Planning, Progression and Knowledge Organisers

Exploring, enquiring, explaining, and empowering are the key words that underpin sound geographical teaching and learning.  So, how do we do this at Smarden?

A geography lesson at Smarden is 'Purposeful, problem-orientated, enquiry-based, undertaken cooperatively, involves active engagement and is stimulated by engagement with good-quality resources.' (Catling and Willy, 2018)

Geography at Smarden follows the 'Discover, Explore, Create'  curriculum which allows us to focus on Geography in more detail and depth.  Enquiry based learning and child initiated learning is at the heart of this curriculum.  Experts are invited in to give talks to the children - for example, Sophie Montagne, part of the first all female team to cross Antartica, gave an online talk to pupils in Year 3 and 4 learning about the polar regions during lockdown. 


Our Geography curriculum also incorporates the features of Smarden's pedagogical model.    Teaching approaches include questioning, encouraging enquiry skills, critical thinking, and debate.  'Critical thinking is the process of evaluating information, reflecting on it rather than accepting it unquestioningly, and using knowledge, experience and ethical judgement to form a view about it.' (Hatwood, 2019)

We follow the requirements of the National Curriculum for Geography:

Primary National Curriculum - Geography


We use the Geography Plus resources published by the Geographical association for planning most Geography lessons at Smarden.


Long Term Plan for Geography

Smarden's whole school Geography Curriculum 2021-2022

Smarden's long term curriculum plan for Geography 2022-2023


Geography Knowledge Progression

Knowledge and Skills Progression document for Geography

Progression in Mapping


Class Knowledge Organisers 2021 - 2022

Rowling Geography Knowledge Organiser - Food for Thought

Geography KO - Dickens - Beside the Sea

Sassoon Geography Knowledge Organiser

Austen Geography Knowledge Organiser - Little Blue Planet


Overview of Units

Geography Plus: Primary Teachers’ Toolkit

Units Year group/class Why?
Little Blue Planet Austen Years 1 and 2 Introduces Geography with an inspiring overview of the world.  Focuses on key geographical skills including teaching children how to use a map.
Amazon Adventures Sassoon Years 3 and 4 Locational knowledge and spatial awareness, place knowledge and physical geography.  Gives children perspective on a contrasting locality to their own - the Americas.  Also covers climate and biomes, rivers and the water cycle. Links with the science curriculum in Year 3 and 4.
Beside the Sea Dickens Year 5

Locational knowledge now back to the UK.  Children study human geography - settlements and land use.  This begins to provide opportunities for critical thinking, enquiry and debate.

Makes use of Mr Pickles' vast experience of beach field trips!

Food for Thought Rowling Year 6

Human geography, physical and human interaction.  Enhanced opportunities for extended writing - arguments, critical thinking, enquiry and debate are central to teaching the children to become leaders.

Opportunities to use knowledge of growing our own produce and the economics of selling these in the village shop.

Leadership of the Woodland Warrior scheme.


Long term plan for Geography 2020-2024

Little Blue Planet introduces pupils in years 1–2 to the small planet we call home. The unit will enable pupils to talk more confidently about their world, and why it matters to think about our actions today with tomorrow in mind.


Why teach about Planet Earth?

Example lesson

Amazon Adventures will enable pupils to begin to recognise the issues and challenges facing future generations concerning the loss of the rainforest, with particular reference to the Amazon rainforest. Having located the Amazon rainforest in the world and in South America, they investigate the physical, human and environmental geography of the rainforest through a variety of activities including a focus on the Caboclo river people: real people living a life dependent on the rainforest and its resources yet very much connected to the modern world. The unit ends with an active problem-solving session in which pupils use their acquired skills and knowledge to present to an audience the possible consequences of not securing a sustainable future for the rainforests.

Beside the Sea will help pupils to extend their knowledge and understanding of local and global coastal environments and issues and explore the human and physical geography of the UK’s coastline. Investigations include coastal processes and protection, biodiversity, human activities and economics and the future, considering issues such as global warming and how this will affect the people and landscape of the coast.

Food for Thought will help deepen pupils’ understanding of the geography of the food they consume from field to plate through investigations incorporating history and origin, seasonality, weather and climate, food miles, regional specialities, food processing, distribution inequalities and the future of food supply.

Other projects that incorporate Geographical learning at Smarden

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