Our Vision for Geography Learning at Burlington

Our curriculum aims to inspire children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world that we live in and its people. We intend to equip children with geographical skills to develop their knowledge and understanding through studying both our local community and the wider world. Geography is an investigative subject and we intend to provoke thought through questions and to encourage children to discover answers to their own questions with the use of fieldwork, exploration and research. For our children, the curriculum fosters excitement about the world as well as the creativity and critical thinking that will equip them as globally-minded citizens.


Geography Curriculum Overview

In our diverse community at Burlington, children gain first-hand experiences of different cultures, beliefs and traditions.  They acquire lifelong knowledge and understanding of people, places and processes. 

In Early Years (Nursery and Reception), children explore the environment around them through our weekly ‘Out and About’ sessions where they learn about seasons and basic map skills.  Children also have access to outdoor learning areas during the continuous provision where they are encouraged to draw, write and talk about what they see in their environment. Through sharing stories (for example 'I’m going on a leaf hunt', 'Brave Bear', ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ , 'Yucky Worms' and ‘Grandad’s Island’ ), children’s early geographical enquiry skills are nurtured and they learn to identify places around the world and in the UK.

In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), children are encouraged to think like explorers, using sources, maps, globes, compasses and field work to learn through question-led cross curricular topics. Children are natural explorers and our geography curriculum enables children to discover things about the world around them.  They are taught to ask and answer geographical questions.

Children are introduced to a range of geographical vocabulary which they build upon as they progress through each year group.  Using New Malden, the UK and the world, they learn about human and physical features of places.  In Year 1 children love learning about Peru when learning about bears.  Building on this knowledge, in Year 2 children compare England and Brazil when learning about chocolate. Through Key Stage 1 children learn about the UK and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans of the world when learning about habitats, bears, pirates and explorers.

Fieldwork is a crucial component of the geography curriculum. Reception children love creating their own ‘messy maps’ of both the school and areas important to them. In Year 1 children carry out simple fieldwork to investigate the geography of the school, and develop their own maps further, for example showing routes and using keys. In Year 2 children are challenged by Willy Wonka to find a new location for his chocolate factory. Through research and investigation of geographical data, they find a country with the perfect climate for cocoa beans!

Recently children from Reception to Year 2 created models of different parts of the school and the Learning Council put them together to create a 3D messy map of Burlington Infant School. Children also learn about weather patterns in the UK and make comparisons with other areas of the world.  A favourite Burlington Bear investigation for the children is proving that countries near to the equator have the hottest temperature.

The Geography curriculum at Burlington follows the National Curriculum.  You can find the appropriate extract of this National Curriculum for Geography here: 

National Curriculum in KS1 - Geography

Please note this extract covers KS1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 which is followed by the Junior School (Years 3 to 6).

The curriculum map below gives you a complete summary of the Geography skills, knowledge and key vocabulary that we teach our children, during each term as they progress from Nursery / Reception and through to Years 1 and 2.

Geography @ Burlington - Curriculum Map

Here is a summary of the key learning concepts taught from Reception to Year 2.

Geography @ Burlington - Road Map

Here are some photos of our teaching and learning for Geography across the school: 

News and Events

We hold exciting themed weeks during the academic year to bring our Geography curriculum to life.

During ‘Around the World’ week, children learn about different cultures and countries, with each class choosing a different country to study. Children gain an appreciation and understanding of different cultures through making and tasting different foods, learning cultural dances, and learning about the physical and human features of the country's geography.

The experience and excitement of travelling to another country and learning about new cultures is brought to life through our very popular 'Pretend Holidays’ in the Summer term, when children bring in suitcases, packed with carefully planned clothes and items to visit a particular country, and spend the day travelling and learning all about their chosen country. 


How to Help at Home

  • Look at maps, google earth or atlases about countries that interest them, for example if you are going away on holiday, are reading a story set in a specific place, or have friends or family from another country.
  • Be a map collector; read and explore maps from places that you visit eg shopping centres, national trust places, town centres, museums etc
  • Investigate different routes to get to places and allow your child to plan a route for you to get to eg shops, park etc
  • Collect postcards, stamps or coins from different countries 
  • Choose exciting books about places and people from your local library 
  • Take photographs of the view from eg your back window once each month at the end to discuss changes within the seasons. 
  • Talk about places in films you watch together eg Madagscar, Lion King, Happy Feet, Ice Age etc 
  • Look at food and clothes items - where are they made? Can you find them on the map?
  • Observe similarities and differences between places eg when visiting friends or relatives.
  • Pretend to be a weather forecast presenter.