Why is Geography Important?

Geography helps us to make sense of the world around us, better understand the places we live in, learn about and visit, why they matter and how they are connected to a globalised world.

Through geography, we encounter different societies and cultures and learn to appreciate the incredible diversity of landscapes and peoples.

In geography, we face questions of what it means to live sustainably in an interdependent world and learn to value and care for the planet and all its inhabitants.

In geography children learn of man’s interaction with his environment, and of people and places around the world. 

Geography helps pupils to develop an understanding of place and its personal meaning, including their own place in the world and that of other people.

Geography stimulates pupils to explore emotional responses that can accompany learning about some of the Earth’s features, such as a sense of awe and wonder.

Pupils’ geographical understanding helps them make sense of the world and prepares them to play an active role as informed, responsible citizens.

Geography develops pupils’ understanding and appreciation of places and their importance to us, of our impact on them and how we can manage and develop them sustainably.

Geography teaches pupils to appreciate the diversity evident in the world, through learning about similarities, differences and how we live interdependently

Geography develops pupils’ role as stewards of Planet Earth, at local, national and global scale.


Geography at Landewednack


Geography is taught through a combination of subject knowledge, geographical skills, enquiry and fieldwork. Learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom.

We strive to ensure our children develop the key characteristics of geographers:

• An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like

• An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated

• An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary

 • Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques

• The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings

• Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter

• Highly developed and frequenly utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques

• A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there


At Landewednack, we believe that geography, unlike some other subjects, is not learnt in a strictly linear way; we see geography as an inter-connected network of skills and concepts which help pupils develop their geographical thinking, identify relationships and make connections with increasing fluency in different and more complex situations.


The sequencing of geography is planned through our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum, using the triangulation of three elements:-

• The National Curriculum

• Knowledge Building through six ‘Pillars’ of geography

• The Skills Ladder

The geographical learning within half termly units enables pupils to build on and contextualise prior learning using a contemporary, meaningful framework. Geography is planned for in such a way that each pupil will:-

1. Broaden and deepen their knowledge of places

2. Increase their technical geographical vocabulary

3. Develop their understanding of a range of scales (local > national > global)

4. Move from more concrete concepts e.g. beach to more abstract ones e.g. renewable energy

5. See connections between people, places, processes and environments

6. Develop skills in a progressive, incremental way

7. Use these skills appropriately and, eventually, with independence

For example, in our ‘Picture Our Planet’ unit (Choughs Class), pupils build on prior learning about the UK, they make geographical connections by looking at similarities and differences between three contrasting places, they focus on more advanced vocabulary, have the opportunity to build on skills learnt previously and extend them further e.g. mapping, aerial view, perspective.



Local Geography

There are opportunities for pupils to learn about local geography at different levels, specifically in KS1 ‘Unity in the Community’, Lower KS2 ‘Out and About’ and Upper KS2 ‘Time Team’ and ‘In Your Element’, where the learning builds across the phases. We also plan in regular field work exercises to key local areas where Pupils can see changes over time.

National Geography

National history is again linked to many of the geography thematic units including links through specific themes where we compare and contrast places in the UK and Cornwall.

International Geography

Our ‘Learning Means the World’ curriculum provides many opportunities to study places on a worldwide scale, such as Brazil, Fiji, America and Africa.


The Skills Ladder acts as an incremental model for skills acquisition and provides a benchmark for each year group, with teachers using the skills statements as a model for progression throughout the school. Growing in complexity and demand across Key Stages 1 and 2, the Skills Ladder enables our children to make good progress in their learning:

Click below for our geography skills progression:

Knowledge Building

'Knowledge Building' ensures breadth and greater depth of learning within a subject. Based on six distinct learning pillars, the knowledge builds on (EYFS, KS1, LKS2 and UKS2), using progressive cognitive blocks, linked to each pillar. These are then further applied to each geography theme in the form of knowledge statements that increase in complexity through the phase.


