Our Geography Curriculum

Article 1: Everyone under the age of 18 has rights (children should learn that all children everywhere have the same rights).

Article 7: Every child has the right to a nationality.

Article 29: education should teach children to respect their natural environment. Education must teach children to live responsibly encourage the child’s respect for the environment.

Our goal is for our children to become geographers. Geographers must have:  

Early Years - Nursery & Reception Curriculum 

Early Years Foundation Stage - what does Geography look like in the Early Years?

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, Geography forms part of the learning children acquire under the ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World' branch of the Foundation Stage curriculum. 

Foundation Stage geography is where children begin to gain a wider experience of the world around them.

Children learn through first-hand experiences to explore, observe, problem solve, predict, think critically, make decisions and talk about the creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments.

We ask children open-ended questions, for example, “What can you see here?” to help your child to think and make connections between ideas.

Children learn about seasons, the weather, features in the local area and the buildings that surround them. They may be shown photographs of the local area to help them identify features, for example a library, railway, church or mosque. They will also be encouraged to record their findings, perhaps through drawing, writing, and modelling.

The document below outlines in more detail the specific Geography objectives within the Early Years curriculum, what it looks like in practice, and demonstrates the links between the Early Years and the Geography curriculum.  It also highlights key vocabulary taught within our Early Years and at Key Stage 1.

Geography  - Early Years to Key Stage 1 Curriculum Links. 

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Curriculum

Fundamental Foundations 

We believe that for children to secure greater depth, it is important that they first have solid fundamental foundations. Fundamental foundations should not be rushed and so the notion of ‘rapid progress’ must be dismissed. Instead the goal of repetition should be seen as both useful and necessary. This is why you will see us returning regularly to geographical knowledge and concepts.  

Cognitive Domains - Degrees of Understanding

We refer to three degrees of understanding and thinking ‘Basic’, ‘Advancing’ and ‘Deep’.  

BASIC – Low level cognitive demand. Involves acquisition of fundamental foundations.  

ADVANCING – Higher level cognitive demands beyond recall. Requires application involving some degree of decision making in how to apply fundamental foundations.  

DEEP – Cognitive demand involves non-standard, non-routine, inter-connected, multi-step thinking in problems with more than one possible solution. Requires reasoning and justification for the inventive application of fundamental foundations.  

Time scales for progression through the cognitive domains 

Milestone 1 – Y1 & Y2 

Milestone 2 – Y3 & Y4 

Milestone 3 – Y5 & Y6  

Each milestone should be seen as containing two phases. In the first phase, pupils should repeat the content a sufficient number of times to secure fundamental foundations; in the second phase, they should apply the foundations in order to reach the ‘expected’ standard. If they reach this before the end of the second phase, they should move on to tasks that will secure greater depth. Thus, progress through the cognitive domains take two years.  

It is expected that by the end of Year 1, pupils should be able to complete the BASIC tasks to secure fundamental foundations and by the end of Year 2, the ADVANCING tasks. It is also reasonable that a number of children may move on to the DEEP activities if they secure an early understanding of advancing.  

Milestone 3 

Y1 & Y2

Milestone 2 

Y3 & Y4

Milestone 3 

Y5 & Y6



















Page 144 of the Primary National Curriculum 2014 states: 

‘While it is important that pupils make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progress: pupils may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, and/or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content.’ 

We believe that it is therefore extremely important to secure the fundamental foundations before trying to secure greater depth.  

Curriculum Breadth, Depth &  Progression Principles 

We have carefully planned our curriculum to ensure progression as well as breadth and depth.  These are the principles we have adhered to: 

Curriculum Content

Breadth of study 

Key Stage 1

Key Stage 2

  • Investigate the world’s continents and oceans. 

  • Investigate the countries and capitals of the United Kingdom. 

  • Compare and contrast a small area of the United Kingdom with that of a non-European country. 

  • Explore weather and climate in the United Kingdom and around the world.

  • Locate the world’s countries, with a focus on Europe and countries of particular interest to pupils.

  • Locate the world’s countries, with focus on North and South America and countries of particular interest to pupils.

  • Identify key geographical features if the countries of the United Kingdom, and show an understanding of how some of these aspects have changed over time.

  • Locate the geographic zones of the world.

  • Understand the significance of the geographic zones of the world.  

