Geography Overview 2023-24

At Hillside Primary School, our curriculum works from an enquiry-based approach to geographical understanding and interpretation of the wider world.

We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure every child can celebrate success within their Geography learning.

Geography at Hillside Primary is taught during 2, 3-week whole-school blocked subject units, covering areas of learning within Locational Knowledge & Geographical Skills, and Human & Physical Geography, from EYFS through to Year 6. The aim of teaching a broad and balanced range of subjects within Geography is to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum, and to also stimulate and promote children’s interest and understanding about the world we live in and the environment around us. We teach children an understanding of their local area and their lives in this environment compared to the lives of others from different regions around the world. They learn how to draw, plot and interpret maps, and through this disciplinary practice they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Children will gain an understanding of their own identities through learning of human features within our Geography curriculum, along with a cultural understanding and appreciation based on geographical ancestry and heritage. Geography at Hillside Primary also motives our children to find out more about the physical world, and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development and environmental preservation.
Geography at Hillside is taught following the 2014 National Curriculum.

At Hillside we have a stimulating and well-organised Geography curriculum that provides many opportunities for enquiry-based learning, applying substantive and disciplinary knowledge to make sense of the physical wider world around us, and promoting an understanding of how our Geography learning ties in to previous years’ learning. We use a wide range of resources to do so, such as school trips to local Geographical sites and landmarks, Geography-themed days, and quality Geographical texts and sources to motivate and inspire our children.

We ensure that cross-curricular links and vocabulary are woven into the Hillside Primary Geography Curriculum from EYFS onwards, using displays, school trips, home learning opportunities, technology and Geography-themed days.

We have comprehensive, regularly updated, working documents for the Geography curriculum documenting coverage, progression of skills, progression of vocabulary, enquiry questions and objectives, and substantive and disciplinary knowledge. Teachers each have access to these documents via the Public drive, which they share with their support staff.

Class timetables, planning and examples of children’s work are scrutinised by the subject leader, who also carries out lesson observations and monitors progress.

Professional development meetings are held regularly to ensure consistency of implementation and assessment. The ‘secure fit’ assessment of children’s Geography knowledge and skill ensures our judgements are honest and based on evidence. From these we plan for progress in areas needing more input.
The lack of pre-school experiences and disruptions to education for those already at school in recent years have proved challenging.
– At least 66% of children in every year group achieved at Expected Standard in Geography last year, compared with 54% the previous year.  
– Immersive Geography experiences and opportunities are promoted and implemented where possible to ensure the children’s engagement and enjoyment.
– Pupils really enjoy Geography at Hillside Primary and there is effective and consistent coverage/progress across the school. (See Pupil’s Voice Questionnaire)
We hope that, as children move onto secondary education, their creativity, passion for Geography, and their high aspirations travel with them.