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Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School
Learn to Love – Love to Learn!



We teach Geography with key substantive concepts that children use throughout their learning in each year group, from Nursery-Year 6, to make connections and links with their prior learning and prepare them for what they are learning next. We always compare and link back to 'Where does Swaffham fit into the wider world?' and the place we are exploring. 

These concepts are:

  • Location
  • Place
  • Physical and Human characteristics 

At Heartwood we care about our beautiful planet and the world that we live in. Through the Geography curriculum, we learn the knowledge and skills to become Geographers who understand how to 'make a difference to', embrace, protect and love our local environment, the UK and beyond whilst being conscious of our foot print on the world. 

We have been awarded our Eco-school flag! Our Geography curriculum has heavily influenced this.


Environment and Lifestyle 

In addition to the National Curriculum we teach Environment and Lifestyle which is adapted from the Swedish curriculum. 

Children are taught:

  • How food and other goods are produced, transported, and how they impact the environment and health 
  • How to be economical and make effective use of food and other consumption goods at home
  • Some different forms of environmental labeling of products and their importance
  • Choice and use of goods at home, and how they impact the environment and health
  • Recycling in the home and in the local area and how it functions 
  • Current societal issues concerning personal finances, food and health 

Local Environment  


Year 2 have been working hard to make a difference to our local environment. Through their Science topic they have been exploring the impact of different materials on the environment and the potential dangers. Using their knowledge of our local environment, they went litter picking. The found lots of plastic and brought it back to school, leading onto a discussion about the effect this may have had on the local wildlife and residents. 

Look out for the November 2020 edition of the local Swaffham Newsletter magazine for an article that they have written about their community work. 


Year 1

Squirrel Class have been learning about Stonehenge and landmarks in London.

Earth Day April 2021

Year 3 planted 2 trees on Earth Day. They have been learning about the importance of trees and how they can help reduce the effects of Carbon Dioxide on the environment and global warming.

Very simply, geography is about understanding the world by: comparing locations; investigating; researching different sources; writing and talking about places; asking and answering questions. 

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

It may seem strange to think about your 3 or 4 year old child as a geographer. However, the years from birth to age five provide a first opportunity to see how your child interacts with their environment — and how the environment influences them. The early learning goals at EYFS aim to guide your child onto make sense of their physical world and their community by exploring, observing, and finding out about people, places, technology and the environment.


3 & 4-year-olds will be learning to:

Children in Reception will be learning to:


Understanding the World

  • Know that there are different countries in the world and talk about the differences they have experienced or seen in photos.
  • Begin to understand the need to respect and care for the natural environment and all living things.


  • Draw information from a simple map.
  • Understand that some places are special to members of their community.
  • Recognise some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries.
  • Recognise some environments that are different to the one in which they live.
  • Understand the effect of changing seasons on the natural world around them.



People Culture and Communities

  • Describe their immediate environment using knowledge from observation, discussion, stories, non-fiction texts and maps.
  • Know some similarities and differences between different religious and cultural communities in this country, drawing on their experiences and what has been read in class.
  • Explain some similarities and differences between life in this country and life in other countries, drawing on knowledge from stories, non-fiction texts and – when appropriate – maps. 


Key Stage 1 

In Years 1 and 2, your child will be asked to begin to develop a geographical vocabulary by learning about where they live, as well as one other small area of the United Kingdom and a small area in a contrasting non-European country. They will learn about weather patterns in the United Kingdom and hot and cold areas of the world. They will use ICT, world maps, atlases and globes, simple compass directions, aerial photographs and plans, as well as simple fieldwork and observational skills. Schools have flexibility to choose the areas they teach and there is considerable variation between schools in their approaches.

Key Stage 2

In Years 3 to 6, the geography curriculum retains some flexibility, and builds and expands on previous knowledge. There are three focus areas:

  • Locational knowledge
  • Place knowledge
  • Human and physical geography

Locational knowledge examines latitude, longitude and time zones. Your child will use maps to focus on Europe, North and South America, concentrating on regions, key physical / human characteristics, countries, and major cities. They will also work on locating the counties and cities of the United Kingdom, and start to explore their human and physical characteristics.

Children also examine geographical similarities and differences by comparing the geography of a region of the United Kingdom with a region in a European country, and with a region in either North or South America. This is part of the place knowledgeaspect of the curriculum. 

For human and physical geography, your child will be taught to describe and understand key aspects of geography, for example: climate zones, rivers, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, the water cycle, types of settlement, economic activity and the distribution of natural resources.

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