Early Years (Nursery & Reception)

In the early years we learn about our local area, looking at different types of buildings, homes and the journeys we take to school. As we get nearer to Christmas we investigate the North and South Poles, and their different types of weather and environment.

We go on an Arctic adventure early in the spring term. We learn about the northern lights, icebergs, and the wildlife that inhabits the area. As the weather changes, in the Nursery we look at life on the farm and in Reception we head off to the jungle.

Things get wild in the summer when the early years investigate beasts big and small, and their habitats. We go on many scavenger hunts to see what we can find. After explore these amazing creatures we dive into a new topic where we look at life under the sea! We explore how vast the sea is using locational and directional language to create features and routes on our pirate treasure maps.

Year 1

In Year 1, children learn geography skills through the Year 1 ‘Journeys’ and ‘Global Gardens’ topics. During these topics the children explore the school grounds by looking at aerial photographs and completing a scavenger hunt in the playground; marking their findings on a school plan. Children use their own experiences of journeys in the UK and beyond to make links to UK and world maps and explore the differences. They also get to test their knowledge in the St Margaret’s big atlas quiz!  Trips to the Tower of London, Eltham Environmental Centre and The London Aquarium, on different modes of transport, introduce new vocabulary and enable children to explore nearby areas; making geography meaningful through a hands-on approach and first hand experiences.  

Year 2

In Year 2, children learn about the different parts of the UK, the world continents and oceans and the hot and cold areas of the world as they take on the role of weather reporters.  They also get to test their knowledge in the St Margaret’s big atlas quiz!  They compare similarities and differences between Lee and Calcutta through our pen-pal link with children from the Calcutta Relief School.  They also develop as ‘global citizens’ by learning about the challenges faced by children at this school and how they can help.  On our visit to the Manor House Gardens, children learn to use simple compass direction for scavenger hunts and plan routes using online satellite and street maps. 

Year 3

In Year 3 the children start using atlases to identify features such as the equator and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. This helps to add context to their geographically-based topics of ‘Mountains and Volcanoes’ as well as ‘The Rainforest’. Their general knowledge of the world will develop and lots of ‘Why?’ questions will be answered along the way! The basic fieldwork and orienteering skills introduced in KS1 will be built upon throughout Year 3 with trips to local woods and parks. 

Year 4

By Year 4 the children will have already developed an understanding of how the geography of places around the world can be quite different! This year the focus will be on settlements: different types of settlement and why certain settlements developed where they did! The children will use maps and digital sources of information to discuss and debate why London has grown so rapidly and in this location.  Children also learn orienteering, map-reading and other geographical skills on their residential visit to Arethusa in Rochester.

Year 5

In Year 5, children focus on Europe, with an in-depth study of France comparing the similarities and differences with home. Pupils learn about the water cycle and how the distribution of water affects different geographical environments and cultures. They have the opportunity to explore some of the different water systems in London, with field trips to the River Quaggy, Deptford Creek and the River Thames. Children also apply the orienteering skills developed lower down the school, by devising their own scavenger hunt.

Year 6

In Year 6, children use maps and census data to track the changes in land use and population which have taken place in the capital during our History of London topic. They discover more about the physical and human characteristics which make up the separate Caribbean Islands through the medium of Carnival. School Journey provides the perfect setting for the children to further develop fieldwork skills, while the importance of sustainability will be emphasised during our science topic of electricity, when we look at renewable alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. 


Working Together Group Teaching Education Partnership Ofsted