“We learn about our amazing world, how it works and how we can protect our planet and it’s people.”


At Thornhill Primary School we provide a broad and balanced curriculum; ensuring the progressive development of geographical concepts, knowledge and skills; Furthermore, we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

We passionately believe that through active engagement in geography, children are enabled to learn not only about the world but also how it works, how it fits together and most importantly how they can make a positive contribution to it.

We know that Geography is an “umbrella subject” as it contextualises and extends the possibilities for developing and applying language and mathematics, and enriches understanding of, and in, other subjects whilst also promoting children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Our teaching focuses on a wide range of locational knowledge, place knowledge and key aspects of human and physical geography. We recognise the importance of teaching Geographical skills and we undertake a variety of fieldwork in our local area.

We endeavour to ensure our pupils leave with a passion to be good citizens and play their part in protecting the planet and its people.


To ensure high standards of teaching and learning in geography, we implement a curriculum that is progressive throughout the whole school. Kapow’s Geography scheme has a clear progression of skills and knowledge within the 4 strands of the Geography National curriculum (Locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical geography and geographical skills and fieldwork)

Lessons incorporate various teaching strategies from independent tasks to paired and group work, including practical hands-on, computer-based and collaborative tasks. This variety means that lessons are engaging and appeal to those with a variety of learning styles. Adaptive teaching techniques are used to ensure all pupils can access learning, and opportunities to stretch pupils’ learning are available when required. Knowledge organisers for each unit support pupils in building a foundation of factual knowledge by encouraging recall of key facts and vocabulary


Impact is constantly monitored through both formative and summative assessment opportunities. We strive to ensure children are learning more and remembering more We place a large emphasis on retrieval practice and this takes many forms. The impact is measured through (but not limited to) the following:

  • Assessing children’s understanding of topic linked vocabulary before and after the unit is taught.
  • Deep dives into the subject covering book looks, pupil voice, observations
  • Looking at work produced by our children
  • Marking of written work in books.
  • Evidence of and effectiveness of working wall displays.
  • End of topic assessments
  • Low stakes quizzes

Pupils should leave school equipped with a range of skills and knowledge to enable them to study Geography with confidence at Key stage 3.

Enrichment and Geographical Fieldwork

Fieldwork is crucial as it provides “real world” opportunities for children to develop their geographical skills and make links from classroom learning to real life situations. Each unit contains elements of geographical skills and fieldwork to ensure that fieldwork skills are practised as often as possible. Kapow Primary units follow an enquiry cycle that maps out the fieldwork process of question, observe, measure, record, and present, to reflect the elements mentioned in the National curriculum. This ensures children will learn how to decide on an area of enquiry, plan to measure data using a range of methods, capture the data and present it to a range of appropriate stakeholders in various formats. We are lucky enough to be positioned on the fringe of the Lake District National Park and within easy reach of the beautiful beaches on the West Coast. Key Stage 2 fieldwork opportunities utilise our unique position. We work with the Rivers Trust in school and this culminates in a fieldtrip to Ennerdale to study the river there and we also undertake beach-based fieldwork.

We embrace any enrichment activities be it further trips into our local area or welcoming guests into school. We have close links with the Primary Business Partnership and often participate in geography related activities that they offer. Recent enrichment has included; litter picking whilst canoeing in Whitehaven Harbour followed up by a visit from the Harbour Youth Trust to learn more about their sea bins and create art using items collected by the bins; a visit from a waste Management Officer with Elma the elephant (a full-size baby elephant made solely of recycled materials). We also have links with a school in Tanzania and this helps bringing learning to life for our pupils.

We recognise that some of our children may not enjoy as much time outdoors enjoying our local area as they would like. As well as termly Forest School trips for the whole school we take every opportunity we can to ensure that pupils experience a range of local places. Through this we hope they begin to realise the importance of being outdoors on their mental health and wellbeing and how they play a crucial role in securing the future of our precious planet.


Geographical Skills

Pupils will be exposed to a range of skills a “Geographer” uses in each topic that they study. Over time they will become more confident and independent in using these skills.  Repetition of these skills throughout the years and key stages helps embed them in the pupils’ long-term memory which ensures they are prepared for Key Stage 3.

Early Years and Key Stage 1 explore the use of aerial photographs, maps, digital maps, atlases and globes to locate places and use vocabulary to describe direction building up to the introduction of the 4 main compass points. Key Stage 2 continue to use these resources to locate places and describe features. They learn to recognise the positions on an eight-point compass, use four and six-figure grid references and identify lines of longitude and latitude. Fieldwork enables these skills to be used in “real world” situations and brings learning to life.

Click here to view EYFS framework