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St Thomas More Catholic Primary School

Inspiration, Celebration and Education


Geography at St. Thomas More Catholic Primary School





We ensure that through the lens of faith we develop individual, unique people and form the foundations of them being able to contribute to society.  Our school vision is that as a Catholic school, God is at the heart of all we do. We believe that each person is made in His image, deserving to be treated with respect and dignity.  Showing respect, love and care for everyone and everything, we aim to develop harmony between pupils, parents the school and Parish and grow as a Christian community. We aim to enable each individual to realise their full potential, spiritually, academically, physically, socially and emotionally.  


The Geography Curriculum ties closely with our school ethos. Our aim is for all children to become confident, creative and engaged learners who achieve their full God-given potential.  We aim to inspire curiosity and fascination about their locality and that of the wider world.  It is our hope that pupils through our Catholic Social Teaching show ‘Care for Creation’ and can learn to be change-makers, be happy and healthy, as well as inquisitive and creative. For this reason it is our ambition for our pupils to leave St Thomas More Catholic Primary School with a love of Geography which will last them a lifetime.

Through our Geography curriculum it is our intent that children will deepen their knowledge, both of the immediate locality and of the wider world. Through carefully chosen key questions they will develop their geographical enquiry skills and gain knowledge which will last them a lifetime. Furthermore, we have adapted the Geography curriculum at our school to be bespoke to the children’s experiences and the geographical location of the school. For example, KS1 children begin by looking at their local town and asking ‘What is  special about Cheltenham?’, whilst Upper Key Stage 2 children take advantage of our location close to the Cotswolds to answer ‘Why are the Cotswolds a tourist hot-spot?’. When studying localities, comparisons will always be drawn to our specific location – relevant links drawn between key features of Gloucestershire such as the Cotswolds, Malvern Hills, Severn Valley and Forest of Dean. It is our aim for children to leave our school as competent geographers having had broad opportunities to practise skills through a regular diet of fieldwork. Additionally to have the opportunity to experience Geography in context and have a fundamental knowledge of the UK and wider world that they will need in later life. We also aim to inspire children as geographers through topics which will engage them such as investigating natural disasters and the impact of tourism. As they progress through the curriculum to see that Geography is everywhere!



The Rationale of our Geography curriculum is carefully designed to consider the needs of our pupils in terms of its sequencing and progression. In EYFS through ‘Understanding of the World’, In Year 1 the pupils study the immediate locality, this is further developed by the local town in Year 2. In Key Stage 2 pupils investigate environmental change in their area and the impact of megacities in places like Brazil, whilst in Year 5 and Year 6 this locational knowledge is furthered by a close study of the Cotswold National Park and National Parks across Britain. Similarly, units which focus on weather and climate, trade and contrasting localities allow the children to gain knowledge, techniques and skills which accumulate over time. Key to our Geography curriculum is the linking of these disciplinary concepts as children dive deeper into the subject. In Geography, we recognise these as maps, location size, landscape, country, place, environment, physical, human characteristics and climate. It is these links we draw upon in all schemes of learning, with regular reference to these disciplinary concepts to allow children to develop their thinking like geographers.

The long term plan is carefully structured so children in different year groups study key questions which form under a similar umbrella – this allows staff subject knowledge to be shared. The global curriculum is also a key part of our Geography learning. As change-makers, global projects are identified within each year group which and are celebrated in school. It is our intention to follow the Collins Connected Geography scheme of work as a basis for our Geography planning. This ensures teachers are clear about the skills and knowledge which pupils will need to build, as well as core vocabulary for each unit of study. The progression map is supplemented by a glossary of key vocabulary to ensure consistency and progression in vocabulary, as well as a document which supports staff in including children with SEND in Geography. ‘Sticky Knowledge Sheets’ will provide an overview of the substantive key knowledge children will know and remember during their studies.




We aim for all of our children to leave us as geographers; they should have a solid knowledge base which will stand them in good stead for future education and transition to Key Stage 3. We aim to teach them about their local area through carefully progressive units. Crucially, we will create a bespoke curriculum, which allows them to investigate Geography which is relevant to them now and importantly as adults of the future, for example through the exploration of sustainable tourism when studying contrasting localities. Pupil’s understanding in Geography will be assessed through quizzes and retrieval practise linked to the ‘sticky knowledge’, this will be supplemented with an assessment of skills using our tracking system. Through fieldwork, children will gain skills which will be useful in later life. Careful links will be made between subjects such as Science, History, Computing and Mathematics will allow children to gain a depth through other areas of learning.


Our Geography learning in action!