Building a Geography Schema at Bangabandhu

Our pupils will form a geography schema* by: 

*Schema – A subject schema is a way of organising knowledge in a meaningful way; it is an appreciation of how facts are connected and they ways in which they are connected. A schema is distinct from information, which is just isolated facts that have no organisational basis or links.  

Threshold Concept Broken into Milestones - Progression Through Key Stages

At Bangabandhu we teach these three threshold concepts throughout KS1 and KS2. These are the big ideas that underpin the subject. The three threshold concepts are:  

This concept involves understanding the geographical location of places and their physical and human features. 

This concept involves understanding the relationships between the physical features of places and the human activity within them, and the appreciation of how the world’s natural resources are used and transported. 

This concept involves understanding geographical representations, vocabulary and techniques.  : 

Threshold Concept Milestone 1 Milestone 2

Milestone 3

Investigate places 
  • Ask and answer geographical questions (such as: What is this place like? What or who will I see in this place? What do people do in this place?). 
  • Identify the key features of a location in order to say whether it is a city, town, village, coastal or rural area. 

  • Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as other countries, continents and oceans studied. 

  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of the school and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment. 

  • Use aerial images and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic physical features. 

  • Name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas. 

  • Name and locate the world’s continents and oceans. 

  • Ask and answer geographical questions about the physical and human characteristics of a location. 
  • Explain own views about locations, giving reasons. 

  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features. 

  • Use fieldwork to observe and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods including sketch maps, plans and graphs and digital technologies. 

  • Use a range of resources to identify the key physical and human features of a location. 

  • Name and locate countries and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, including hills, mountains, cities, rivers, key topographical features and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.  

  • Name and locate the countries of Europe and identify their main physical and human  characteristics.  

  • Collect and analyse statistics and other information in order to draw clear conclusions about locations. 
  • Identify and describe how the physical features affect the human activity within a location. 

  • Use a range of geographical resources to give detailed descriptions and opinions of the characteristic features of a location. 

  • Use different types of fieldwork sampling (random and systematic) to observe, measure and record the human and physical features in the local area. Record the results in a range of ways. 

  • Analyse and give views on the effectiveness of different geographical representations of a location (such as aerial images, compared with maps and topological maps – as in London’s Tube map). 

  • Name and locate some of the countries and cities of the world and their identifying human and physical characteristics, including hills, mountains, rivers, key topographical features and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time. 

  • Name and locate the countries of North and South America and identify their main physical and human characteristics.  

Investigate patterns
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom and of a contrasting non-European country. 
  • Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles. 

  • Identify land use around the school.

  •  Name and locate the Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle and date time zones. Describe some of the characteristics of these geographical areas. 
  • Describe geographical similarities and differences between countries. 

  • Describe how the locality of the school has changed over time.

  •  Identify and describe the geographical significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, and time zones (including day and night).
  • Understand some of the reasons for geographical similarities and differences between countries.

  • Describe how locations around the world are changing and explain some of the reasons for change.

  •  Describe geographical diversity across the world.

  •  Describe how countries and geographical regions are interconnected and interdependent.

Communicate geographically


Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:

  • physical features, including: beach, coast, forest, hill, mountain, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation and weather.
  • Key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office and shop.
  •  Use compass directions (north, south, east and west) and locational language (e.g. near and far) to describe the location of features and routes on a map. 

  • Devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key. Use simple grid references (A1, B1). 

Describe and understand key aspects of:

  • Physical geography, including rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes and the water cycle.
  • Human geography, including settlements and land use.
  • Use the eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and key to communicate knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world. 

Describe and understand key aspects of:

  • Physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes and the water cycle.
  • Human geography, including settlements, land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals, and water supplies.
  • Use the eight points of a compass, four figure grid references, symbols and a key (that uses standard Ordnance Survey symbols) to communicate knowledge of the United Kingdom and the world.
  • Create maps of locations identifying patterns (Such as: land use, climate zones, population densities, height of land). 


Curriculum Breadth Maps (topics) - Intent

Milestone 1 Curriculum Map 

Milestone 2 Curriculum Map

Milestone 3 Curriculum Map 

This link will take you to the the Bangabandhu  Curriculum page where you will find the curriculum map for each year. These give an overview of what is taught in subject area, our curriculum intent. 

