Purpose of study

A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination
about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources
and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s
key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about
the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between
physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and
environments. Geographical knowledge provides the tools and approaches that explain
how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over


The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of places, seas and oceans, including their defining physical and human characteristics
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time

are competent in the geographical skills needed to:

  • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
  • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps and writing at length.