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                                                    Year 3 map work on the school field  



What does geography look like at Forest Row Primary School?

The intent of our geography curriculum at Forest Row Primary School is to ensure pupils will understand where they are globally, nationally, and locally. Using their knowledge of the Earth, children will be able to relate a place’s location to its characteristics (e.g. distance from equator or altitude related to climate).

The intent of our geography curriculum is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more ensuring they are fully prepared for KS3.  

Our geography curriculum intentions are:  

  • To equip pupils with substantive knowledge about diverse societies, economics and cultures, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes
  • To encourage pupils to gain coherent disciplinary knowledge to develop skills to make sense of the world in which we live and how it has evolved
  • To stimulate curiosity and imagination and build upon the child’s ‘personal geography’ by developing geographical skills, understanding and knowledge through studying places and themes.
  • Where possible and relevant, links will be made between geography and other curricular areas of study, key events nationally and locally, our individual student needs and prepare our students for KS3.
  • To ensure pupils have appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the EYFS and National Curriculum History Programmes of study.  
  • To fulfil the duties of the National Curriculum whereby schools must provide a balanced and broadly-based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities and responsibilities and experiences for later life. 

Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish and become loving adults who are forever inspired to learn and are ready for life’s adventures.  The curriculum carefully encompasses our 10 things to do before you leave Forest Row and staff ensure that they are carefully woven through the learning journeys. 

Our curriculum has been built to include our key drivers:

The children are encouraged to develop our school values (fairness, respect, hope, responsibility, love and kindness and resilience) when studying geography, with a specific focus on responsibility and children recognising that their actions can influence the local environment and wider world. We have built our curriculum to endorse the importance of outdoor learning by studying our local environment to build a curiosity allowing children to compare its physical and human features to places around the world. Forest School is an important part of the curriculum at Forest Row.  The teaching of geography equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places and people by celebrating the similarities and differences between ourselves and others, not only in our locality but across the world.


In our curriculum we have also considered the journey of a child through the school, so that our curriculum is progressive, building on prior learning, and regularly revisiting taught concepts. Each class has a two-year rolling programme which has been designed specifically to match the needs of our school and the structure of our classes, ensuring all children meet the full programme of study outlined in the National Curriculum. 


                          Having fun and using geographical skills on Ashdown Forest 



How is the curriculum for geography organised?

Children will be taught a range of knowledge and skills in both KS1 and KS2, focusing on locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork. Substantive knowledge will be built upon in meaningful progression with the use of key concepts running consistently throughout the curriculum, and using these to build upon prior knowledge. Our key concepts are: place, scale, interdependence, physical and human processes, environmental impact and cultural diversity.

To ensure coverage, depth and balance in the geography curriculum, the subject leader has provided a range of planning materials:

Long term plan 

A 2-year rolling programme for each class to ensure coverage and progression is achieved ensuring students are fully prepared for KS3. The long-term plan also details the substantive and disciplinary knowledge to be taught for each topic. Both substantive and disciplinary concepts are taught using a spiral curriculum, so they are constantly revisited throughout KS1 and KS2. 

Our substantive concepts are: place, scale, interdependence, physical and human processes, environmental impact and cultural diversity

Our disciplinary concepts are: map skills, fieldwork, similarities and differences, research and enquiry, cause and consequence

Medium term plans 

Details the substantive knowledge and sequence of lessons for each topic.

Substantive concept map 

Shows which class and topics have covered our different concepts so teachers can use this document to explicitly teach the range of concepts by building upon prior learning and enable the children to make links between different topics within the geography curriculum. 

Progression document 

Details the progression of skills and knowledge we expect the children to make through their time at Forest Row Primary School. The progression document details progression from Year 1 all the way through to Year 6 and is split into geographical enquiry, direction and location, drawing maps, representation, using maps, scale and distance, perspective and map knowledge.  

Vocabulary document 

Outlines subject specific vocabulary relating to all topics. This will be highlighted to the children at the beginning of lessons through hexagons and topic planners and revisited through subsequent learning and knowledge recap quizzes.


Each classroom has an age appropriate world map on display to help the children with their locational knowledge.  

Sticky Knowledge

A document which outlines the key bits of knowledge and skills which need to be recapped the following academic year to ensure they become embedded.


How do we teach geography? 

We teach history in a variety of ways as outlined below:

  • Use of sources Children will access atlases, textbooks, maps, digital technology and photographs to develop knowledge and understanding that is integral to their learning.
  • Technology The use of ICT including web-based resources and interactive VR headsets enhances the students learning experience. 
  • Recap and retrieval Use of recap quizzes and hexagons to ensure children are revisiting prior learning to enable them to build on existing knowledge therefore enabling them to know more and remember more
  • Active learning Enhancement – We recognise that children learn in a variety of ways, and so where appropriate, children will learn geography outside the classroom, with visits to Ashdown Forests and the coast or experts visiting us in school. For example, KS1 walk around the village when they are learning about homes to understand the vocabulary associated with home.   Outdoor learning opportunities with the curriculum - Teaching and Learning should plan for outdoor learning opportunities within geography lessons termly. This may be using the school grounds, local area or wider community to apply and explore their subject specific task. Children will access their local environment to get a hands-on experience in their learning.
  • Cross curricular links Children learn how to cook cuisine from a range of cultures in DT linking to their topic in geography, understanding the history of the world can help make sense of it today and the use of ICT when researching and presenting information and highlighting links with PSHE and British Values.

