Barkston Ash Catholic Primary School


Geography lead: Mrs Noble

Subject Overview - Geography


Our intent in teaching geography at Barkston Ash Catholic Primary School (BACPS) is for children to have the opportunity to develop an interest, fascination  and enjoyment about the world, difference through studies of countries and their cultures, and to develop knowledge and a thirst for continuing to learn and explore throughout life. We aim to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum for geography; providing a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum.

We use the 'PlanBee' curriculum to create our long term plan (above) and use the resources and planning to teach the curriculum content. Teachers will use their professional judgement and expertise to introduce, extend or further learning with opportunities not listed in the 'PlanBee' documents. PlanBee were carefully chosen after using resources over a number of years as it instils confidence in covering the curriculum, pupil voice surrounding geography curriculum is very strong and the activities lend themselves towards cross-curricular opportunities very well. The PlanBee curriculum demonstrates clear progression in substantive knowledge and allows numerous opportunities for teachers to elicit knowledge of prior concepts and vocabulary from previous lessons and topics in and out of their year group. This allows children to successfully add to existing schemas and support new learning more effectively. As a school, we are currently working on ways to improve children's acquisition of new knowledge and allowing these schemas to be better embedded in long term memory.
The first opportunity to see how a child interacts with their environment and how it influences them is in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Staff follow the Early Learning Goals, which aim to guide children to help them make sense of their physical world and community by allowing them to explore, observe, find out about people, places, technology and the environment. These are crucial first steps to becoming a geographer. Children in the EYFS have opportunity to experience the world around them using lessons delivered in class, but by also having access to an outdoor area and playground which enable children to explore their local area. Children have opportunity to track long term changes within the climate in Science and consider contrasts between seasons. Pupil Voice from children in EYFS shows that as well as learning about the local area and country, children are fascinated by the wider world around them. Children discussed their excitement learning about other countries and in particular, topics related to water. The plan has developed in order for children to be able to research and have exposure to learning about other countries and the EYFS curriculum is fluid to allow for class teachers to plan around these interests. 

KS1 and KS2
Teaching throughout Key Stages 1 and 2  (KS1/2)  aims to ensure that pupils become sound geographers. Our overarching focus concentrates on ensuring that children are able to learn and develop knowledge about the world. This then enables children to better understand locational knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork as described in the National Curriculum. All children are afforded opportunities to learn about other countries through cross-curricular teaching, theme days and learning challenges. 

In KS1, pupils first learn about their locality and its place within the U.K. Children continue to display enthusiasm and excitement about other countries, so the opportunity was developed to allow children to learn about the locality of the U.K. in relation to Europe and the other 7 continents. Children build on this knowledge to progress as detailed below.

In KS2, children continue to build and develop the knowledge from KS1 and consider the continent of Europe and North and South America. This includes significant human and physical geographical features of the areas studied. 

Children have experienced a variety of theme days to increase their exposure to the geography curriculum. European Day and International Day are penned at the start of the year. Closer to the time, teachers choose an appropriate country and deliver lessons that focus on the cultural aspects of the respective countries. These are well received by children, and examples of activities include tasting/creating local cuisine, learning simple phrases in the native language and research on aspects of the country, including human and physical geographical landmarks.

Disciplinary Knowledge

In KS1, children develop the essential disciplinary skills to recognise, identify, describe, and observe and select key information to aid their understanding. These are the absolute minimum skills children need to ensure they have a good foundation with which to develop their knowledge later in school and life. Once these skills are taught, children are given the opportunity to develop further skills, such as comparison between locales, or recalling information from past lessons or topics. Naturally, some children may access some of the higher order skills listed at a younger or older age, so this process is seen as fluid rather than regimented. This allows teachers to differentiate tasks appropriately so that children are able to progress with these disciplinary skills/knowledge.

In KS2, children further develop their geographical progression. Here, children are challenged to use their knowledge to explain concepts, such as answering why there are more rainforests around the central belt of Earth than there are in the north and south, or to explain why a city such as Hull developed in the location it did. 


The latest results throughout school are good and differentiation effectively caters for our pupils. This has resulted in a small of children who are achieving below ARE. Teachers are skilled in supporting these students in lessons to allow them to achieve learning objectives in their own way. Book scrutinies show the effective teaching of a broad and balanced curriculum and acquisition of substantive knowledge. Across school, we are working on ways to ensure that knowledge and facts are consolidated and retained in long-term memory so that children can have a thorough 'base' on which to allow new knowledge to be translated into existing schemas.

Geography is assessed using a spreadsheet tailored to BACPS. After a subject analysis identified a lack of children achieving ‘exceeding’ percentages, the spreadsheets were adapted by teaching staff to create a challenging set of high-level skills to be displayed by children. Geography is on the next rotation to identify sets of skills and content we believe is important for our children. 

Lesson observations have shown a high level of geographical knowledge from staff and from children. Book scrutinies have shown a high level of work with differentiation in classes. 


We have recently invested in a teaching scheme for the school. Over a number of staff meetings, we discussed a range of schemes that would best provide the challenge and subject content we needed for our school. We have also invested in a number of new resources including Ordnance Survey maps and new atlases for KS1 and KS2. These have been utilised effectively when teaching map skills or for identifying human and physical features of an area. There is also some cross curricular teaching utilising atlases and maps, such as history and science.

London Road, Barkston Ash, Nr Tadcaster, North Yorkshire LS24 9PS

01937 557373

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