Message sent from:
Geography Pic

What is Geography?

''Geography is a subject packed with excitement and dynamism that synthesises aspects of the world and helps us to better understand its people, places and environments, and the interactions between them. Geography also helps us understand how and why places are changing, and to better imagine, predict and work towards, likely and preferred futures. Underpinning all of this is a strong spatial component that deepens our understanding of what places are like, why and how they are connected, and the importance of location.''

Geographical Association 

Geographical expertise is built on substantive geographical knowledge. Drawing from the breadth of concepts gives pupils the knowledge they need to appreciate the whole domain of geography. They understand how common concepts draw different aspects of the subject together. Substantive knowledge, as outlined in the National Curriculum, sets out the content of what pupils learn at Dodleston CE, these are:

  • Locational knowledge

Locational knowledge leads our curriculum

Fundamentally, location is the cornerstone of our geography curriculum at Dodleston CE Primary School; we want pupils to know where is where because it provides explanation as to why things are as they are.

Locational knowledge:

  • Builds pupils’ own identify and develop their sense of place
  • Develops pupils’ appreciation of distance and scale
  • Helps pupils learn about the orientation of the world and how to navigate

Through location we understand relationships and gain a sense of place and connectedness

‘'Where school leaders and teachers place emphasis on location and place knowledge we see the empowering nature of the subject on pupils’ experience’'

Iain Feeland HMI Inspector for Geography


  • Place knowledge

This is the knowledge through which pupils locate or orientate themselves with respect to the larger global space and other places. It links closely to locational knowledge, and supports the pupil’s understanding of one of geography’s organising concepts, scale.

KS1’s curriculum is organised using the concept of scale. Through each unit, their understanding of scale and place will widen, beginning each time with their place, their classroom, school, street, village and widening out to Dodleston then further to the UK.


  • Environmental, physical and human processes

At Dodleston CE we understand that it is important for our geography curriculum to be carefully sequenced to allow pupils to gain better understanding of environmental, human and physical processes and how subsequent knowledge is built upon.

As many physical and human processes are driven by the weather, there is a focus on weather and seasonal changes every year in KS1. This is then built upon in KS2, e.g. with the study of the water cycle and longitude, followed by biomes and how they are changing.

Using our locational driven curriculum, KS2 pupils will explore the environmental, physical and human processes in the UK, Europe, North America and South America. This will enable our pupils’ to dig deeper and bring coherence, commonalities, similarities and differences to each location. As they learn about the processes that these locations experience and the impact they can see, they gain a more complex understanding and broader, global array of processes.


  • Geographical Skills and Fieldwork

Geographical skills in the procedural knowledge, the knowledge on how to do things. E.g., How to read an OS map, how to construct plans and maps. Our aim is these skills are revisited in our rolling programme so that pupils have time to practise it to fluency.

Pupils at Dodleston CE will be able to draw on these skills to support their knowledge of environmental, physical and human systems and to gain a sense of place and scale.

Fieldwork opportunities are a regular feature of geography curriculum, both on and off school site. These provide our pupils with in valuable experiences to gather first hand data, analyse and draw their conclusions against their geographical knowledge they have already learnt. These experiences draw together pupils’ locational knowledge and that of human and physical processes and supports our pupils to appreciate the interplay between them.


Key Concepts & the Big Ideas of Geography

Geography is a content-rich subject and concepts provide an underlying structure. Many areas in the geography curriculum exemplify the same conceptual understanding, so it is important for our pupils to understand concepts so that they do not see geography as an accumulation of 'content' and ‘facts’.

Pupils need to acquire concepts in geography so they can relate information and ideas to each other and make sense of them. They also need concepts in order to develop higher order thinking, such as to give explanations and to think abstractly.

At Dodleston CE we build the pupils’ understanding of concepts so that geography becomes accessible to them and they can progress. We make concepts transparent to help them to think geographically and to develop transferable geographical understanding.  This moves the learning from a set of dislocated facts into informed geographical thinking.

The ‘Big Ideas’ /Key Concepts in Geography are:





-environmental impact and sustainability

-cultural awareness and diversity

Geography policy (2)
Hit enter to search