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Curriculum Design

at Didsbury CE Primary School

The Geography curriculum at Didsbury C of E reflects our local context. Year 1, Geography starts with a local view of where we are in the world, including looking at our local area. In Year 4, Didsbury as a settlement is studied and questions such as:  Why did people first settle in Didsbury? are asked and studied. In Year 5 a local river is studied, giving rise to fieldwork opportunities.

We are also proud of the diverse places we study as a school. Not only do we study our locality, the UK and Europe, we also study countries and cultures within South America, Africa and Australasia. 

A broad and balanced curriculum

In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, Geography is taught once a week throughout the year alternating with History. Lessons last for one hour in Key Stage 1 and up to two hours per week in Key stage 2. Children study geography for the equivalent of one hour a week in both key stage one and two across the year. We have always been committed to providing a broad and balanced curriculum that is not narrowed in end of key stage years. We strongly believe that the geography curriculum should build upon the skills and knowledge of the core subjects. For example, geography gives opportunity for substantial pieces of high level writing to be produced and core maths skills to be used in determining location and place.

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Our Learning Journey in Geography

Throughout the geography curriculum at Didsbury CE there is an expectation of high academic standards and children at Didsbury CE enjoy the opportunity to be geographers. The design of the curriculum and the opportunities afforded the children mean that high standard of writing in geography is the same as it is in the core subjects. We passionately believe that all children regardless of background can reach those high standards. Pupil premium is used to ensure that all children have full access to the geography curriculum and any enrichment activities linked to geography. For children with SEN, our geography curriculum and the resources we use are adapted so that they have the opportunity to receive their full educational entitlement. Our geography curriculum is designed so that all may be challenged to fulfil their potential.

Below is an overview outlining the units children will study from Nursery to Year 6. Topics in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are designed to introduce children to key concepts, vocabulary and some skills that underpin the Key Stage 2 curriculum.

  Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2

Positive attitudes
Talking about eye /hair colour and learning each others names

Similarities and
differences between
class members

People who help us

Local journeys

Where do animals live?
role play various
occupations e.g. farm
shop, garden centre

Where do I live? What is it like?

Where do live? What
is it like?

Life in "The Arctic"

Life in Kenya

Homes in other
Year 1

Where do I live?
(Capital cities of the UK, continents)


My world
Hot and cold places
Continents & Oceans


Weather patterns   
Year 2


Maps/My school

Continents and Oceans


My Home / Your Home:
comparing India with
the UK
Year 3

Amazon Rainforest: Climate and animals.

Amazon Rainforest: Deforestation and climate change.


Extreme Earth:
Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and tornados.

Year 4



Map skills


Settlements/ Didsbury Catalonia: A contrasting
Year 5



Mountains and rivers


Africa: Varied Biomes and Cultures Africa: Cultures
Year 6



Our Changing World:
Changes in coastlines, erosion, weathering and future changes.


Australia: geographical
features and comparisons to the UK.
Australia: culture, The
Commonwealth and
human impact on the environment.



“Fieldwork is knowledge in and of itself and is one element of the geography curriculum that particularly motivates and interests pupils." - C Komoto, ‘Moving toward a signature pedagogy in geography. A close reading of the landscape’

Fieldwork skills and opportunities are woven in to every year group's geography curriculum. Our fieldwork overview details the objectives, opportunities and techniques that are covered in each phase. Children are provided with purposeful fieldwork activities every year; each fieldwork activity clearly builds on what has come previously and fieldwork takes place across a wider area, and involves more complex techniques, as children progress through the curriculum.

Fieldwork begins in our school grounds, making observations of what is around us and representing this in simple sketch maps. This leads to more challenging observation techniques in Years 1 & 2. Each year, children will use increasingly complex tools and techniques as they acquire more in-depth data in fieldwork sessions.

'Thinking like a geographer'

Through many of our geography topics, we emphasise how interconnected certain concepts are. When shown rivers, weather patterns or volcanoes for example, we consider the impact of these not just on the physical environment but the people living locally and their response to these events.

Pupils are encouraged to ask questions such as ‘where is this place?’ and ‘why is it here and not there?’ and ‘how did it get like this?’ and ‘what is the impact of this?’ Our curriculum aims to provide children with the knowledge required to habitually ask these questions and, by providing children with an ever-strengthening schema, go some way to answering them. 


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