A high-quality geography education should inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip children 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. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Throughout key stage one, children develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They gain an understanding of 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 are also taught to name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans as well as to name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.
Children develop their understanding of 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.
They 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 and learn how to 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 and key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop.
Children learn how to 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. They also learn how to 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. Children 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.
Children also learn how to 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.