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“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world”

– President Barack Obama

Subject Lead: Miss Hopps


At St Joseph’s, we have designed a broad and balanced curriculum. As our pupils’ progress, we intend our children to understand the world, have the ability to question and research geography questions and facts and explore fieldwork skills.

Our geography curriculum aims to ensure that children

  • Show a confidence as they make meaningful, purposeful links as they collect, analyse and communicate data linked to their fieldwork studies.
  • develop resilience as they extent their geographical language and knowledge.
  • understand and respect the diversity of places and people, the resources around the world and natural and man-made, together with a growing understanding of the key physical and human activity of the planet Earth. This enables them to develop lifelong learning skills that can be applied to a 21st century Britain.
  • have self- belief believing they can do it!

Cultural Capital

The Geography curriculum, at St Joseph’s, will offer children the opportunities to draw upon skills, behaviours and knowledge. To be able to do this, all pupils are:

  • given the opportunity to learn about their own town, county, country and places around the world including our international link with Tianjian primary schools in China.
  • given opportunities to learn about famous geographers, cartographers, and explorers.
  • able to visit place of local interest and contrast them with Newton Aycliffe. In addition to  carrying out field studies.
  • taught as cross-curricular understanding linking geographical events such as earthquakes with the understanding of the platonic plates and how famous explorers made detailed maps before their voyages. These people become part of each class’ time line.


At St Joseph’s, Geography topics are taught every term. In order to aid children develop their geographical understanding, make connections and develop their understanding we have designed a broad and balanced curriculum which builds upon prior knowledge and develop new concepts.

Essential to effective teaching is the key question which teachers introduce at the start of the lesson. The children will develop their vocabulary (general and specific words linked to the geographical focus).

Children will develop their knowledge and understanding within a topic and become a geographer. Children are encouraged to make links to prior learning either in their present year or from previous years. They develop their geographical knowledge via research, questioning and open discussions. It provides children with the opportunity to develop why? and why not? questions. Throughout the lesson, children are given opportunities to discuss their geographical thinking with their partner and share this with the class. Throughout, and at the end of the topic, children have the opportunity to reflect upon their learning and make links to aspects learnt and queries for future learning. Also, they further develop their geographical vocabulary. The majority of children progress through the lessons at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved through individual support.