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Rickmansworth Park Junior Mixed and Infant School


Geography Planning Statement - September 2023

'The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.' - Barack Obama


At Rickmansworth Park School, we recognise the importance of Article 29 and its relevance to the geography curriculum we provide.


Article 29 UN Convention of Rights of the Child: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.



We aim to:

  • Inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives;
  • Promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with an understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
  • Provide children the chance to use and develop their skills outside of the classroom on local visits, residential visits and fieldtrips.
  • Develop a caring attitude towards the environment, living things and to encourage appreciation for the world we live in.
  • Develop an awareness of environmental issues and the impact humans have aims to encourage pupils to become reflective members of society who consider their actions/choices and actively invest in protecting the planet.  

We encourage pupils to ask questions and propose solutions to environmental problems within the local community and the wider world.



Our geography curriculum closely follows the National Curriculum focussing on five main areas: Locational Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Physical and Human and Geographical Skills and Fieldwork. It is taught in half termly blocks and we use the Oddizzi scheme of work to deliver our geography curriculum. It is an e-learning resource that immerses children into the real world and builds a solid understanding of the people, places and cultures of the world. It is produced by teachers, travel-writers and geographers.  We supplement this with Digimaps for Schools which provides both children and teachers with digital access to modern day and historic maps plus detailed aerial imagery.  Teachers also use the Progression of Skills document to further inform their planning and assessment.


Our curriculum is refined yearly, but it maintains a consistent knowledge base to ensure conceptual progression. We have identified a set of key geographical concepts which children will repeatedly revisit throughout their time at Rickmansworth Park. These concepts are: Maps, Sustainability, Cultural Diversity, Place, Human processes/features, Physical processes/features and Environmental Impact. The children make reference to 'Learning Journeys' that describe how these concepts are covered in each year group. They can then see how their work relates to what they have already learned as well as what they will be learning the following year.

We have designed 'big questions' at the beginning of each unit taught rather than a general heading, for example Y3's big question when studying Climate is "What are the different climate zones in the world?"  Each unit is divided into smaller questions that, when answered one at a time, offer fresh perspectives. Our children can feel a sense of progress as they tackle the bigger, more comprehensive question by asking and then responding to these manageable questions


As well as following Oddizzi, in each year group we have planned local fieldwork activities that seek to solve real-life problems, with a genuine purpose, audience and outcome. This helps our pupils understand what it means to ‘behave like a geographer’. It also allows them to be active citizens, caring for and having a say in how their local environment in maintained. 



In Reception, opportunities are planned from the Early Years Foundation Stage in the EYFS Specific Area of ‘Understanding the World’. Geography is taught through stories, through active learning and through creating and thinking critically.

In EYFS the children:

  • Explore the natural world around them.
  • Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries
  • Explore the natural world around them.
  • Describe what they see and hear and feel while outside.
  • Recognise some environments are different from the one in which they live.
  • Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them

When planning and teaching geography, teachers will ensure that all children have equal access to the curriculum by implementing the following: modelling, structured questioning, adapting resources and using a variety of teaching strategies to ensure engagement and address differing learning styles.



At Rickmansworth Park, the impact of quality first teaching in geography fosters a love and enthusiasm for the subject. Well-constructed and well-taught lessons provide pupils with opportunities to research and apply skills independently – skills essential for lifelong learning

Pupils will leave KS2 with a strong knowledge of their local area and a confidence of the location of other countries and cities around the world.


Knowledge and skills will have developed progressively to not only enable children to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum but to prepare pupils to become competent geographers in secondary education.  We want pupils to have thoroughly enjoyed learning about geography.

What makes our Geography curriculum exceptional?


1. It is underpinned by aims, values & purpose.

Geography matters because in our diverse society children need more than ever before, to understand other people and cultures.

e.g. Article 29 UN Convention of Rights of the Child: Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment.

Lessons are based on the Guiding Principles of Rickmansworth Park School:

-To provide an education which develops the whole child.

-To provide a broad and balanced curriculum with a strong focus on enrichment opportunities.

-To teach children to understand their own rights and to respect the rights of others.

2. It develops the whole person – knowledge, skills, understanding & attitudes.

Skills – children learn to observe and interpret the environment, communicate their findings in drawings, charts and diagrams, undertake fieldwork, record and analyse data using ICT

Knowledge – understand distant places and environments, recognise how people from all over the world are linked through travel and trade, study different places, learn about major rivers, mountains and cities. Understanding and Attitudes – consider environment issues and develop a multicultural understanding.


3. It is broad and balanced.

Throughout the Key stages, children are taught a range of geographical skills

All aspects of the National Curriculum are covered.

Children gain an understanding of their place in the world. They look at how other people live across the world and develop an appreciation of their own lives.

