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Geography at Hillmorton Primary School

Geography Portfolio

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The teaching of geography at Hillmorton aims to nurture a fascination with the people and places around the world, across a diverse range of countries and cultures. Many of the topics in our creative curriculum have a geographical focus allowing the children to develop a breadth of knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and skills.


In our geography curriculum, we distinguish between subject topics and threshold concepts. Subject topics are the specific aspects of subjects that are studied, such as ‘Disasters’ in year 6, ’Where in the World’ in year 2, ‘Our UK’ in Year 1 and ‘Wild Water’ in Year 5. Threshold concepts tie together the topics into a meaningful schema, as these same concepts are explored throughout the school in a wide breadth of topics. The key threshold concepts we aim to develop are:


  • Investigate places

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

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

    • Use 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.

  • Investigate patterns

    • Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the UK and of a contrasting non-European country.

    • Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns.

    • Identify land use around the school

  • Communicate geographically

    • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical features and key human features.

    • Use compass directions and locational language to describe the location of features and routes on a map.

    • Devise maps using grid references and symbols using a key.


We return to these threshold concepts throughout a child’s journey in our school, each time building on their prior knowledge, extending their confidence and understanding. The development of these key geographical concepts is the cornerstone of our geography teaching here at Hillmorton.




  • Geography topics are taught as part of our creative curriculum, making up half-termly themes.

  • Retrieval of previously learned content is frequent and regular, increasing both storage and retrieval strength of topics and concepts.

  • ‘WOW’ days to introduce topics and bring the learning to life.

  • Carefully selected trips and visits allow children to immerse themselves in their learning.

  • Use of maps and atlases frequently.

  • Application of language and skills through outdoor adventurous activities such as orienteering




To measure impact we assess the children’s understanding of the underpinning threshold concepts. Their ability to apply these to their learning allows them to access the curriculum with increasing confidence and geographical skills. We also compare work from different year groups and key stages to ensure the threshold concepts are being built upon each year and children have regular opportunities to recall learning from previous topics.



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