What Geography means at St Thomas…

Geography is understanding and describing the Earth, the study of its landscape, peoples, features and processes. It is appreciating the beauty of these and developing a sense of wonder and awe at the ever changing nature of our planet. The study of Geography encourages us to think about our responsibilities towards each other and our shared home.

Geography at St Thomas

Our aim in teaching Geography at St Thomas’ is to inspire children to become curious and fascinated about the world and its people.

Children will learn about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deepening understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes.  Geography is taught through cross-curricular themes and there is a real focus on the children developing their own geographical skills including map reading, using aerial photos and satellite images, globes, diagrams and the internet.

We aim to broaden the children’s world knowledge through the study of different continents, oceans, countries and capitals.  This learning is enhanced through our close friendship with Busenya Primary School, which allows our pupils to communicate with children from a different background to their own.

We also focus on our own country and allow children to explore geographic and human features such as mountains, rivers, towns and cities.  We put particular focus on how these physical and human processes interact and affect each other.   This is made visual to the children through the teaching of mapping skills, using physical and digital resources.

A key part in our delivery of the Geography curriculum is involving the children in plenty of outdoor learning experiences.  This can be through local field studies or through our varied and exciting residential trips.

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At St Thomas of Canterbury School, Geography offers an opportunity for all children to be introduced to the wonders of our world. Geography is taught through discovery and investigation, both of which appeal greatly to children!


Geography at St Thomas’ offers children an opportunity to build on their interests and develop their knowledge of both human and natural processes and features as well as how the two are connected. Our curriculum ensures that, as children progress through the school, they are taught the skills and knowledge they need in order to deepen their understanding of people, places, natural resources, features and processes as well as how the natural and human world interact. Children develop lifelong learning skills with the use of our S=P+A+C+E philosophy.


Geography provides fantastic opportunities for learning transferable skills as well as making links with other areas the curriculum. Increasingly, we are becoming aware of the importance of the natural world to our mental health and the future of our planet is something which is of grave importance. Enthusing our children and developing in them a delight in all that makes up our planet, its peoples and places, is therefore a high priority.


Here at St Thomas’, children enjoy their geography lessons as they are provided with engaging opportunities to explore both their local and wider world. They are given the knowledge, skills and vocabulary to explore and make sense of their environment through field trips and case studies as well as being allowed time to “sink deeper into the subject and do different things”. In order to ensure that knowledge and skills are taught progressively, children rediscover and revise key understanding at the beginning of each module of lessons as well as throughout the year. This allows the teacher to identify next steps and be certain that the children are strengthening and building on their existing knowledge instead of merely repeating it.


Lessons are carefully planned and designed to engage, include, enthuse and challenge all learners, taking account of their existing knowledge and interests. Children are also encouraged to identify their achievements and next steps through learning reflections. This careful planning also involves making purposeful links to other subject areas, which allows children to identify the relevance and importance of their learning. Going Deeper challenges encourage children to deepen their knowledge and skills as well as approach problems confidently with a positive attitude.


Collaborative challenges further enable children to discuss their ideas and produce work using subject-specific vocabulary. Geography lessons are well resourced in order to best support learning through a wide range of methods. Children have access to a variety of maps, globes, physical and virtual resources to support and strengthen their learning. Our local area provides our learners with an excellent opportunity to observe first-hand the features and processes they discover during their lessons as well as develop key field study skills. Through participation in the Eco-Schools Award scheme, children become aware of positive steps they can take to protect the places they learn about in their lessons.


Our broad and balanced geography curriculum teaches children not only the knowledge and skills relevant to their geography lessons but also gives them the confidence and ability to apply this learning in other subject areas.  Progress in geography is carefully monitored and assessed by the class teacher and subject leader which ensures that most children make expected or greater than expected progress across the year. Teachers make use of developmental marking to provide timely and relevant feedback to children.


Through detailed, often cross curricula study, children become aware of links between places and their relevance in a wider geographical context.  The children’s understanding of geography as well as their spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness is greatly aided by our strong links with Busenya School in Uganda through the Guildford Mukono Link. Thus the children not only develop a strong connection with their local area but with areas which may be less familiar to them.


Children are aware of the importance of their geography learning to their future. They are conscious of global issues and the part they can play in taking care of our shared home as well as being equipped with a multitude of skills which will be invaluable to them as they continue with their education.