Seven Mills

Primary School

Ambitious, Compassionate
& Empowered


Geography is led by Amy.  

Seven Mills have been part of a brilliant cross-phase project on the Isle of Dogs aiming to create a Geography and History scheme of learning from EYFS to KS3.  The curriculum provides a rigorous, knowledge-rich grounding in all aspects of the subject, enabling children to understand the world in which they live, with its complexity, beauty and challenges.  The scope of the curriculum is not only to meet but to exceed the National Curriculum, for example by including substantially more than the minimum case studies of small areas in KS1 and contrasting regions in KS2, and knowledge on additional geography topics such as health, conflict and globalisation in KS3.  Development of the curriculum has prioritised careful selection and sequencing of knowledge, skills and case studies in order to build on preceding learning and to create readiness for new learning in an ordered manner. 

Children will not only develop an excellent understanding of the discipline of geography but will also be equipped with key vocabulary and ideas to support their learning in other subjects (such as English and Mathematics) and to develop the cultural capital needed for life and work. The curriculum is underpinned by key concepts in geography that enable students to understand the particular concerns and questions of the discipline. We focus on recognising and describing diversity between and within different places and environments in KS1, then we add understanding the nature and processes of change and the interactions within and between the human and physical aspects of the world in KS2 and 3. 

Geographical enquiry skills including graphicacy (use of maps and images) are integrated throughout all key stages so that they can be introduced and practised repeatedly in a range of geographical learning contexts. The purpose of skill development is seen as supporting geographical learning rather than as an end in itself.


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3


Understanding the world: Our street

Understanding the world: People and places

Understanding the world: Journeys

Year 1

Where do we live? 

Countries and capitals of UK, continents, small area case study: Tower Hamlets, contrasting area case study: New Forest. 

Fieldwork, mapwork (compass directions, location of features, drawing simple map), UK map (countries and cities), world map/globe (continents), aerial photos

City, village, house, forest, river

(settlement 1) Diversity

Where do we work?

Types of work (including farming, making things, shops, offices); small area case study: Tower Hamlets; contrasting area case study: Rural Bangladesh

Fieldwork (local centre of employment), mapwork (compass directions, location of features), UK and world map/globe

Factory, farm, soil, office, shop
(Ec gg 1, landscapes 1) Diversity

Going to the seaside!

UK coastal landforms (including beach, cliff, bay, headland) and tourism (seaside holidays); small area case study: Southend; contrasting area case study: Whitby

Fieldwork (if poss), mapwork, UK map (seas), aerial photos

Beach, cliff, coast, port, town, harbour, sea, ocean (Coasts 1; ec gg 2) Diversity

Year 2

What’s the weather like? 

UK weather types (including temperature, rainfall, snow, storms); seasons in UK; basic world climate (including temperate, polar, tropical); overseas contrasts: Amazon, Bangladesh, North Pole.

World map (continents and oceans, Equator, N/S Poles), Thematic map, atlas, globe

Season, weather (weather & climate 1) Diversity

Rainforest encounter

Ecosystems (including plants and animals, food chain); climate; small area case study: village in Amazon (including daily life)

Photos, aerial photos, drawing a simple map with key, atlas, world map 

Vegetation, soil (Eco 1) Diversity

Where shall we go today? (synthesis)

Reinforcement of all KS1 knowledge and skills so far. Following students’ interests in places to visit – UK and world (local scale). Asking questions, finding information, presenting findings. Comparing and contrasting (e.g. hotter/colder; hilly/flat; coast/inland). 

World map, UK map, globe, atlas, mapwork, enquiry skills

Hill, mountain, valley. Diversity

Year 3

Exploring the UK

Reinforcing KS1 learning and extending. UK overview at more detailed level (counties and cities, geographical regions and key human and physical characteristics, mountainous areas); Home region: London, contrasting region: Scottish Highlands, land use, change in these areas.

Thematic maps, UK map, mapwork (describing location, 8 point compass, sketch maps)

(settlement 2, Ec Gg 3, landscapes 2)

Types of settlement, land use, economic activity Diversity

Water resources

River processes and landforms (on a named river e.g. Thames, Ganges); Providing fresh water (UK). Water cycle (including evaporation, condensation, precipitation, rivers, seas, lakes). 

Mapwork (4-figure grid references, OS symbols and key), UK map (rivers), ground and aerial photos

(Rivers 1; natural resources 1, w & c 2)

Rivers, water cycle, distribution natural resources, water Interaction

Hazardous earth 

Structure of the earth; tectonic hazards including earthquakes and volcanoes; distribution of tectonic hazards; overview of other hazards; Living with hazards. 

World maps/globe/atlas, thematic maps, computer mapping

(Hazards 1)

Volcanoes, earthquakesInteraction

Year 4

South America

Overview (environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, major cities); Biomes (including link back to rainforest); Region: NE Brazil, city in SE Brazil, issues of urban growth

Thematic maps, atlas, globe, latitude/longitude, time zones, graph

(settlement 4, Ec Gg 4, landscapes 3)

Biomes, mountains Diversity

Is there enough food? 

Biomes (review of world biomes, opportunities for farming); climate zones (review and more detail) agriculture and its challenges, including responding to drought, soil; food issues (famine and wastage, transporting food, sustainable farming)

Thematic maps, mapwork, enquiry skills, world map, graphs

(Eco 2, Ec Gg 5, w & c 3, natural resources 2)

Climate zones, vegetation belts, food Interaction

Cities of the future (synthesis)

Urban growth, megacities, advantages and issues, migration, sustainability. (e.g. London, Dhaka, Dubai)

Reinforcement of all KS2 skills so far. Asking questions, finding information, presenting findings. 

World map, computer mapping, line graph, futures, describing distribution. 

(Settlement 3; natural resources 3) Change

Year 5


Overview (environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, major cities); Region: S. Spain; contrasting region: Alps (including tourism, challenges).

Thematic maps, atlas/globe, climate graph, using photos

(settlement 5, Ec Gg 6, landscapes 4) Diversity

Will the sea take over?

Coastal landforms (revision from KS1 plus arch, cave, stack, spit) and processes (erosion, transportation, deposition), coastal defence including sea wall and groynes, impact of climate change. 

Enquiry and fieldwork skills, mapwork (6-figure grid references, OS symbols and key), UK map (coasts)

(Coasts 2) Change

Energy issues

Non-renewable and renewable energy, issues, sustainability. Introduction to causes and effects of climate change. Case studies: UK and Kenya.  

Thematic maps, satellite images, data skills, graphs. 

(natural resources 4) energy Interaction

Year 6 

Follow the thing

The production of everyday items (e.g. following the production of a mobile phone from components in different countries); resource issues: mineral; trade links, UK shopping patterns and impacts. 

World map, thematic maps, data skills.

(resource issues 5; Ec Gg 7)

Trade links, minerals Interaction

North America

Overview (environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, major cities, deserts); Region: Canadian Rockies; contrasting region: Florida (including ecosystems and tourism) plus a place in Central America/Caribbean. 

World maps/atlas, thematic maps, time zones, latitude/longitude.

(Eco 3, landscapes 5)  Diversity

Dynamic planet (synthesis)

Reinforcement of all KS2 knowledge and skills so far. Following students’ interests in how the world is changing (UK, Europe, N/S America).  Asking questions, finding information, presenting findings. Comparing and contrasting how different places and environments are changing.  Change

Enquiry skills, maps, atlas, digital technologies


Our current priorities in Geography are: