inspire an interest in the different countries and localities around them and to develop their appreciation for the similarities and differences that we can observe around the world.

At Elmwood, we value our diversity and our many cultures from around the globe, so we allow our geography curriculum to extend these values as we learn with respect and inquisitiveness for other cultures.

We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods;

  • Moderation of books and learning journals
  • learning walks, including use of displays
  • professional dialogue with teachers
  • geography assessment sheets
  • use of pupil voice sheets and pupil discussions at the end of a topic

Children in Foundation Stage are assessed within Understanding the World and their progress is tracked termly.

Geography around our school

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