Geography Rationale:


At Pensilva we have a strong focus on geography influenced by out amazing location – surrounded by moorlands and steeped in Cornish features and landmarks. Our geography curriculum supports pupils to develop their knowledge of the local environment through field work, map work and projects and place it in relation to the wider world.

Teaching at Pensilva equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

We believe geography should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the wider world and it’s people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.


Geography end points:


For pupils to:

  •         Have a locational knowledge of the world including knowing the 7 continents, 5 oceans, and the 4 countries of the United Kingdom. Children should leave KS1 excited and confident to use maps, globes, atlases and photos to develop a deep contextual knowledge of globally significant places as well as their local environment.
  •         Be able to identify human and physical features of the world and point them out in their local environment.
  •         Build up a rich bank of geographical vocabulary including:

Physical: forest, hill, mountain, beach, cliff, ocean, soil, valley and vegetation.

Human: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, harbour and shop.

  •         Talk about similarities and differences between their local environment and that of a contrasting non-European environment.
  •         Using fieldwork and observation skills to study the geography of our school including looking at seasons and weather patterns and looking at aerial photographs, pictures and maps.



For pupils to:

  •         Have a rich locational knowledge including locating the world’s countries on maps and identifying the position and significance of latitude, longitude, the equator, northern and southern hemisphere and other tropics and time zones.
  •         To have an indepth knowledge of the United Kingdom, a European country and a region of America.
  •         Be using vocabulary they learnt in KS1 with confidence and competence and to build on this bank (in line with their KS2 learning) to include vocabulary around climate zones, rivers, mountains, volcanos, and the water cycle.
  •         To understand that geography is about the ever changing world and be aware that things like land use, settlements and economic activity can and has shaped the world around us.
  •         Be keen geographers with the skills and knowledge to carry out well planned and executed field work. To have had plenty of opportunities to measure, observe and record human and physical features in the local area.


Essential characteristics:

• An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.

• An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.

• An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.

• Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.

• The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.

• Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.

• Highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.

• A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.

• The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the 




Geography is taught in termly blocks throughout the year, so that children develop a deeper understanding and depth to their learning.


Teachers understand the key knowledge and skills of each topic and our 2 year rolling program has been carefully planned to ensure progression throughout each year group across the school. By the end of year 6, children will be secure in:

  •         Investigating places  - understanding the geographical location of places and their physical and human features.
  •         Investigating patterns – relationships between human and physical features as well as the appreciation of how the natural resources of the world are used and transported.
  •         Communicating geographically – using and understanding geographical vocabulary and representations.


We start each new topic by talking with the children about what they might already know about that topic and what they would like to find out. This helps teachers to challenge any misconceptions that the children might have and also plan their lessons to ensure the children are engaged and interesting in the topic.


Geography is taught both as an isolated subject and also is sometimes incorporated into a wider class topic. Geography provides excellent opportunities to support all learning abilities through investigations, outdoor learning and analysing sources. In our incredible outdoor space we are able to explore features of the local environment and carry out studies and fieldwork – for example looking at the changing seasons by exploring our numerous plants, flowers and trees.


Trips are very important as a way of further developing children’s understanding of the world around them. We try to arrange a wide variety of trips across the key stages. Some previous trips have included ‘The Eden Project’, The beach, the nearby village and moorland and residential trips with the children in higher KS2.




Our Geography curriculum offers high quality and well planned lessons which encourage progression. Continuity and progression in the curriculum is built around our progression points and coverage grid.

Furthermore, good Geographical questioning helps pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding the past. Through our curriculum pupils learn to ask and answer geographical questions, identify key features of the world around them and compare and contrast the UK with other countries around the world. In order to ensure our aims have been met, we scrutinise topics through:

  •         Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
  •         Pupil conferencing.
  •         Sharing good practice in staff meetings.
  •         Displays both in the corridors and in the classrooms.
  •         Marking of written work in books against the schools marking policy.
  •         Teachers to input data on I-track.