How we Implement our Curriculum

Geography is taught weekly for 60 minutes.  We do not block our subjects as we want children to return regularly to the subject knowledge and concepts in order that they are regularly retrieving the tuaght knowledge and concepts, embedding these in their long term memory.  This enables them to make progress - know more and remember more.

Our Geography Policy

Milestone 1- Example Lesson - Basic

Milestone 1- Example Lesson - Advancing

Milestone 1- Example Lesson - Deep

Milestone 2- Example Lesson - Basic

Milestone - Example Lesson - Advancing

Milestone 2 - E xample Lesson - Deep

Milestone 3 - Example Lesson - Basic

Milestone - Example Lesson - Advancing

Milestone 3 - Example Lesson - Deep

Subject Specific Vocabulary

We teach children  a rich and broad vocabulary in order that they  develop a deep understanding of the subjects they study.  We carefully select this subject vocabulary, teaching it in context.  Here is the geography vocabulary we teach in each milestone.

Milestone 1

Milestone 2

Milestone 3

Our Special Educational Needs Geography  Curriculum 

SEND Curriculum Intent  

The SEND curriculum at Bangabandhu will be used for children who are working well below the age-related expectations, where differentiation within the overall curriculum isn’t possible. Possible reasons are: the work is too complex or the progression through the lessons stops the child from being able to remember what they have been taught effectively. 

The SEND Curriculum aims to support and develop the children’s executive functioning skills so that they are able to store learned information and put it to use (working memory), leading to successful learning.  Children will be able to follow instructions, manage tasks and remain focused throughout the lesson.  Whereby in the main lessons the children may lose concentration because the demands are too high e.g. pace, language, too many instructions to follow at one time.  The SEND curriculum aims to ensure that children with differences are able to learn about a subject, remain focused, manage and complete tasks with a sense of achievement, whilst also being challenged.   

This curriculum has been implemented in history, geography, and science – the three most academic subjects of our curriculum.  

It is implemented by… 

  1.       More repetition of learning focuses to help embed the knowledge (to help the children to remember the knowledge). Repetition to take the form of retrieval tasks and learning the same information in different ways over several lessons. The plenary for each lesson is to return to the year-long mind map to add vocabulary and key ideas, which helps contextualise information into a meaningful schema for the children. 
  1.      One knowledge category focus per term on two historical/geographical/science units. This allows depth of understanding of knowledge category. 
  1.       A range of knowledge categories over the course of the 6 years to support breadth of understanding over the course of the curriculum. 
  1.       A wider range of practical activities in the SEND curriculum. A process of input, reading/writing task, practical activity (e.g. poster, piece of art work), verbal presentation of information. Verbal presentation of the work (for example to a member of staff or other children) is to support the embedding of knowledge, to support SAL skills and to celebrate the development of the child. 
  2.       Reading differentiated to support lower-level readers. 

Geography SEND Curriuclum Breadth Maps (topics) - Intent

SEND  Geography Milestone 1 Curriculum Map

SEND  Geography Milestone 2 Curriculum Map

SEND  Geography Milestone 3 Curriculum Map

Example Lessons from the SEND Geography Curriculum 

Milestone 1 Example SEND Geography Lesson

Milestone 2 Example SEND Geography Lesson

Milestone 3 Example SEND Geography Lesson

Beyond the  National Curriculum - Cultural Capital Experiences 

Cultural capital is the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success. We want to ensure that children at Bangabandhu have a wide and varied range of experiences as they progress through our school. We want them to know about their world; to build a schema of knowledge and to do this through first hand experiences. We intend to provide our children with opportunities to develop not just their knowledge but their interests and talents. Our aim is to prepare them for a successful future. 

Our school is in an area of high socio-economic deprivation. We are focused on addressing this disadvantage. Our curriculum is the main provider of cultural capital however there are other aspects of school life which provide essential cultural capital and should not be overlooked. We have planned the cultural provision that goes beyond the curriculum and this plan can be found below.  This plan is to capture, illustrate and to strategically plan for the breadth and range of cultural capital experiences we will provide for our children as they move through the school. We are not leaving such an essential element of our school’s provision to chance or individual teacher interest. When a child leaves Bangabandhu in Year 6, we will be certain of what they have learnt and experienced and know that they will be prepared for the next step in their learning and personal development.  

Bangabandhu's Whole School Cultural Capital, Trips and Experiences Plan