At Peter Gladwin, children develop their geographical understanding through high quality teaching that inspires them to be curious and to want to explore the world and its people. Our aim is for the children to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of the key aspects of contextual knowledge, processes and geographical skills as set out in the National Curriculum for geography (DfE, 2013).

Lessons are intended to improve geographical vocabulary, map skills and geographical facts and provide opportunities for consolidation, challenge and variety to ensure interest and progress in the subject.

Teaching follows a progression of geographical skills strategy, which outlines the key geographical knowledge and skills that are covered at Peter Gladwin, aligned to the National Curriculum for geography (2013) and the EYFS Statutory Framework (2020). Our topics build upon children’s prior knowledge, developing and refining their understanding as they move up through the school.  


At Peter Gladwin our motto is ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’. Children are encouraged to ask and answer questions, to broaden their vocabulary and to apply what they have learned, developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ – a curiosity for knowledge and a passion for lifelong learning.

We focus on three key geographical skills, which children develop and refine in their time at Peter Gladwin:

  • To investigate places
  • To investigate patterns
  • To communicate geographically.

These skills ensure that pupils’ knowledge and understanding is built upon as they move through the year groups. Wherever possible, activities are linked to year group topics to provide meaningful and purposeful learning.

In KS1 pupils develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their own locality. They understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

In KS2 pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

Across both key stages, children have a range of opportunities to experience geography through practical engaging tasks beyond the classroom. Local educational visits to places such as Southwick Hill, Devil’s Dyke and a local dewpond create instant engagement with the topic, and ensure that the knowledge becomes embedded for our children.

Children use topic-based and subject-based ‘knowledge organisers’ designed to support learning across the curriculum. These summaries of key skills and knowledge are shared with the children, referred to throughout the topic and used as a means of assessment. Each term, home learning grids include a geography-based task, providing children with additional opportunities to develop geographical knowledge outside of school.

As well as discrete geography lessons, teachers plan opportunities to think about geography within guided reading and writing, and often also in other subjects such as art and design technology; this cross-curricular approach serves to reinforce children’s geographical understanding. 

Our year 4 class work alongside Sussex Wildlife Trust participating in the ‘John Muir Award’.  The children learn about the geology of the landscape, tides and weather, the strandline, identifying marine wildlife, sustainable fishing and marine pollution.  They undertake activities throughout the programme to help conserve these wild places, including regular beach cleans. They write letters to local and national government figures to ask for more protection of the marine environment and showing support for the ‘Help our Kelp’ project. 


Our geography curriculum ensures that children leave Peter Gladwin with a fascination for:

  • exploring the world around us and think about our role in it now and in the future.
  • learning about people and their societies, economies, cultures and the environment.
  • understanding the important role we play in protecting our world.
  • remembering key knowledge of places and locations as outlined in the National Curriculum and how to source geographical information as required.
  • able to use a variety of key vocabulary with which to discuss their geographical knowledge and understanding.