The Knowledge Building Pillars form a robust model of progression for knowledge and understanding, helping pupils to assimilate, synthesise and apply their learning within different geographical contexts. This also means that concepts are cumulatively built upon. For example, Processes and Changes would show children learning about deforestation in Madagascar in KS1, identifying and using sources of evidence that show the changing landscape of Africa in Lower KS2,  to learning about cause and effect of air and water pollution in different parts of the world in Upper KS2.

To ensure full coverage and progression for each year group, we have a rolling programme which contains themed units with concepts that are repeated and deepened, as well as discrete geography units that build over time.  This approach helps children to retain knowledge and build on their prior learning. 

We plan for enrichment days, visits and visitors; fieldwork is woven into our LMTW curriculum topics; this is so that key concepts, knowledge and geographical skills can be applied and embedded in real life contexts.

As well as discrete geography lessons, through many of our LMTW curriculum topics, Geography and History are closely linked, as we recognise that the inter-connected relationship between time and place helps to develop our understanding of the world around us.

Assessment and Recall
We use 'Kahoot' quizzes and end of unit tasks for diagnostic assessment as well as ‘distance’ recall tasks and ‘Time Machine’ questions to ensure knowledge is remembered and to ensure prior learning is linked to new. 'Time Machine' enables pupils to travel through time to revisit prior learning and indicates subsequent linked learning that will take place in the next learning sequence.

Impact of our GEOGRAPHY Curriculum



Our aim in teaching geography in the EYFS is to tap into pupils’ natural curiosity and develop in them a fascination with the world, its places and people.

By the end of this phase, pupils will be able to make sense of their physical world and environment. They will be familiar with their immediate locality through exploring and observing, and be able to name some key features e.g. houses, trees. They will begin to understand that some are man-made (human geography) and some are natural (physical geography). Pupils will also be able to use simple directional language accurately. Pupils will also know that the world is made up of different countries and that there are similarities and differences between them e.g. climate, buildings. They will know what a map is and that we use them to gain information about a place.


Key Stage One

Our aim in teaching geography in KS1 is to expand pupils’ horizons by learning more about their own locality and country, as well as investigating interesting locations in the wider world. The geography that children learn is brought `alive’ for them through investigating and asking questions about the world. By the end of this phase, they will have a clear understanding of the differences between human and physical geography, including weather and climate. They will be able to name the continents and oceans and know which continent their home country belongs to. Basic geographical vocabulary will be embedded so that pupils are able to ask and answer simple geographical questions and explain their thinking. They will be familiar with compass directions and be able to use those in context e.g. North Pole, South America. They will also begin to understand how and why changes to places and the environment happen, both as a result of natural processes and through human activity.


Lower Key Stage Two

Our aim in teaching geography in LKS2 is to equip pupils with knowledge of diverse places, people, resources, and natural and human environments. By the end of this phase, they will have an understanding of a wide range of physical and human features and processes, as well as being able to recognise and explain the interrelationship between location and environment. They will understand the difference between primary and secondary sources of evidence and recognise the role that fieldwork plays in contributing to the collection of primary evidence. Geographical vocabulary will include more specific and complex language which pupils are able to use appropriately and in context. Pupils will recognise and value interdependence through themes such as food, tourism and trade.


Upper Key Stage Two

Our aim in teaching geography in UKS2 is to deepen pupils’ understanding and appreciation of places and their importance to us, of our impact on them and how we can manage and develop them sustainably. By the end of the phase, pupils’ growing knowledge about the world they share with all life forms will help them to consolidate their understanding of interdependence, and the interaction between physical and human geography, landscapes, and environments. Pupils’ geographical knowledge, understanding and skills will provide a framework in explaining how the Earth’s features are shaped, interconnected and change over time, identifying and explaining patterns. They will also understand how the physical geography of a place influences the lives of its inhabitants.

Year 5 & 6 fieldwork - map skills.