Y3 study the location and human/physical features of Rio de Janeiro and South-East Brazil

Y4 study the location and features of the Amazon, situating it within the globe and the South American continent and compare and contrast it with South-East Brazil

Y5 study the names and locations of the world’s principal mountains, volcanoes and areas at risk from earthquakes

Y6 study the location and features of the UK and their local region when seen at a range of scales, from the global to the immediately local


4. There is clear progression in subject knowledge and skills.

The Oddizzi scheme of work ensures coverage and progression across the school. Teachers use a progression of skills document when planning their lessons.

There is a balance between, place knowledge, field work, map skills, physical and human geography.


5. It is filled with rich first-hand experiences.

Staff work incredibly hard to enrich the Geography curriculum:

Reception go for a walk around the school and draw maps when they walk to the Library.


Y1 walk around the school grounds to look for evidence of the changing seasons.

Y2 look at different types of houses in Rickmansworth.

Y3 examine data to learn about different climates.

Y4 walk around Rickmansworth to look at the variety of transport that links us to other areas. They are also hoping to plan a visit to Kew gardens

Y5 visit Rickmansworth High Street to learn about the variety of shops which cater for the local community. They also use Google Earth to visit peaks of famous mountain ranges

We use Digimaps for Schools which gives teachers and pupils online access to maps and aerial imagery.

Y6 interview local residents to see if the amenities of Rickmansworth meet the needs of the local community.


6. It is flexible and responsive to individual needs and interests.

Children talk about their holidays and we link this to work about the world.

Teachers take the opportunity to use the knowledge of children who come from another country, e.g. Russia, Spain, Romania


7. It has an eye on the future and the needs of future citizens.

Children develop an attitude and form opinions about current issues, appreciate tensions and uncertainties and consider the future of the world and its people, e.g. global warning, sustainability

Use of interactive white boards, digital cameras and the internet allow our children to record and interpret the world in new ways.

Children have also experienced:

Google Expeditions

Oddizzi Virtual field trips, for example, Y5 visit Mount Everest!

8. It encourages the use of environments and expertise beyond the classroom.

Field work gives our children direct experience of the real world.

Y1 walk around the school grounds to look for evidence of the changing seasons.

Y2 look at different types of houses in Rickmansworth.

Y3 visit the Aquadrome and interview local residents to discover who uses it and why.

Y4 walk around Rickmansworth to look at the variety of transport modes that links Rickmansworth to other areas. They also visit the River Chess and observe its physical features using a range of methods (sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies). They then compare it to the Amazon.

Y5 visit Rickmansworth High Street to learn about the variety of shops which cater for the local community.

Y6 interview local residents to see if the amenities of Rickmansworth meet the needs of the local community. They also plan a UK road trip when they go on their school journey to Wales using maps and atlases.


9. It makes meaningful links between areas of knowledge across the curriculum.

Links are frequently made between Geography and History, e.g.

Y1 study the history of Lord Ebury’s railway and visit the Ebury Way when studying the local area.

Y3 study compass points when learning about magnets.

Y4 study the water cycle in Science when studying Rivers


10. It has a local, national and global dimension.

See curriculum overview.

Children develop an understanding that we are all interdependent global citizens with a responsibility to the planet and to each other, e.g.

Earth’s resources –energy

ODDIZZI what is happening in the world this week


11. It is supported by high quality Subject Leader CPD.

The Geography lead introduced and implemented a new geography scheme, Oddizzi, to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum and progression between year groups.

She also attended a course on assessment and progression.           


12. SMSC is embedded within the curriculum.

(See SMCS Subject Statement)

Social, Moral, Spiritual, Cultural Links – Geography


Our Geography curriculum promotes children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, ensuring that they are reflective and responsible citizens.



Geography supports spiritual development by promoting a sense of wonder and fascination with the physical and human world. An understanding of scale is an important aspect of Geography and how small changes in climate can have far reaching consequences. Understanding that all life is linked together and create the processes that make Earth the only known inhabited planet.



Geography supports moral development by looking at a range of moral issues such how the development of cities have put pressure on wildlife. We cover moral issues of an ever increasing population and the different approaches taken by countries to tackle the problem. We explore issues of poverty and the moral dilemma of importing food and the consequences of it on global warming.



Geography supports social development because social issues are common themes within geography. Children discuss issues such as global warming with an emphasis on how they can make a difference by making small changes to their lifestyles.



Geography supports cultural development by helping children to understanding different cultures. Through geography children look at how different cultures and beliefs can impact on the environment and human issues.  Children look at different places such as South America and are introduced to their customs and traditions allowing pupils to develop their humility and an understanding of the world as a global community.