Newton Drive, Framwellgate Moor, Durham, DH1 5BG
0191 386 5400


Geography Coordinator Team: Mrs R. Chadwick, Miss S. Thompson, Miss A. Pendleton

Our high-quality, enquiry-led curriculum has been designed to inspire a fascination about the world and encompass the wide range of diversity that exists within our school. The importance of teaching children about current and future global environmental challenges is reflected in our focus on climate and sustainability.

Progressive in nature, it begins by developing knowledge on a local scale and gradually widens to that of a global nature. Pupils develop their contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places and understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world. We expect them to be competent in the geographical skills needed to collect, analyse, interpret and communicate with confidence and clarity. Therefore, fieldwork is an intrinsic element of our curriculum with children given frequent opportunities to explore their outdoor classroom.

Our enquiries build upon and revisit substantive geographical concepts of scale, space, place, interconnections, physical and human processes, environmental impact/sustainability, cultural awareness. Alongside this, our carefully selected substantive themes, or ‘golden threads’ such as ‘migration’, ‘settlement’, ‘trade’ and ‘diversity’ are interwoven throughout the curriculum from EYFS to Y6 to facilitate deeper understanding and allowing connections to be made.

Early Years

EYFS pupils at FMPS experience geography through ‘Understanding the World’. Our ambition is for every child to have experiences which guides and support them to make sense of their physical world and their community. As part of adult led learning, we share a wide range of visits, photographs, experiences and stories to support an early understanding of geographical concepts such as ‘Place’ and to ensure substantive themes are explored at an appropriate level.

From the minute children join us, they engage in the exploration and discovery of the world and their place in it.  Substantive themes such as settlements are rooted in children seeing their personal relationship with the people and places, they experience every day.  Our EYFS curriculum supports children in understanding their own, ‘everyday geographies’.  It uses the rich geographical experiences that their daily lives provide as a launchpad for active learning, stimulating conversations and exploring key geographical themes such as weather, local economy and sustainability.

Running alongside this are our engaging and enabling environments. These allow children to explore, practise and apply their early enquiry skills in a play-based way supported by knowledgeable adults. Experiences such as role play based on their first-hand experiences, hands on exploration of photographs, literature, maps and other resources combined with high quality conversations ensure our children are confident in their learning.

Each of our early years stages experiences learning focused around three key questions: What kind of place is this and why? How is this place connected to others? What would it be like to live here/there.

Our very youngest children begin their learning by focusing on their place in the world and the ‘geography of the home’ Children learn to name where they are, name simple structures, know where things are and to find things by location. They then connect the indoors to the outdoors by demonstrating curiosity about the outside world, responding to what they see, hear and smell outside. Through real life experiences children then begin to experience natures cause and effect relationships. Learning at this age launches our settlement theme that runs throughout early years.

In nursery, children learn more about this theme by exploring how one place is connected to another. The children unpick their journeys from home to school looking at how they get there, what they see along the way, whether everyone’s journeys are the same and even what direction they came in. Children draw maps of their journeys, recalling familiar places and buildings. At this stage children begin to think about other places and what it would be like to live there. By exploring local habitats and their attributes children observe and experience differences, learn how to care for habitats and even that environments might change/erode over time linking to our landscape/topography theme.

Our reception children build on their sense of place by exploring their home in relation to their local area. They explore different types of houses and the style of homes found in the area. Then using field work, photographs and aerials maps they investigate the area around them. They identify familiar and simple features, name familiar buildings and explain connections between different things they see. The children then move onto thinking about what the local area provides for others who live there in different habitats before making connections between these and other habitats around the world. As they learn more, they begin to compare contrasting localities and what it would be like to live there based on the natural and man-made features they learn about as part of our travel/transport, sustainability and Economy substantive themes.

In Key Stage 1

In Key Stage One, key themes such as ‘settlement’, ‘landscape’ and ‘travel/transport’ are continued as pupils carry out fieldwork around the school grounds and the surrounding area of Framwellgate Moor to develop knowledge of their locality and enhance locational awareness. By answering questions like, ‘Where are our local shops?, they become familiar with simple compass directions and locational and directional language along with being able to describe the location of features and routes on a map and use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features. Alongside this, they devise simple maps and use and construct basic symbols in a key.

Learning expands to the United Kingdom in a study of ‘What is our country like?’ in which pupils become familiar the countries, capital cities and seas of the UK and also identify seasonal weather patterns of our local area compared to other places in the United Kingdom.

Focus then shifts to the wider world where we learn to name and locate the world’s continents and oceans and identify the location of hot and cold places using maps, atlases and globes. As part of this learning, we draw upon the theme of ‘sustainability’ when investigating the threats oceans face such as plastic pollution.

