At Pencoys, we value geography as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Our high-quality geography education inspires a curiosity in our children about the world and prepares them for life as a global citizen. Through the concepts of place, space and scale, teaching equips pupils with an understanding of knowledge about places, people, resources and environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

  • Place – focusses on the environment, both physical and human
  • Space – highlight location and relationship

  • Scale – introduces changes in perspective from local to the global.

Carefully chosen blocks develop children’s sense of place, giving them pride in their locality, while also giving them an understanding of Cornwall’s links with the wider world and the challenges facing their local area. Our geography curriculum supports the promotion of British values by helping pupils to understand the ways in which communities and societies are linked and to appreciate the diversity of people’s backgrounds. We encourage our children to explore a wide range of geographical concepts through investigations, mapwork, fieldwork and active discussion. Blocks provide opportunities for our children to explore issues facing our planet and their role in creating a more sustainable future.


The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that 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

  •  are 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 Pencoys, Geography is taught over three half terms per year. Medium Term Planning (MTP) is supported by a ‘small steps in progression’ document for each block. This ensures a progression in both concepts and content. Teachers use key concepts from the Oxfam Curriculum for Global Citizenship to encourage children to reflect on geographical issues and their impact today. We also use local expertise, visits and organisations to support and inspire our children’s learning.

The Geography ‘Progression Overview’ is based entirely on the National Curriculum and covers all statutory aspects of this. As a school, we have added extra blocks, personalised and adapted the MAT curriculum to meet the needs of our learners and show the importance we place on the Global Citizenship aspects of our curriculum.

Our curriculum begins with first-hand experience of the local area for our youngest children. This is then developed in Year 2 where children start to contrast and compare with other countries. As children progress through KS2, the geographical sense of place and space is expanded and essential locational knowledge about the United Kingdom, Europe and the wider world is developed. This is taught and interwoven with a sense of scale as they move from a local to more global perspective. The importance of the world’s biomes as resources and the impact humans have on these is developed throughout the curriculum. We have placed high importance on developing an understanding of these biomes, as if children are to want to protect them for the future they need to first understand and value them.

Each Geography block begins with a launch day which engages and reactivates prior learning linked to the block. During this day a ‘never heard the word’ vocabulary assessment and knowledge harvest is also undertaken. At the end of each block a ‘pop task’ is used to assess children’s understanding and learning.  Assessments against end points inform planning for the next Geography block.


Through pupil conferencing, lesson observations, staff feedback and book looks we find:

  • Our children are ‘thinking like geographers’, able to examine, question and enquire as geographers would.

  • Are excited and engaged by geography.

  • Make links between their lives and the lives of others around the world.

  • Question and discuss controversial issues like climate change, plastic pollution and migration, making links to their own role as global citizens and showing empathy towards others.

  • Use skills and knowledge from other subjects such as guided reading texts to support their geographical understanding.

By the end of their primary education:

  • Our children will have a secure geographical understanding of the UK, its location within Europe and the wider world.

  • Our children will know and understand how human and physical geography shapes our planet.

  • Our children will understand the importance of the earth’s natural biomes as vital resources and how they can be preserved for the future.

  • Our children will value and demonstrate pride in their location and see its links to the wider world.

  • Our children will understand, discuss, communicate and question various methods of geographical fieldwork.

  • Our children will be able to interpret and use a range of sources of geographical information including maps, globes, atlases and digital mapping technologies.

  • Our children will use their geographical understanding to demonstrate as global citizens that they can help to make a positive difference -building a fairer, safer and more secure world for everyone.

  • Our children will develop a passion for geography and the skills to prepare them for KS3.

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