Subject Lead – Ayse Barut

“Without Geography, you’re nowhere!” – Unknown

“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing 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.” –President Barack Obama

At John Ball, we believe that through learning Geography, children should develop an awareness of a broad range of geographical topics to understand a world beyond maps and borders.  We progressively build on children’s geography learning by ensuring we introduce a variety of knowledge about places, peoples, cultures and history of the world in which we live and interlink this with geographical skills.The curriculum for geography at John Ball aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop knowledge of the location of globally significant places
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world
  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
  • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs
  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length

Geography is taught as part of a cross-curricular themed approach. However, specific geographical topics are taught in each year group.


Early Years and KS1
As early as starting in the EYFS, children will begin looking at their local area, their own geographical heritage, and even touching on the concept of where our food is grown and how it gets on to our supermarket shelves. This is looked at in further depth in KS1 when children learn about the geographical features of our local area and the UK.  Children will also have the chance to begin drawing comparisons between a small area of the UK and another part of the world. They begin to understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness. Children will use a range of tools including ICT, world maps, atlases and globes, simple compass directions, aerial photographs and plans, as well as simple fieldwork and observational skills.


Key Stage 2
Pupils extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. Our pupils develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge. By interweaving Geography with historical topics such as Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt, for example, students at John Ball have an engaging backdrop against which to learn about water cycles, volcanoes, and other features of human and physical Geography.