Geography at Plympton St Maurice Primary School 

When the most recent curriculum was introduced by the government, the staff at Plympton St Maurice worked

hard to ensure that Geography based themes were both fun and engaging for the children whilst covering the

essential progression and learning required.  We are continually searching for ways to enhance our curriculum.

As a result, over the last 2 years there has been some changes to the humanities programme. Having attended courses and researched schemes in local schools, it was decided to use the Connect Geography schemes which were written by an ex teacher. These schemes have been adapted to our school so that the children have the very best experience when learning about these subjects.


Our Intent for our Geography Curriculum Our Geography curriculum is designed to meet the content requirements of the National Curriculum. There is a set amount of time specified for each year group. Through our geographical lessons, children should be able to develop Life skills, Understanding, Nurture curiosity, Aspiration and Resilience.


Our Geography curriculum is designed to equip pupils with the knowledge and understanding about diverse places, people and resources within natural and human environments. Pupils will develop their geographical skills in order to carry out effective geographical enquiries.


Our Implementation for our Geography Curriculum

Our Geography curriculum encompasses:

Social and emotional learning,


Mastery Learning,

the Arts,

Understand Learning,


Independent Personal learning and thinking,

Collaborative Learning and

Experience rich curriculum.


Our Geography lessons are frequently based on big questions which children discover the answer to during the lessons. The curriculum is taught through a topic approach alongside Design & Technology, History and some English genres. This allows the children to experience over learning and consolidate facts.


Pupils are given opportunities to lead their own lines of geographic and historic enquiries and record their findings in a variety of ways. One example of this is the challenging homework that is set termly across the school, eg producing 3d models of the Rainforest and exploding volcanos. As well as completing work inside the classroom, field work is a key part of our Geography curriculum and allows pupils to apply their geographical skills in real-life settings.


In Key Stage 1, pupils investigate their local area and begin to learn about the wider world.


In Key Stage 2, pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area, finding out about the environment and the people who live there.


The Impact of our Geography Curriculum

Through our geography lessons, pupils should learn key vocabulary and be able to apply their geographical skills to a range of geographical enquiries. Specific skills will have been developed including:


Key stage 1

Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

Pupils should be taught to:

Locational knowledge

  • name and locate the world’s 7 continents and 5 oceans
  • name, locate and identify characteristics of the 4 countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas

Place knowledge

  • understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country

Human and physical geography

  • identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles
  • use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:
  • key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather
  • key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop

Geographical skills and fieldwork

  • use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage
  • use simple compass directions (north, south, east and west) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far, left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map
  • use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key
  • use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment


Key stage 2

Pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

Pupils should be taught to:

Locational knowledge

  • locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities
  • name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
  • identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night)


Place knowledge

  • understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region in North or South America.


Human and physical geography

  • describe and understand key aspects of:
  • physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
  • human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water


Geographical skills and fieldwork

  • use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
  • use the 8 points of a compass, 4- and 6-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world
  • use fieldwork to observe, measure record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies


Our curriculum:


Foundation Class (Squirrels)

Follow the Early Years’ programme which can be found on the school’s website


Year 1 (Hawks)

Plymouth- Based on the Hoe and Smeaton’s Tower

Our Local environment – Based on Plympton St Maurice


Year 2 (Magpies)

Life on islands – Looking at contrasting islands

Animal world


Year 3 (Hedgehogs)


The Rainforest


Year 4 (Swallows)

The Roman Empire

Natural disasters

The Victorian Empire


Year 5 (Foxes)

The Mayans




Year 6 (Owls)

The Coast Vikings


Additional opportunities for Geography include visits linked to the class topic, such as Wembury beach, Burrator reservoir, the zoo, Kent’s Caverns and wildlife parks. We are lucky to have a fantastic site that can also be used to support the learning.




Contact Info
All enquiries should be addressed to Mrs K Allen, Business Manager
  • Plympton St. Maurice Primary School, Plympton Hill, Plympton, Plymouth, PL7 1UB
  • 01752 337427