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Intent - What we want for our developing geographers?

At Horn’s Mill, we aim to provide a progressive and purposeful geography curriculum that excites and enthuses our developing geographers.  We understand the importance of using high quality texts to engage and support the understanding of difficult concepts.  Our geography curriculum incorporates the use of these texts to explore new concepts as well as making links across other subjects. As part of a transition project with our feeder high school and geography experts, we planned our curriculum offer alongside one another based on high school expectations of their geographers when transitioning to high school.

The geography curriculum at Horn’s Mill aims to be fully inclusive for all. As geographers, children will be inspired and curious about the world in which they live. Our aims are to fulfil the National Curriculum for geography and to provide our children with knowledge about the diverse people, places, resources and natural and human environments. It will provide a broad and balanced coverage of essential skills and knowledge, progressive understanding and development of geographical concepts, and for all children to develop a love for geography. As key geographical concepts are revisited and consolidated in different year groups, children’s skills will progress throughout the school and their depth of understanding will develop year upon year. This can be found on our geography curriculum document.

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Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about their locality, including the study of their local area of Helsby and Cheshire.  We invite children to explore what makes our locality unique and enable them to develop a strong sense of self and where they are in the world. Our fieldwork curriculum has been planned alongside high school geography experts and can be found on our fieldwork curriculum document.

When developing our curriculum, we also want children to develop a secure locational knowledge of where they live and the rest of the UK, as this was an area which high school said children struggled most with. We created progressive teaching to secure children’s locational knowledge of the UK and the world, which begins from Early Years, and is built upon each year.  This can be found on our ‘Progression of Locational Knowledge’ document.

Implementation - How is the curriculum delivered?

When delivering this curriculum for our children, we ensure that opportunities are created for application of learning across the subject, for example: In EYFS, through stories, children develop an awareness of different places around the world, including beginning to identify similarities and differences between their own country and others. Year 1 then follow this with a focus on their local area of Helsby and comparing a contrasting village in Trinidad. This build-up of physical and human features supports children with their learning throughout KS2, as they develop a more in depth understanding of physical and human characteristics of the UK, Europe, North America and South America. 

Our curriculum is delivered in a way that ensures overlearning of key concepts and opportunities to revisit learning. Where it supports the delivery of the curriculum, subjects align with one another to provide these opportunities, for example: In Year 4, children use a text in English which details the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, providing a base knowledge and vocabulary development for when they approach this again in geography, where Year 4 take part in a comparison study between the Bay of Naples and the North-West of the UK.

Reading across the curriculum

In order to develop children's reading skills, our teaching staff plan opportunities for children to independently read age-appropriate texts that link to the geography knowledge being studied, or learning that has been previously taught. We have invested heavily in supporting our geography curriculum, once children have learned to read, with Collins Big Cat titles that enrich the wider curriculum alongside a subscription with an education library service. Whole class reading lessons from Year 2 and throughout KS2 are intentionally sequenced to develop children's background knowledge and widen their subject-specific vocabulary. For example, when studying the United Kingdom in Team 3, children read a range of texts linked to physical and human features of the UK and texts that support them to further develop their understanding of maps. When studying Europe in Team 4, children read a range of texts that help teach them about physical and human characteristics of cities in Europe. 

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Curriculum Enrichment

Where possible, geography learning is enriched by trips and visitors that are carefully planned to ensure they link with what is happening or will happen in the classroom.  For example, we aim for children to have visited a beach before they learn about coasts in Year 3.  High quality fieldwork is also an integral part of our curriculum offer, with visits out of school to collect data to solve enquiry questions. For example, in Year 6, children will visit our local windfarm to create sketch maps before finding out about locals’ opinions.

Impact - How do we know our geography curriculum is effective?

Our inclusive ethos and approach to creating our curriculum offer means that we have thought about how children can demonstrate their learning in a way that is accessible for all. Pupil Voice is one of the ways that we ensure learning is sticking and that the curriculum is achieving our aims.  We believe that if children have become skilful and knowledgeable geographers, they will be able to articulate their understanding with confidence. Pupil Voice is an important tool in assessing whether children have made progress.

The curriculum has been sequenced to lead to end points, where specific knowledge and vocabulary that children should know and remember will be assessed. Children present their understanding of geography learning in various ways: through high-quality written outcomes and art pieces; through the use of drama, or through class discussions, debates and presentations. Children have learning journeys which show their progress throughout the curriculum, and displays are created around school to celebrate learning which has taken place, and to also provide opportunities for children to recall and discuss this learning.

If you have any further enquiries relating to the geography curriculum, please email Mrs Jobber on