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Didsbury CE School

Didsbury CE School


Geography Intent statement

Introductory statement

"The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together."  Barack Obama. 24 May 2012

At Didsbury CE, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and answer questions about the natural and human worlds, encouraging children to develop a greater understanding of their world and their place in it. It helps to develop a range of investigation and problem-solving skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can be used to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote children’s interest and understanding about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.


A curriculum for life for all regardless of background

We believe that the ambitious geography curriculum at Didsbury CE plays a vital role in equipping each child with the skills and knowledge needed to take advantage of opportunities in later life.  The knowledge engaged curriculum provides children with first hand experiences that bring the subject to life and root the curriculum in a local context.  The curriculum content and design provides children with the key geography knowledge, skills and understanding they need to be ready for their next stage of education and later life.  The opportunities that thread through our geography curriculum equip our children, whatever their background with the soft skills such as enquiry and teamwork that are vital to success in 21st century Britain.  Ultimately, we want the children of Didsbury CE to be responsible citizens of the earth and its environment.


Curriculum end points

Our geography curriculum is designed with clear key knowledge and skill end points at the end of each year and ultimately each key stage. The geography curriculum that is taught in each year group at Didsbury CE is designed to build to those end points.  Key aspects of English such as persuasive language and maths such as chronology are contextualised and woven in our geography curriculum. 


Curriculum planning and sequencing

In Didsbury CE, geography is a knowledge-engaged curriculum within which we do fewer topics but in greater depth.  We also look to develop resilience and a growth-mindset which are the hallmarks of a skills curriculum. Knowledge and skills go hand in hand together with knowledge taking the lead.

Didsbury CE provides a broad and balanced curriculum for all children. When planning, teachers set suitable learning challenges and respond to children's diverse learning needs. This is particularly the case in Geography as through this subject area the curiosity and imagination are stimulated. We can aim to meet the child’s personal needs by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes. We encourage children to learn by experience and we value fieldwork as an integral part of the Geography Curriculum.


In EYFs the knowledge and skills in History and Geography comes from the starting point of the child and is taught through Understanding the World area of learning. This is broken into 3 sub-areas: People and Communities, The World and Technology. History and Geography is taught in People and Communities and The World. The majority of the history is covered in People and Communities and majority of the geography is covered in The World. 


Key Stage 1

In Key Stage 1 Didsbury CE starts with the experiences of the child. 

Year 1, Geography starts with a local view of where we are in the world, including looking at our local area. This develops in the latter part of the year to “My world and me” followed by “Weather patterns”.

Year 2, within Island Maps, work done on the British Isles in Year1 is built upon. Compass points and maps are looked at. OS map symbols are also introduced for the first time, this is then built upon in Year 4. In Year 2, the children also build upon their knowledge of their place in the world and look at the Antarctica and the Arctic, here the continents and oceans are studied. The children also look at who discovered the poles, this links with Year 1’s history topics on the explorers Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong. Lastly, “My Home” topic gives the children the opportunity to explore their local area building upon Year1’s “Where do I live?” topic.

 Key Stage 2


In Year 3 children are given the opportunity to study a climate that is a complete contrast to our own in the form of “rainforests” this builds upon the work they have done in Y1 on weather. This also gives the children the chance to explore and debate the issue of deforestation. The children then explore how our planet is evolving looking at volcanoes within “Extreme Earth” this supports their science topic on rocks and soils.


In Year 4 the children initially do a topic on pure mapping skills which builds upon work done in Year 1 on compass skills and Year 2 on the school and the local environment where mapping skills are further built upon. Work done in KS1 on our local area is then built upon in Year 4 in the “Settlements” topic where the children explore why people chose to live where they live and why settlements have developed where they have. Didsbury is then looked at as a settlement and environmental issues such as congestion and pollution are explored, here there are opportunities for field work to be done. This builds upon the environmental issues studied in Year 3.


In Year 5 “Mountains and rivers” are studied supporting and building upon work done in Year 3 on “Extreme Earth”, both years here are looking at physical processes and natural cycles and how these, effect the landscape.

Building upon a specific study of a tropical biome in Year 3, Year 5 broadens the children’s knowledge of this and studies Africa and its specific biome. There are challenging physical and human Geography opportunities within this topic.


Continuing with previous work done on biomes Year 6 studies Australia, looking equally at the physical and human Geography of this diverse island. In “Our changing world” unit for Year 6 on erosion and coastal features, work in Year 3’s topic on “Extreme Earth” is built upon as is year 5’s on mountains and rivers, children are building year on year their understanding of how the environment shapes our physical and human environment. Work on weather in Year1 

first introduces how the weather can shape the landscape.


Reflecting the local context

The Geography curriculum at Didsbury C of E reflects our local context.

Year 1, Geography starts with a local view of where we are in the world, including looking at our local area.

In Year 4, Didsbury as a settlement is studied and questions such as:  Why did people first settle in Didsbury? are asked and studied.

In Year 5 a local river is studied, giving rise to fieldwork opportunities.

We are also proud of the diverse places we study as a school. Not only do we study our locality, the UK and Europe, we also study countries and cultures within South America, Africa and Australasia. 


A broad and balanced curriculum

In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, Geography is taught once a week throughout the year alternating with History. Lessons last for one hour in Key Stage 1 and up to two hours per week in Key stage 2. Children study geography for the equivalent of one hour a week in both key stage one and two across the year. We have always been committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum that is not narrowed in end of key stage years.  We strongly believe that the geography curriculum should build upon the skills and knowledge of the core subjects.  For example, geography gives opportunity for substantial pieces of high level writing to be produced and core maths skills to be used in determining location and place.

High academic ambition

Throughout the geography curriculum at Didsbury CE there is an expectation of high academic standards and children at Didsbury CE enjoy the opportunity to be geographers. The design of the curriculum and the opportunities afforded the children mean that high standard of writing in geography is the same as it is in the core subjects.  We passionately believe that all children regardless of background can reach those high standards.   Pupil premium is used to ensure that all children have full access to the geography curriculum and any enrichment activities linked to geography.  For children with SEN, our geography curriculum and the resources we use are adapted so that they have the opportunity to receive their full educational entitlement.  Our geography curriculum is designed so that all may be challenged to fulfil their potential.