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Royal Rise Primary


At Royal Rise Primary School all children, including SEND and Disadvantaged, learn the following concepts and themes through studying different geographical topics throughout the school

After our aspirations topics, our school year begins with the whole school having a geography focused topic. We start with geography because it is something familiar to the children, especially for the children in Year 1.

We want them to accurately articulate their thoughts and opinions through the proactive acquisition of technical and none technical vocabulary.



· Understanding our changing and interconnected world

· Comparing and contrasting

· Cause and effect

· Environmental Impact


·        Map and atlas work

·        Human and physical features

·        Investigating and field work



British Values

By connecting our British Values through the teaching of Geography, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future e.g the global problem of plastic waste.



Children are taught Geography through firstly exploring their familiar environment, the place they live and then the world around them. They are encouraged to comment and ask questions to find out more and to develop a further understanding of the things they see. As we teach the children about plants, animals, natural and found objects we encourage them to talk about the things they have observed. By the end of the EYFS, using the skills we have taught them throughout the year, the children are encouraged to share their knowledge and understanding and show care and concern for living things and the environment.

We begin each year with geography because it is something familiar to the pupils, especially for the Year 1 children.  We want them to be able to accurately articulate their thoughts and opinions through the proactive acquisition of technical and non-technical vocabulary.

Key Stage 1 

In Year 1, we start by looking at the weather - this is a real life, concrete concept for pupils and is something to which they can easily relate. Pupils look at the changes in the weather related to seasonal changes, and what would be appropriate clothing to wear in different situation. For example, to go into the playground, to go into the local area or on a holiday in different places and at different times.

An awareness of the local area is developed through starting to have an understanding of map work.  Before pupils can go out into the local area, they will look at map skills, beginning with a map of the table, then the playground and then moving into the wider area/ investigating their surroundings e.g. Tonbridge.

Pupils’ geographical knowledge will then slowly build outwards from this starting point by layering skills and knowledge year on year.


In Year 2, we extend the pupils’ geographical learning further by looking at Kent through exploring two contrasting towns e.g. Tonbridge and Hastings.  They look at the human and physical features of both places and begin to develop an understanding of how they are connected.  There is also an opportunity to compare Tonbridge with Cairo – a non-European location. This will link to the Y2 History topic – Ancient Egypt – later in the year. They move from looking at maps of the classroom and study aerial photos, road maps and maps showing the major features of the UK.  They begin to familiarise themselves with the location of the River Medway and its relationship to the development of the local area – this links to the Y3 Rivers topic.

 Key Stage 2

In Year 3, the pupils study rivers in detail as a key physical geographical feature.  This builds on their understanding from Year 2, as they explore how the River Thames compares to the Amazon, looking at the physical and human features of each area.  The information is used to analyse evidence and draw conclusions to develop an understanding of geographical similarities and differences.  They study larger scale maps of the world identifying a range of rivers and other features.  They look at the physical features of the UK by looking at other rivers and the river system. Map work is further developed through the use of OS maps to study river features.


In Year 4, children move on to looking at coastal features with a second trip to Hastings.  They look at the human and physical features of a coastal region and how they are connected. Making connections to the work in Year 3, they investigate how the physical features impact the human use of the land and environmental issues e.g. erosion and coastal defences, tourism, fishing etc.  This is also linked back to work on Hastings in Year 2 and back to work on the weather from Year 1 and how weather affects floods, droughts etc. Map work is further developed through the use of OS maps to study coastal features and the use of 4 figure map references.


In Year 5, children investigate places with more emphasis on the larger scale, contrasting more distant places and studying the formation of mountains and the associated physical and human features of mountainous areas.  They also look at the impact of volcanoes and earthquakes on the human geography of appropriate areas including some more detailed case studies of places in Europe and North and South America.

They look at thematic maps and the comparison of other large scale maps and develop their understanding of 6 figure map references in relation to mountainous areas in the UK.


In Year 6, children study at a global scale looking at biomes - large regions that have a certain climate and certain types of living things. They independently apply the skills already learnt from previous years in order to explain and analyse appropriate data.  They compare two contrasting biomes and develop their understanding of the human impact on them – including major environmental issues like pollution. They identify patterns, make comparisons and draw conclusions.