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To enable our pupils to ‘achieve higher order thinking’ (Geographical Association), we have introduced second order concepts. The lessons in our geography curriculum are carefully planned to build pupil’s conceptual understanding by interweaving content and concepts throughout – ensuring the concepts are accessible to our learners. We have identified key concepts that we hope will remain with our pupils long after their lessons and units. For students to think geographically and become effective geographers, they must have a good grasp of the subject’s ‘big concepts’. Alongside our key driver, ‘Eco Learning’, we ensured that sustainability was a key concept throughout our curriculum. We were guided by Geographical Association advice and ensured personalisation of our school context for the key threads we want our children to leave South Parade with a solid understanding of. Our key concepts are: 

Sustainability – How to ensure our planet is cared for and looked after, so that there will always be the natural resources available that are needed.

Maps and communication – Using maps and other forms of communication to share geographical knowledge.

Space, place and scale – Understanding the relation of familiar areas to other areas studied, considering particularly the size and scale of these areas.

Similarities and Differences (Interconnection) – Making comparisons between areas studied and familiar areas.

Cultural Awareness and Diversity – A focus on the people of an area and building an awareness of the diversity of that area through an understanding of a range of cultures from around the world.

Physical and human processes – The elements of the area(s) that are either physical (natural) or human (man-made).


Each of these key concepts are covered in each Key Stage. Key concepts of lessons have been identified however, lessons do not solely cover elements of one concept. The coloured concepts display the prime concept of that lesson but others will also be applicable.