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St Michael’s Geography Executive Summary


Geography Vision


Our aim is for all children to have an understanding of the world and environment in which they live, both their local area and the world beyond. This understanding will come from pupils’ combined appreciation of both substantive, procedural and disciplinary geographical knowledge.


Pupils are taught to have an appreciation of the natural world, their role in it and the responsibilities that come with it as global citizens.


(See Curriculum Driver 3 Creativity-culture and enrichment and Curriculum Driver 4 Exploration-adventure and discovery)


This vision is achieved by:

  • A curriculum which maps out the substantive knowledge that pupils will learn to gain geographical expertise, including locational knowledge, place knowledge and understanding, knowledge of environmental, physical and human geography processes
  • A curriculum which builds on pupils’ geographical skills (procedural knowledge) year on year
  • A curriculum which teaches the concepts of place, space, scale, interdependence, physical and human processes, environmental impact, sustainable development, cultural awareness and cultural diversity
  • A curriculum which encourages children to ask questions to build on their prior knowledge, through a progressive series of ‘real life’ enquiry based lessons, making connections between different ideas and helping children to ‘think like a geographer’ (disciplinary knowledge)
  • A curriculum which provides opportunities for pupils to draw together different forms of geographical knowledge through fieldwork


Implementation of the Geography Vision


Early Years Foundation Stage - Reception

Children’s learning in EYFS provides the foundation in Geography that they will build on through the rest of their schooling. At St Michael’s this is outlined in the following long term planning documents: ‘Building Blocks of Vocabulary in Geography’, ‘Laying the Foundations for the National Curriculum through story’ and ‘Understanding the World – Me on the Map’


Reception children investigate Geography as part of Understanding of the World (See St Michael’s EYFS curriculum medium term plan: Exceptional Explorer and Looking after our Environment). They begin to have a sense of distance, orientation, scale and positioning and an understanding of a sense of place. They start to appreciate the connections between people and the physical environment. Children are taught to look at similarities and differences and observe changes in the world around them. They use stories and books to stimulate discussions.  


Teaching and Learning in Geography - Years 1 – 6

At St Michael’s we have chosen to use resources from ‘Collins Connected’ to support the delivery of our Geography curriculum. We have chosen this scheme as it provides stimulating resources which support pupils to ‘think like a geographer’ (disciplinary knowledge) as well as to build on their knowledge of established facts (substantive knowledge) and their knowledge of how to use geographical skills (procedural knowledge) year on year. Knowledge is built over time so that pupils gain an increasingly complex and nuanced understanding.

Long term planning


Each year group undertakes three half-termly enquiries in Geography and these are outlined in the Long Term Plan Years 1-6 (see appendix)


Medium term planning

Each enquiry is informed by a Medium Term Plan which outlines the key question, key learning and key vocabulary for each unit, as well as information about prior learning. The key aspects of each enquiry can be seen in the pupils’ learning journeys which are placed at the start of the unit in the pupils’ books.

Short term planning


The short  term plans include:
•Clear learning objectives;
•The context of the investigation together with background subject content knowledge about each topic to ensure that teachers are fully confident to support children in their learning about geography

•Details of National Curriculum coverage in both Geography and other subject areas to which the enquiry is connected
•Comprehensive learning and teaching activities which are fully explained

•The key subject vocabulary
•Suggested opportunities for assessment during learning activities and at the end of each enquiry, where pupils are given the opportunity to apply what they have been taught.
•Home learning ideas



Pupils are taught how geographers collect, present and analyse data and how they reach conclusions and evaluate their work. Opportunities are provided for pupils to carry out their own fieldwork at each key stage, so that skills are built on incrementally.  These opportunities are identified on the medium term plans.


Measuring the Impact of the Geography Vision and Implementation


Formative assessment

Formative assessment takes place during every Geography lesson, and is the basis on which teachers tailor the teaching to the needs of the pupils. Feedback is given and pupils are given time to respond to that feedback. Pupils have the opportunity to evaluate their own learning in Geography through the use of learning journeys.


Summative assessment

Summative assessment takes place twice each year. It is used to:

  • identify areas of strength and weakness for classes, groups and individuals
  • provide evidence for patterns in progress and attainment (eg. between boys/girls, SEN/non-SEN, different year groups) and to compare attainment with nationally agreed expectations for children of that age.

We use the ‘Collins Connected’ assessment criteria to make summative judgements in Years 1-6, matching end-of-key stage expectations. Assessment criteria indicate the context in which the skills should be assessed, ensuring that the pitch of the lesson is age-appropriate.



Subject leader monitors provision in Geography through:

  • observations and learning walks
  • analysis of attainment and progress
  • teacher/subject leader discussions
  • pupil voice activities
  • an annual 'deep dive' in Geography with the senior leadership team


Subject Leader Action Plan

Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year.


Continuing Professional Development

Specific training, advice and research formed part of the decision-making process when designing the St Michael’s Geography curriculum.

EYFS Leader receives updates on latest research on the teaching of Knowledge and Understanding of the World, through association with Herts for Learning.

Subject leader is a member of the Geographical Association to ensure awareness of any new research and further ideas for good practice.

Subject Leader meets termly with other Geography Subject Leaders in the St Albans Consortium of Schools Subject Cluster Groups to share ideas and good practice.

Senior Leadership team has regard to any Ofsted subject specific reports or reviews when monitoring provision in Geography at St Michael’s. Key messages are shared with staff and practice adapted to reflect the most recent research.


Home Learning and Enrichment

Home learning

A half-termly Geography activity is set by the class teacher.



Class teachers for each year group aim to undertake at least one Geography related outside visit during the academic year.


The Geography Executive Summary is reviewed annually.

Latest revision: January 2024