Geography at Marlborough Primary School

‘Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?’ Michael Palin.

Geography is the study of places on earth and their relationship with each other. We aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world in which we live.

During Year 1 the children start their exploration close to home, building their confidence with map reading and locating places familiar to them. Much of the vocabulary used is generated through observations and key features of the area around them.

Using their holidays as experiences, year 1 also explore the seaside. They compare and contrast human and physical features of the local area to the coast.

In year 2, the children begin to take their learning of geography across the world. Starting with map reading and creating maps to help new faces get to know the local area the children then compare their local area to a range of other countries. They look at human and physical features between different countries, the difference in weather and climates as well as different activities that you can take part in in different countries. The children gain a greater understanding of the world we live in and how this differs from landscape, to the weather, to cultures and celebrations.

In Year 3, the children study the local area in more detail. They build on their knowledge of map making and grid references as well as developing their understanding of the 8 compass points. On top of this, year 4 will integrate geography with their history topics of the Romans and the Egyptians with a focus on landscapes and how land has developed over time.

Year 4 learn about the water cycle and each stage of it. This will also include the learning of rivers and different types of and volumes of water and how they are created. They also explore volcanoes- looking at live and extinct ones, the eruptions and the science behind them. Mountains are also included in this.

Physical geography is taught in year 5 with a focus on vegetation belts and further learning to follow up from year 4’s teaching. Natural resources and the general distribution of them is a general focus in year 5. Using maps, they also locate countries of North and South America and look at climate zones/biomes

During year 5’s 4 day residential to Plas Nantglyn, the children experience many opportunities to develop their eight-point compass knowledge, four-figure grid references, symbols and keys-Old and new OS maps.

Year 6 look at mapping and complete a comparative study on the UK vs China.

Running through all of these topics the children gain an understanding of different geographical processes, and how the physical and human characteristics of places relate to one another. The children collect, analyse and communicate a range of data in a variety of ways, including through the use of first hand fieldwork. They learn to interpret information from a variety of sources and develop map skills. All of these objectives are taught where possible by linking the learning to themes in the classroom.