Eldon Primary School

Eldon Primary School

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Subject Overview




At Eldon, our Geography curriculum is designed to develop children’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Children investigate a range of places – both in Britain and abroad – to help develop their knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. We are committed to providing children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area of Plungington and Preston, so that they can develop of real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special. We also develop the children’s ability to apply geographical skills to enable them to confidently communicate their findings and geographical understanding to a range of audiences.  



A guiding principle of CUSP Geography is that each study draws upon prior learning.  High volume and deliberate practice is essential for pupils to remember and retrieve substantive knowledge and use their disciplinary knowledge to explain and articulate what they know. This means pupils make conscious connections and think hard, using what they know.

CUSP Geography is built around the principles of cumulative knowledge focusing on spaces, places, scale, human and physical processes with an emphasis on how content is connected and relational knowledge acquired. An example of this is the identification of continents, such as Europe, and its relationship to the location of the UK.





The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum supports children’s understanding of geography, people and communities through the planning and teaching of ‘Understanding the World’.

Children learn about features of their own environment such as school, home, community and their city through first hand experiences and learn how environments may differ through the sharing of books, stories, poems, small world play, role play and visits. Children enjoy the valuable experiences gained from our regular trips to places within their local community such as Eldon's Burrow, park and local shops. Children are given time to discuss, comment and ask questions about what they observe about the world around them and are encouraged to be active learners and explore their interests further.




The sequence in KS1 focuses young children to develop a sense of place, scale and an understanding of human and physical geographical features. 

Later in KS1, map skills and fieldwork are essential to support children in developing an understanding of how to explain and describe a place, the people who live there, its space and scale.  

Initially, children study the orientation of the world through acquiring and making locational sense of the 7 continents and 5 oceans of the world. They extend their knowledge and study the countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom, along with the oceans and seas that surround us, routes and maps can be made concrete in day-to-day experiences in the safety of their school grounds and classrooms.  

Throughout KS1, pupils enhance their locational knowledge by studying and identifying human and physical features of places and contrasting locations throughout the world. The location of these areas in the world are deliberately chosen to be culturally diverse.

Fieldwork and map skills are further developed with a study of the local area, using cardinal points of a compass. Maps are introduced through familiar stories as a way to communicate what the place and space is like. Pupils retrieve and apply knowledge about human and physical features in their local context. OS maps are introduced to pupils in KS1 using Digimap for Schools. Simple keys and features are identified and mapped locally to help begin to understand place, distance and scale. 



As pupils begin KS2, fieldwork and map skills are revisited with the intercardinal points of a compass points being introduced to elaborate on the knowledge pupils already have around cardinal points. This supports a study of the UK, focusing on regions, counties, landmarks and topography. Further studies are undertaken to elaborate fieldwork and map skills through a sharper focus on OS maps. 

Pupils elaborate and expand their understanding of human and physical features and apply it to the study of rivers.  

To enable accurate location of places around the globe, pupils study absolute positioning or reference systems through latitude and longitude. 

Complementing studies on location and position is the focus on the water cycle. It offers explanation and reason about physical processes as well as why certain biomes have specific features in specific global locations. Pupils study geographical patterns across the world using latitude of locations to explain why places are like they are. Further river studies revisit substantive knowledge and these are applied to the River Nile and the Amazon River.

Further fieldwork and map skills are introduced to enrich pupils’ disciplinary knowledge of locations and places. 

A deliberately planned study focusing on the environmental regions of Europe, Russia, and North and South America draws attention to climate regions. 



The study of Biomes and Environmental regions builds upon world locations, latitude and longitude studies. World countries and major cities are located, identified and remembered through deliberate and retrieval practice, such as low stakes quizzing and 'two things' tasks. The study of biomes is revisited deliberately to ensure the content is remembered and applied. 

In upper KS2, the study of 4 and 6 figure grid references supports prior learning of reference systems and brings an increased accuracy to mapping and fieldwork skills. 

Pupils take part in geographical analysis using patterns and comparison of both human and physical processes as well as the features present in chosen locations. This abstract concept is made concrete through studying and comparing the Lake District, the Tatra mountains of Poland and the Blue mountains of Jamaica. Physical processes such as orogeny and glaciation are acquired to explain significant change over long periods of time. The concept of physical process is revisited through a study of earthquakes, mountains and volcanoes. 

Settlement, trade and economic activities are the focus of a study that draws upon the Windrush generation module in  History. This develops an increasing knowledge about migration and the factors that push people away or draw people towards settlements. Within these studies, pupils make relational connections between settlements and physical or human features.



  • Class timetables have been built to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum.  

  • Subjects have been blocked in a spaced retrieval model to support catch up and to build the frequency of Geography and wider curriculum subjects. This maximises learning time. 


We teach Geography through a six phase lesson.



OVERVIEW OF KNOWLEDGE                                         KNOWLEDGE ORGANISERS

Each unit includes an overview for the Teacher                 Knowledge Organisers contain core information

which details the big ideas that pupils will be                     for children to easily access and use as a reference

studying, prior knowledge, skills to be taught                     and as a means for retrieval practice.

and common misconceptions.


MAPPING OF KNOWLEDGE                                             KNOWLEDGE NOTES

Each unit includes an overview for the Teacher                  Knowledge Organisers contain core information for

which details the big ideas that children will be                   children to easily access and use as a point of 

studying, prior knowledge, skills to be taught                      reference and as a means for retrieval practice.

and common misconceptions.





Retrieval practice is planned into the curriculum through spaced learning and interleaving as part of considered task design by class Teachers. Teaching and Learning resources are provided for class Teachers to reduce their workload and help them to focus their time on subject knowledge and task design.



The units are supported by vocabulary modules which provide both resources for teaching and learning vital vocabulary and provide teachers with Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary with the etymology and morphology needed for explicit instruction details, relevant idioms and colloquialisms to make this learning explicit. 

We aim to provide a high challenge with low threat culture and put no ceiling on any child’s learning, instead providing the right scaffolding for each child for them to achieve.




Our Geography curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. Our assessment systems enable teachers to make informed judgements about the depth of pupil learning and the progress pupils make over time.  If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making good or better progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods: 


HOW DO WE KNOW LEARNING HAS STUCK?                                               

  • Questioning

  • Pupil Book Study talking about learning with the children     

  • Talking to teachers

  • Low stakes ‘Drop-in’ observations

  • Quizzing and retrieval practise

  • Feedback and marking

  • Progress in book matches the curriculum intent




1. What impact is our CURRICULUM having?

What effect is the curriculum architecture having?

2. Does teaching support LONG-TERM LEARNING?

Is the evidence-led practice really being deployed at a classroom level, or is it superficial?

3. Do tasks enable pupils to THINK HARD and CREATE LONG-TERM MEMORY?How impactful are tasks, and do they help pupils to think hard and generate learning?




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