Accessibility Tools


Geography at Rectory Farm is a powerful guide to help our children understand and connect with the world they live in. It will build on their curiosity and fascination with its many places, people, resources and environments within planet Earth. Geography will give children an opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation of themselves and give them a sense of belonging as citizens of their local town, county, country, continent and the wider world, enabling them to become active global citizens.

Through our curriculum, we aim to develop the 2 strands of geography knowledge: ‘substantive’ and disciplinary’. Disciplinary knowledge is used when pupils consider where geographical knowledge originates, and how they can learn the practices of geographers. Substantive knowledge sets out the content that pupils will learn. In the curriculum this is split into 4 strands: locational knowledge, place knowledge, physical and human geography, environmental and skills/fieldwork.

Through our curriculum we aim to:

  • Obtain sound locational knowledge of the world and an appreciation for what makes our local area unique
  • Understand the effect and the positive and negative impact that they have on many aspects of geography, and how they can be ambassadors for positive change.
  • Explore a variety of sources such as maps, globes, photographs etc to develop geographical skills.
  • Develop and build a rich bank of vocabulary with access in every lesson and classroom to relevant rich texts, both fiction and non-fiction, providing high aspiration for all, including disadvantaged
  • Celebrate relationships and diversity through learning about other cultures and lifestyles around the world.
  • Organise trips out of school and visitors that enrich learning within our Geography curriculum, providing memorable experiences
  • Give opportunities to apply their geographical skills through fieldwork.


Our curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure children obtain a solid understanding of key geographical concepts and knowledge about the world. This is a knowledge-rich geography curriculum, which entwines both substantive and disciplinary knowledge, taught through:

  • Oracy through rich discussion based on our whole school oracy programme. This ensures engagement for all and the opportunity for children to talk through their understanding
  • Teaching within a supportive environment where respect for the views of others is paramount. 
  • High aspirations for all children. Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum. Children with SEND are taught alongside their peers with scaffolds to ensure children are supported in achieving good outcomes.

The following high-dividend concepts have been identified, and geography will be taught through these ‘Big Ideas’:

  • Sense of Place
  • Global Links
  • Diversity
  • Representations of the World
  • Sustainability
  • Change
  • Travel
  • Commerce and Trade
  • Community
  • Settlement
  • Locality and Environment

Geography Learning in Early Years

‘Understanding the World’ is one of the four specific areas of learning in the Early Years curriculum framework. It involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology, and the environment. To begin to develop their geographical skills in the Early Years, they are introduced to positional language, and explore their local environment in school, their local area and their town. Towards the end of the year, they expand their knowledge to look at the United Kingdom as a whole, and where their local area fits in the wider context.


Opportunities are embedded into our curriculum, providing memorable, meaningful experiences. As a school, we try to incorporate geographical skills in all of our school trips, regardless of location e.g., map reading, directional or fieldwork etc. Some examples of this enrichment include:

  • Residentials in year 4 and 6
  • Visits to the River Nene
  • Local study resulting in responding to the issues in their community
  • Landmarks tour of Northampton and places outside Northampton
  • Orienteering
  • Farm visits
  • Talks from scientists working in different environments


Learning is progressive and sequential, with retrieval opportunities in each lesson, building and connecting knowledge across terms and year groups. Through repeated encounters with the key concepts, learners can make connections and comparisons across different aspects of geography and see how skills and knowledge can be applied in a range of contexts. Additionally, geography has clear cross curricular links, which we explore ‘Environmental Change’ in science and geography. Here is an example of our Locality and Environment thread as follows:

- Year 1: Study of school grounds and local area, including the river Nene
- Year 2:  Mapping Northampton and Inner London
- Year 3: Name and locate counties and cities of UK, geographical regions (including human and physical characteristics
- Year 4: Comparing physical human and physical geography of the river Nene and Nile
- Year 6: Countries and cites of UK, including trade links and the distribution of natural resources