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Geography Curriculum Intent

At Essa, we want to inspire, engage ad challenge children by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become confident geographers, with a curiosity and fascination about the world around us. Our curriculum is ambitious and engaging and allows children to develop a deep understanding of diverse people, places, resources, natural and human environments and key physical and human processes.

The children deepen their understanding of geography through learning key facts (substantive knowledge) and developing their practice as geographers through gathering fieldwork data, interpreting geographical sources,  communicating geographical information in different ways and thinking like a geographer (disciplinary knowledge).

The knowledge and skills that the children develop are progressive from EYFS to Year 6 and reflect the local context, allowing children to see a reflection of the world they live in but also providing them with a window into other places that are different to their locality. When selecting the content of the curriculum, teachers have taken into account what the children need based on their prior knowledge and experiences.

To ensure that this progression is embedded, we use 'Big Ideas' as 'golden threads'.

The Big Ideas for Geography are:

  • Location

  • Geographical techniques

  • Physical and human features

  • Physical and human processes

  • Diversity

These golden threads run through our curriculum planning from Reception to Year 6 and allow children to explore common themes across different units of work. Careful consideration is given to building a schema of geographical knowledge and following a well-sequenced curriculum to allow children to make links over time and between themes.

The substantive knowledge that the children learn helps them to develop their knowledge of geographical concepts and then understand how common concepts draw different aspects of the subject together. 

Geography Curriculum Implementation

The curriculum is built on the foundation of three 'Es':

Entitlement or core curriculum offer

The development of geographical skills begins in EYFS, when children explore their understanding of the world around them through daily continuous provision, completing weekly challenges and other focused provision. Geography has a high profile; in KS1 and KS2, Geography is delivered in units of work across the year which allow the children to begin with the basic building blocks of Geography and progress towards and organising and connecting ideas to make greater sense of the world. All children have access to high quality resources such as different types of maps, up-to-date atlases, photographs and digital sources. Fieldwork is a mainstay of the children's curriculum entitlement and has been carefully planned into the curriculum. It is never tokenistic and is designed to connect pupils with the complexities of the real world, deepening their understanding of geographical processes and the interplay between them and allowing opportunities for formal education outside of the classroom.


Children who demonstrate a love of geography have the opportunity to develop this in a number of ways:

  • Geography clubs focused on the local environment 

  • Geography clubs focused on sustainability

  • Educational visits



Children who excel in geography have the opportunity to pursue their talents in a number of ways:

  • Links with the geography department at Essa Academy

  • Environment department forms part of the pupil leadership team

  • Opportunity to run a student-led club

Our Geography curriculum overview can be found below:

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