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Geography Intent, Implementation and Impact



Our planet is amazing and at Shap we want our children to explore, enquire and engage with the world around them, both locally and globally. Through our broad and balanced geography curriculum, we aim to expand our children’s horizons and develop their cultural capital, providing them with opportunities to discover and experience a range of cultures, people, places and processes. We also develop our children’s sense of pride and belonging to their local area, Shap.

We fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum and have taken into account our children’s unique location (situated close to the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and our children’s needs in the development of our curriculum, which is investigative and enquiry-based. This enables our children to:

  • Make sense of the world around them
  • Develop a sense of identity through learning about the world and their connections and feelings about it
  • Pique their curiosity
  • Develop a sense of agency and responsibility and enable them to understand that their choices and decisions can make a positive impact on the world around them
  • Increase and develop their geographical skills, concepts and knowledge
  • Discover and make links and connections
  • Develop and use enquiry, analysis, evaluation, and communication skills effectively
  • Make progress over time in their thinking, communicating and enquiry skills as well as their geographical knowledge
  • Acquire deep knowledge and understanding through the gathering and evaluation of a range of data, including as part of fieldwork

We believe that all children at Shap are geographers. We have developed our geography curriculum so that it is inclusive and accessible for all; all children will appreciate and understand the importance of geography in their everyday lives and will be encouraged to pursue geography further as they move into the next stage of their education and beyond.


Our geography curriculum is shaped on the latest pedagogical research and guidance from the Geographical Association and our school vision, which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability or additional needs, to soar. Our geography curriculum is unique to Shap and has been written drawing upon a range of different high-quality resources whilst still fulfilling the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Our geography curriculum has been carefully planned to interleave with our history units of work, to allow children to make links and develop a ‘big picture’ of the world. For example, when looking at the country China, children will also study the Shang Dynasty alongside. Deeper thinking, connections and observations can then be achieved, developing our children to their full potential.

Geography is taught discretely through weekly or bi-weekly lessons depending upon the unit of work and the term.

The specially designed medium-term plans include:

  • Geographical vocabulary
  • Misconceptions
  • A unit enquiry question
  • Each individual lesson has its own small-step enquiry question that breaks down the learning so children will be able to substantially answer the unit’s over-arching enquiry
  • A dedicated mapping lesson
  • Links to quality resources such as photographs, digital mapping tools, aerial views, atlases and different maps
  • A fieldwork lesson
  • Milestones (basic, advancing and deep) for each unit of work for accurate and holistic assessment of children’s attainment and progress
  • Opportunities for retrieval tasks
  • An outline of what children have previously learnt and what they will learn in the future to allow teachers to see the ‘big picture’ of geography in school
  • Possible enrichment opportunities to complement learning

Class teachers edit, adapt and add to these medium-term plans each cycle, to make them more rigorous and useful working documents.

Our EYFS class teaches geography through the Early Learning Goals and is linked to objectives both in the Primary and Specific Areas within the EYFS Development Matters framework, most applicable in the specific area of 'Understanding the World'. Learning opportunities associated with geography, are planned through stand-alone teacher-led sessions and within the continuous provision. Understanding the World is included in individual children's learning stories so that progress and attainment against the Early Learning Goal can be made. 

Each class also has a ‘Local Wonder’ that they will visit several times over the year. Whilst here they carry out a range of different fieldwork activities using the fieldwork progression document. This Local Wonder is also used to instil pride and identity in our children, understanding their local environment in depth. 


Our geography curriculum will lead children to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable, eloquent, thoughtful, communicative and responsible. They will leave Shap with a love of geography and an understanding of how important and useful it is to their lives.

The impact of our geography curriculum is measured in a variety of ways:

  • Questioning
  • Marking children’s written work
  • Completing book scrutinies and moderating work produced in children's geography books. This will be of a high quality and show a range of different activities that closely relate to the key enquiry question for the lesson
  • Listening to child-led discussion and hearing children's own opinions of their learning (pupil voice), which will demonstrate their excitement and enthusiasm for geography, as well as the acquisition of the key knowledge, skills and vocabulary
  • Photographs, images and videos from different activities and enrichment experiences
  • ‘Portrayal of Progress’ tasks that will form assessment points throughout units of work
  • Holistic assessment of children against the geography progression map and milestones, these are then reported to parents in the end of year report
  • Learning walks of geography lessons taken as part of normal monitoring procedures. These will show that teachers have developed their subject knowledge and are applying the core and threshold concepts to their lessons.

By the time our children leave Shap, they will:

  • Have a passion for and commitment to geography and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there
  • Have solid foundations in geographical knowledge and vocabulary
  • Have an excellent knowledge of where places are, in the UK, and wider-world, and what they are like
  • Have the ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in secure knowledge and understand current and contemporary issues in society and about the environment
  • Have an excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated
  • Be fluent in different forms of geographical enquiry and demonstrate an ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques
  • Have the ability to reach clear conclusions and develop reasoned arguments
  • Have significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of subject matter
  • Have highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques
  • Have fond and life-long memories of geography at primary school