Skip to content ↓

Nottingham Primary Academy



Pupils at Nottingham Academy have access to a broad, balanced and enriching Geography curriculum. Our intention is that geography stimulates the children’s interest, curiosity and understanding of the world and how to care for it. Throughout our geography curriculum, pupils will gain a knowledge and understanding of their home town, the wider world and the similarities and differences places share throughout the globe. Children at Nottingham Academy progress their learning of Geography as they learn about towns, cities, countries and regions, always challenging themselves to compare, contrast and analyse the different places in our world. Teaching of progressive knowledge and skills, equips children to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement. Children have the opportunity to develop and apply their geographical skills through visits to our local area. Our Geography curriculum gives children the knowledge and tools to become a confident geographer. 


Substantive and disciplinary knowledge 

Substantive Knowledge in geography is the specific and factual content of the Geographical Enquiry. For example, in Location Knowledge, Place Knowledge, and Human & Physical Geography, pupils will learn how to name and locate different places in the world. 

Disciplinary Knowledge in Geography is delving deeper - using prior knowledge to build upon the children's understanding of scale and to apply their knowledge using skills. In Geographical Skills and Fieldwork, for example, pupils will apply their knowledge using fieldwork and present their findings using map work, sketch maps and graphs. The Disciplinary Knowledge allows children to practise Geography outside the classroom. 

Sticky Knowledge

For each geography unit of work, we have compiled 'Sticky Knowledge' sheets, which essentially show what we want our children to know and remember at the end of each topic. The key substantive knowledge identified will form the basis of our retrieval practice for each lesson, so that through regular opportunities to revisit knowledge, it will become embedded in the children's long term memory. Sticky Knowledge is progressive and allows for children to build on prior learning. Below are the links for the Sticky Knowledge identified for each year group in geography. 

Sequence of learning:

Teachers plan a sequence of learning within geography following the structure below:

    LINK IT!  Using our school progression documents and 'sticky knowledge' documentation, teachers consider links to prior learning in order for children to build on what they already know. Children take a short 'sticky knowledge' quiz which gives an opportunity for gaps in prior learning linked to the current unit of work to be highlighted and then addressed within the topic. 

          LEARN IT!  Teachers plan and deliver engaging and meaningful learning opportunities with explicit teacher modelling, opportunities for children to talk, ask questions, investigate and compare a range of regions globally. Children will also apply a variety of geographical skills through interactions with the local environment. 

         CHECK IT! Teachers plan for opportunities to review and check learning each lesson to ensure adaptations can be made to the next lesson where necessary. 

         SHOW IT! At the end of a unit of work, children will have produced a piece of work which showcases their learning. 'Show it' pieces of work may include writing a postcard from the region that has been studied or a detailed map highlighting human and physical features of the location that the children have learnt about. 

       KNOW IT! A short Sticky Knowledge quiz allows the children to demonstrate what they know and remember from their unit of work. These assessments are used to inform teacher judgements and also highlight any knowledge that has not been secured which can be addressed in the future.

Cross-curricular links

Our curriculum is designed to make relevant and purposeful cross-curricular links to encourage children to apply their knowledge within geography. Geography is one of our topic drivers, where linked texts are carefully selected to use in English and guided reading lessons. Links are also made across other subjects, including designing and making a simple Greek dish or creating a model of a biome with a moving cam mechanism within design and technology. 

  • The National Curriculum and GAT Early Years progression framework have informed the development of our detailed progression documents.
  • Geography acts as one of our topic drivers, where texts in English and guided reading support the acquisition of knowledge which can be applied to geography lessons. 
  • Our Sticky Knowledge for geography outlines the key knowledge that we want our children to know and remember from each unit of work.
  • In EYFS, the children explore their school environment and have opportunities to learn about their local environment. Through enrichment opportunities and trips in and around Nottingham, they start to notice features of their locality. Through carefully selected texts, children in EYFS learn to compare features of their local environment to other places in the world.

  • The children in EYFS are lucky to have daily access to our large and impressive woodland area, where they develop a curiosity and respect for the natural world, but also have opportunities to develop their map skills by going on regular hunts around the woodland area.

  • Our Primary 'geography zone' is developing, which celebrates high quality work produced across school and showcases the emerging talent of our Primary geographers. 

  • Parents are invited to our regular curriculum showcase events, which feature the 'show it' pieces of work from year groups linked to their current learning - many of which are linked to geography.


  • Teacher assessments demonstrate that children make good progress in geography.
  • Our children demonstrate enthusiasm for the subject and can talk with confidence about their learning. 
  • Their 'show it' pieces of work allow the children to demonstrate real pride in their work and support them in being able to talk about the knowledge acquired. 
  • Our children demonstrate an understanding of a range of geographical vocabulary which can be applied confidently. 
  • As geographers, our children can use their skills to ask questions, discuss, make comparisons between regions, and apply a range of map and other geographical skills in and outside the classroom. 
  • Our children enjoy a range of geographical enrichment opportunities which allow them to become immersed in the subject and encourages a genuine interest in local and global environments. 

Our Year 3 children showcased their amazing erupting volcano models to their parents alongside all their fabulous work in English and geography from their 'Disaster Zone' geography topic. There was so much excitement as the children added the ingredients to simulate a real volcano eruption!