The substantive themes of ‘migration’ and ‘diversity’ are also examined when children carry out the enquiry, ‘How are Framwellgate Moor and Pointe-a-Pierre the same or different?’ which ties in with our work surrounding Floella Benjamin in history.

In Key Stage 2

In Year 3 and 4, pupils build on prior learning surrounding themes of ‘settlement’ and ‘landscape/topography’. Revisiting knowledge gained in KS1 surrounding the UK, they use maps, atlases and satellite images explore geographical regions, identify physical characteristics and topographical features such as hills and mountains. Following this, children familiarise themselves with UK cities and examine how they have changed over time. The golden thread of sustainability is revisited as we look at environmental issues facing cities. We then ask, ‘Why is the North East special?’ to develop knowledge of the varied human and physical geography of the region and introduces new learning about rivers and involves carrying out a river study at Hamsterley Forest.

Alternatively, children focus on Europe, concentrating on environment regions, key physical features, countries and major cities through the enquiry, ‘Is Europe the same all over?’. Pupils then visit prior knowledge of the North East of England to allow them to identify similarities and differences with Campania, Italy. As part of learning here, children also explore volcanoes and earthquakes and the impact they have on humans.  Children are then given the opportunity to carry out fieldwork at Seaham to find out, ‘What happens when the land meets the sea?’ This enquiry provides children with a knowledge of how physical processes shape the beach, how erosion is managed and how environmental quality can change.

In Year 5 and 6, all substantive concepts are revisited and explored in greater depth. Pupils build upon learning surrounding naming and locating UK cities in Year 3 and 4 and acquire new knowledge of counties which ties in with learning in history focused on Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. They then seek to answer the enquiry question, ‘Is there more to North America than Disney land?’ by learning to identify position and significance of latitude and longitude, exploring the physical and human geography of North America before carrying out a regional study into the geographical similarities and differences that exist between the North East of England and the Great Lakes.

In the following cycle, focus is on South America as pupils work out if there is more to South America than just a big rainforest before comparing the North East of England with the South East of Brazil. Destruction of the Amazon rainforest is examined here. Children then design and complete a fieldwork enquiry to find out more about Framwellgate Moor to consolidate geography skills gained throughout their geographical learning journey.

Community Links

At Framwellgate Moor Primary School, we believe that community links are an essential part of learning in geography. Therefore, we are keen to draw upon skills and expertise of parents and governors to enrich our curriculum and experiences of the children when opportunities arise. Forest School Leaders run regular after-school clubs to provide hands-on experiences in the natural environment.

Looking to the wider local community, children regularly carry out fieldwork in the surrounding area of Framwellgate Moor and Pity Me and interact with residents, local business owners and employees of multinational chain stores to collect data for their enquiries.

Beyond our locality, links are also made at a county/regional level as children visit places such as Durham City, Hamsterley Forest and areas along the North East coastline as part of their learning in this subject.

Year 5 pupils take part in an Endless Adventure Day which gives them the opportunity to learn orienteering, rock climbing and abseiling skills outside at Causey Arch in County Durham. The Year 6 pupils attend a residential experience in Weardale learning new physical and social skills in natural beauty.

Career Links

It is our aim that by the time children reach the end of Framwellgate Moor Primary School, that they have developed a passion for geography along with a knowledge and skills set which will allow them to be successful in the next stage of learning at secondary school and beyond.

‘There has never been a more important time to use geographical knowledge and skills to pursue a career. None of the changes and challenges facing the UK and the world in the 21st century, including climate change, energy security, migration, urbanisation and globalisation, can be properly understood, let alone tackled, without geography.

This is the discipline that connects the natural and the human, the local and the global and in doing so, enables us plan sustainably for the future. Whether your future career lies in the environmental sector, business, education, the natural or social sciences, the media, in geospatial industries or in travel, geography opens up a range of choices for your future work and career.’ (Geographical Association, 2023)

See below for some examples of geography related careers:

Becoming a Climate scientist

Climate scientists study changes in the Earth’s climate over time and how they might affect the planet in the future.

Skills and knowledge you’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of physics
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • science skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

Becoming a Seismologist

Seismologists study shock waves created by earthquakes and volcanic activity. They also work in oil, gas and minerals exploration.

Skills and knowledge you’ll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • science skills
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • excellent written communication skills
  • knowledge of physics
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

Becoming an Airline Pilot

Airline pilots fly passengers and cargo to destinations around the world.

Skills and knowledge you’ll need:

  • leadership skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of maths
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • observation and recording skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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You can view our Progression Grid below:

You can view our long-term curriculum below:

You can view photographs of our geography lessons by clicking the link below:

You can view our Policy