How to Use the Local Environment to Introduce Geography Concepts into the Curriculum in England in Stage 1 and 2

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Howto Use the Local Environment to Introduce Geography Concepts into theCurriculum in England in Stage 1 and 2

Purposeof study

Geographyeducation of high quality should be able to inspire the pupils’curiosity and the fascination concerning the world and the peoplewhom will remain part of them for the entire life of living. Teaching should help the pupils to acquire knowledge of diverseplaces, resources, people and natural and the human environments,also having a deep understanding of the key physical and the humanprocesses of the earth. As pupils develop, their knowledge about theworld should also be growing and help them to have a deeperunderstanding of the relationship between the physical and the humanprocesses. Geographical knowledge, skills and understanding provide aframework and approaches that give an explanation on how the Earth’sfeatures in different scales are interconnected, shaped and how theychange over a period of time.

Generally,the skills and knowledge that encompass geography curriculum aresplit into four sections:

Mappingwhich is the knowledge and skill, which helps pupils to construct,make use and interpret the maps which include geospatial skills.

HumanGeography,which is the study of how people are distributed and their activitiesit also includes: population and migration, urbanization andsettlement, economic, political an cultural geography (Pattison,2000).

Physicalgeography.This is the study of the characteristics, processes and the forms ofthe earth surface and atmosphere. It also includes climate andweather, ecosystems, plate tectonics and landforms.

RegionalGeography.This is the physical and human geography found in the localenvironment


Thecurriculum incorporates the knowledge and skills pupils require tolearn so as to be able to construct, interpret and give analyses ofthe maps, to understand human culture and know how these differacross the earth’s surface. How the content is delivered is theduty of the classroom teacher. The curriculum is written such that,the skills and knowledge of mapping, human geography, and physicalgeography may be integrated into a regional context.

KeyStage One: Years 1 &amp 2


Thisintroduces learners to aerial perspective. For example, drawingobjects sideways and above and show the differences. Draw plans(aerial view) of some objects placed on a desk, a classroom or anyother area. Make use of a plan of the classroom to identify objectsand to explain where things are located in the classroom linking themto other objects with the use of terms like next to, beside to,behind, far to, under and any other applicable term. Give directionssuch as to the left, to the right, forwards, backwards, can alsoinclude distance, to locate objects in the classroom and variousparts of the school compound.


HumanGeographyis the built environment like bank, post office, shops, garage, andhuman activities which include local services and land uses such as apark, housing, industry, roads, farms.


PhysicalGeography.This is the natural environment: the local features which include therivers, coast, the hills, the vegetation, and the weather whichincludes the four seasons.


RegionalGeography.This is the physical and human geography found in the localenvironment. It generally introduces pupils to a map of the UnitedKingdom (Core Knowledge Foundation, 2010). It also introduces pupilsto the globe, to other countries all over the world. These countriesmight be countries that some of the pupils have lived in or justvisited. Describe the similarities and the difference found in thesecountries and try to locate them on a map and even on a globe.

Someof the geographical frameworks and skills include:

  • Use of maps, the atlases, globes to give the locations of countries and describe the features that are studied.

  • Making use of the eight compass points, four and the six-figure grid references, the symbols and the key and includes the use of the Ordnance Survey maps to have their knowledge built about the United Kingdom and also the world at large.

  • Be able to carry a fieldwork to make an observation, to measure, to record and to present the human features and the physical features available in their local area and make use of a variety of methods, which include sketch maps, graphs and plans.

Inconclusion, key stage one pupils are made familiar with the localenvironment, introduced to the basic geographical ideas and conceptsand finally they can be introduced to the spatial language andspatial concepts.


CoreKnowledge Foundation (2010). TheCore Knowledge Sequence: Content and Skill Guidelines for GradesK-8.Charlottesville, VA: Core Knowledge Foundation.

Pattison,W.D. (2000).&nbsp&quotTheFour forms of Geography&quot&nbsp(PDF).&nbspJournalof Geography&nbsp89&nbsp(5): 202–6