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Geography intent

At Derwentwater, through our Geography curriculum, we aim to expand geographical vocabulary, increase our children’s knowledge and curiosity of the wider world and promote high aspirations. We seek to create a life-long love of the subject, through teaching our children about diverse places, people and resources. Through the study of natural and human environments, as well as physical and human processes, our desire is to provide our children with a sense of awe and wonder about the world they live in. As they continue on their journey of Geography, we aim to foster a deep understanding of the subject that develops alongside their geographical skills. Our aim is that our children go on to apply these skills across all subjects, as well as in their futures beyond Derwentwater.

Our curriculum is designed to provide our children with the subject specific language they need to describe, question and discuss the world, as well as their place in it. The curriculum is supported through the use of the Rising Stars scheme of learning. It is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, for children as they learn at Derwentwater and also as they continue to learn in further education and beyond.  Our pupils are encouraged to recognise that they have a voice and to use it confidently to debate topics that they feel passionate about, for example, deforestation or renewable energy. We aim to produce well- rounded individuals by providing our children with opportunities to expand their cultural capital and experiences of the world.

The Rising Stars scheme ensures progression throughout each year group across the school. At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study, ensures lessons are relevant and takes account of children’s starting points.


Based upon the National Curriculum and the individual needs of our children, we have created a Geography progression map, which sets out the objectives taught in each year group. We alternate our Geography and History topics ensuring that our children receive a well-rounded teaching of the humanities subjects throughout the year. At times, we take the opportunity to create links between the two subjects to help solidify the learning taking place. Each individual lesson has content that is differentiated between, and within, year groups so that learning is age-appropriate and high expectations are maintained. Children use learning journeys to record learning in a way that is memorable to them at the end of each unit or lesson. We use writing in Geography as an opportunity for children to showcase what they have learned and embed their knowledge. Maps, globes and atlases are used and displayed throughout the school, teachers are encouraged to reference these when appropriate during all lessons to help to develop an awareness of the globe

Our whole school oracy focus underpins our vocabulary-rich Geography curriculum. Teachers use questioning, and provide opportunities for discussion and investigation to support the development of vocabulary, which is explicitly taught and modelled by teachers in every lesson. Key geographical knowledge and language (such as, the name and location of continents, countries, capital cities and oceans) is revisited frequently, to make learning memorable, relevant and easy to retrieve.

We support learning with trips to inspire our children and widen their cultural experiences. For instance, our Years 3&4 Rivers and the water cycle learning involves a visit to ‘The Thames explorer’ and enriching trips such as West Wittering beach in the summer term. Key Stage One have the opportunity to visit local areas in order to compare it to their local area. Teachers are also encouraged to use a range of resources such as videos, photographs and newspaper articles during lessons to help create immersive learning experiences.


The impact of our Geography curriculum is measured in a variety of ways: questioning during lesson time, marking children’s written work, listening to child-led discussion, interviewing pupils across the school about their learning, book looks and using images/videos of children’s practical learning.

By end of the Geography curriculum at Derwentwater, our children will:

  • Have a growing knowledge of the world and their place in it.
  • Have a wider vocabulary of geographical terms.
  • Aspire to discover more about the world, through reading, travel or the media.
  • Know that they can use their voice to express themselves and their opinions.
  • Develop their geographical skills, such as, evaluation, creativity, problem solving and enquiry.

Geography Curriculum