These are the National Curriculum statements for Geography.

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Teaching should ensure that 'geographical enquiry and skills' are used when developing 'knowledge and understanding of places, patterns and processes', and 'environmental change and sustainable development'.

Geographical enquiry and skills

1) In undertaking geographical enquiry, pupils should be taught to:

1a ask geographical questions [for example, 'What is this landscape like?', 'What do I think about it?']

1b collect and record evidence [for example, by carrying out a survey of shop functions and showing them on a graph]

1c analyse evidence and draw conclusions [for example, by comparing population data for two localities]

1d identify and explain different views that people, including themselves, hold about topical geographical issues [for example, views about plans to build an hotel in an overseas locality]

1e communicate in ways appropriate to the task and audience [for example, by writing to a newspaper about a local issue, using e-mail to exchange information about the locality with another school].

2) In developing geographical skills, pupils should be taught:

2a to use appropriate geographical vocabulary [for example, temperature, transport, industry]

2b to use appropriate fieldwork techniques [for example, labelled field sketches]and instruments [for example, a rain gauge, a camera]

2c to use atlases and globes, and maps and plans at a range of scales [for example, using contents, keys, grids]

2d to use secondary sources of information, including aerial photographs [for example, stories, information texts, the internet, satellite images, photographs, videos]

2e to draw plans and maps at a range of scales [for example, a sketch map of a locality]

2f to use ICT to help in geographical investigations [for example, creating a data file to analyse fieldwork data]

2g decision-making skills [for example, deciding what measures are needed to improve safety in a local street].

Knowledge and understanding of places

3) Pupils should be taught:

3a to identify and describe what places are like [for example, in terms of weather, jobs]

3b the location of places and environments they study and other significant places and environments [for example, places and environments in the news]

3c to describe where places are [for example, in which region/country the places are, whether they are near rivers or hills, what the nearest towns or cities are]

3d to explain why places are like they are [for example, in terms of weather conditions, local resources, historical development]

3e to identify how and why places change [for example, through the closure of shops or building of new houses, through conservation projects]and how they may change in the future [for example, through an increase in traffic or an influx of tourists]

3f to describe and explain how and why places are similar to and different from other places in the same country and elsewhere in the world [for example, comparing a village with a part of a city in the same country]

3g to recognise how places fit within a wider geographical context [for example, as part of a bigger region or country]and are interdependent [for example, through the supply of goods, movements of people].

Knowledge and understanding of patterns and processes

4) Pupils should be taught to:

4a recognise and explain patterns made by individual physical and human features in the environment [for example, where frost forms in the playground, the distribution of hotels along a seafront]

4b recognise some physical and human processes [for example, river erosion, a factory closure]and explain how these can cause changes in places and environments.

Knowledge and understanding of environmental change and sustainable development

5) Pupils should be taught to:

5a recognise how people can improve the environment [for example, by reclaiming derelict land]or damage it [for example, by polluting a river], and how decisions about places and environments affect the future quality of people's lives

5b recognise how and why people may seek to manage environments sustainably, and to identify opportunities for their own involvement [for example, taking part in a local conservation project].

Breadth of study

6) During the key stage, pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through the study of two localities and three themes:

6a a locality in the United Kingdom

6b a locality in a country that is less economically developed


6c water and its effects on landscapes and people, including the physical features of rivers [for example, flood plain]or coasts [for example, beach], and the processes of erosion and deposition that affect them

6d how settlements differ and change, including why they differ in size and character [for example, commuter village, seaside town], and an issue arising from changes in land use [for example, the building of new housing or a leisure complex]

6e an environmental issue, caused by change in an environment [for example, increasing traffic congestion, hedgerow loss, drought], and attempts to manage the environment sustainably [for example, by improving public transport, creating a new nature reserve, reducing water use].

7) In their study of localities and themes, pupils should:

7a study at a range of scales - local, regional and national

7b study a range of places and environments in different parts of the world, including the United Kingdom and the European Union

7c carry out fieldwork investigations outside the classroom.

Year 3 Themes & Resources

The curriculum map for geography indicates the following themes during the school year:

A locality in the United Kingdom (local study), e.g. QCA 6: Investigating our local area

World Weather, e.g. QCA 7: Weather around the world

Map skills and coordinates

You are not expected to use these units of work. If you have better ideas for content that will let you teach the essential skills and concepts more imaginatively then you should use those, though you may wish to use these resources as a starting point. Alternatively, if it is suitable, select a unit of work and use it as it stands. If alternatives are selected the curricular content of adjacent year groups MUST be checked to avoid inappropriate repetition.

Other possible QCA units of work for Year 3 are:

QCA 21: How can we improve the area we can see from our window? (alternatively for Year 4)

Plus 'continuous' units also appropriate for other year groups:

QCA 16: What's in the news? (Y3-6)

QCA 18: Connecting ourselves to the world (Y3-6)

QCA 24: Passport to the world (Y1-6, currently specified for Year 1)

QCA 25: Geography and numbers (Y1-6)