Approaches to teaching 

A wide variety of teaching approaches are used in geography lessons to ensure children make good progress, and all learning styles are catered for. Class teachers ensure there is a good balance of whole class, group work and individual learning in geography lessons. We also aim to incorporate links to our speaking and listening curriculum with presentations by teachers, visitors and children; drama and role play; discussions and debates and themed days or weeks to inspire all learners.


Our curriculum is organised so children in reception meet the aims of EYFS framework. The early learning goals are taken from Understanding our world and are as follows:

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.
  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and (when appropriate) maps.
  • Know some similarities and differences between the natural world around them and contrasting environments, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Understand some important processes and changes in the natural world around them, including the seasons.

How do we support our SEND learners? 

We believe that all learners should primarily access the first quality teach and be immersed in class discussions during geography lessons. Therefore, SEND learners access the same learning as all other children but will be given further support, adapted outcomes and a tailored approach to suit each individual’s needs. Strategies used to support our SEND learners can be found on the SEND humanities webpage.  Our Inclusion Lead – Tracie Light- monitors all SEND adaptations and parents are fully involved.

                        Birch Class field work looking at types of housing in Forest Row

Cycle B Long Term Plan 2023 - 2024

cycle b long term geography plan docx.pdf



Cycle A Long Term Plan 2024 - 2025


cycle a long term geography plan.pdf


 Example Medium Term Plan 

example medium term plan docx.pdf



Substantive Concept Map


geography key concepts docx.pdf


Progression of Skills Document 


progression of skills in geography .pdf


Key Geography Vocabulary


geography vocabulary docx.pdf


Sticky Knowledge


geography sticky knowledge and skills for moving up 2023 docx.pdf


National Curriculum Coverage 


geography national curriculum coverage at forest row c of e primary school docx.pdf

 Geography in EYFS 

learning in eyfs what geography subject leaders need to know.pdf


              Following a route on a map while identifying human and physical features 


All our staff, senior leaders and governors are involved in measuring the impact of our history curriculum in differing ways. This is planned through the School Development Plan, using our annual monitoring cycle.

Nicky Upton as subject leader ensures there is a clear monitoring cycle in place which evaluates geography teaching and learning, outcomes and pupil voice. These outcomes feed into action planning to continually evaluate and improve our teaching and learning in geography.

Recent pupil voice carried out by the subject leader (April 23) has found that:

When asked if pupils' enjoyed geography lessons, some replies included:

"The Ashdown Forest Winnie the Pooh visit was really fun!”

"I like drawing maps and mapwork.”

"My teacher knows the answers to my questions and I like finding out about the world.”

“The VR workshop was incredible!” 

Children from all classes proudly showed off their learning journey books and were able to recall key knowledge from geography topics. An example included a Y2 child who was able to name all 7 continents and 5 oceans, he was able to locate them on a world map and explain how a continent is different from a country and an ocean from a sea. 

When asked about how they know they have made progress, children could talk about lots of different ways such as teacher feedback, hexagons and recap quizzes.  Children liked how at the end of a unit they could return to their hexagons from the first lesson (used to assess prior knowledge), and add a lot more detail about that particular topic than they’d been able to at the start.  

How do we review and assess learning in geography?

We assess children’s work in geography by making informal judgements as we observe them during lessons, using hexagons at the beginning of a lesson to recap prior learning and with the use of ‘quick recap quizzes’ for assessment of fact retrieval. We mark a piece of work once it has been completed and we comment, as necessary. The children respond to marking in purple pen to further develop their learning.  An assessment is recorded in the pupils’ end of year report. Formative assessments are made against Key End Points (see Geography End Points webpage).

Monitoring and evaluation could include: 

  • A review of learning in books 
  • Lesson observations  
  • Evaluation of the impact of staff professional development  
  • A review of medium-term planning  
  • Talking to pupils about learning in geography
  • Governor review meetings to evaluate the impact of the curriculum - this could be reviewing the website or the curriculum offer, talking to staff and pupils.

            KS1 hosted a talk from the RNLI to find out about staying safe at the beach

 KS1 were so fascinated by the work of the RNLI keeping people safe at the coast that                                   they decided to hold a cake sale to raise money for the charity



EYFS created a pirate ship and made a map to use when when they sailed around the                                                            world to find the hidden treasure