Characteristics of a Geographer

We believe that children who excel in Geography have these essential characteristics:

• An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
• An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.
• An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
• Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.
• The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.
• Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.
• Highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.
• A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
• The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.



In order to excel in Geography, we believe that children throughout our school must achieve the following learning objectives:

•    To investigate places
•    To investigate patterns
•    To communicate geographically

Specifically, the children should master the skills below:

Learning Objectives

Key Stage 1

Milestone 1

Lower Key Stage 2

Milestone 2

Upper Key Stage 2

Milestone 3

To investigate places • Ask and answer geographical questions (such as: What is this place like? What or who will I see in this place? What do people do in this place?).

• Identify the key features of a location in order to say whether it is a city, town, village, coastal or rural area.

• Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied.

• Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of the school and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.

• Use aerial images and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic physical features.

• Name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.

• Name and locate the world’s continents and oceans.

• Ask and answer geographical questions about the physical and human characteristics of a location.

• Explain own views about locations, giving reasons.

• Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features.

• Use fieldwork to observe and record the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods including sketch maps, plans and graphs and digital technologies.

• Use a range of resources to identify the key physical and human features of a location.

• Name and locate counties and cities of the United

Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, including hills, mountains, cities, rivers, key topographical features and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.

• Name and locate the countries of Europe and identify their main physical and human characteristics.

• Collect and analyse statistics and other information in order to draw clear conclusions about locations.

• Identify and describe how the physical features affect the human activity within a location.

• Use a range of geographical resources to give detailed descriptions and opinions of the characteristic features of a location.

• Use different types of fieldwork sampling (random and systematic) to observe, measure and record the human and physical features in the local area. Record the results in a range of ways.

• Analyse and give views on the effectiveness of different geographical representations of a location (such as aerial images compared with maps and topological maps – as in London’s Tube map).

• Name and locate some of the countries and cities of the world and their identifying human and physical characteristics, including hills, mountains, rivers, key topographical features and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time.

• Name and locate the countries of North and South America and identify their main physical and human characteristics.

To investigate patterns • Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom and of a contrasting non-European country.

• Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles.

• Identify land use around the school.

• Name and locate the Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle and date time zones. Describe some of the characteristics of these geographical areas.

• Describe geographical similarities and differences between countries.

• Describe how the locality of the school has changed over time.

• Identify and describe the geographical significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, and time zones (including day and night).

• Understand some of the reasons for geographical similarities and differences between countries.

• Describe how locations around the world are changing and explain some of the reasons for change.

• Describe geographical diversity across the world.

• Describe how countries and geographical regions are interconnected and interdependent.

To communicate geographically • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:

key physical features, including: beach, coast, forest, hill, mountain, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation and weather.

key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office and shop.

• Use compass directions (north, south, east and west) and locational language (e.g. near and far) to describe the location of features and routes on a map.

• Devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key. Use simple grid references (A1, B1).

• Describe key aspects of:

physical geography, including: rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes and the water cycle.

human geography, including: settlements and land use.

• Use the eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and key to communicate knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.

• Describe and understand key aspects of:

physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes and the water cycle.

human geography, including: settlements, land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals, and water supplies.

• Use the eight points of a compass, four-figure grid references, symbols and a key (that uses standard Ordnance Survey symbols) to communicate knowledge of the United Kingdom and the world.

• Create maps of locations identifying patterns (such as: land use, climate zones, population densities, height of land).

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