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St Michael With St John Church of England Primary School

Nurture, Inspire, Achieve!

Year 5

Year 5 Rationale

In autumn 1 children will revisit prior learning by extending their UK locational knowledge by discussing the countries that make up the UK and the border counties within them. They will focus on rural and urban counties in more detail making physical geographical comparisons between two contrasting counties such as Cumbria and Buckinghamshire. Pupils will also compare the human geography of two contrasting counties such as Inverness and Glamorgan. These activities will be carried out using a range of maps to identify features and land use and how this affects economy in the area.

Pupils will also recap on OS maps, understanding how to use grid locations to locate a certain point or navigate using a compass and directions.  Pupils will use OS maps to learn about significant rivers and mountain ranges in the UK, with a focus on the human and physical geography of the River Severn and Scotland’s iconic mountain Ben Nevis. Pupils will also use their knowledge from this topic to describe and understand the human and physical geography features of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland.

In autumn 2 pupils will build upon their locational knowledge learning in year 4 by looking at world maps and revisiting the Northern/Southern Hemisphere, Equator, Longitude and Latitude. They will locate world countries across different climate zones and identify a specific region that spans more than one (Canada) to discuss the physical geographical features such as climate, weather patterns, vegetation belts, landscape (rivers/mountains etc) before drawing on prior knowledge and thinking about the human geographical features of that region. Pupils will investigate the distribution of minerals around the world to understand how the physical features of the region affect settlement size, land use, economic activity, trade links and transport. Pupils will also investigate how the physical and human geographical features facilitate growth of a major vegetation belt and the impact of Fairtrade.


In the summer term, pupils will revisit their studies of locational knowledge and fieldwork, focusing on studying world maps, this time with a focus on North and South America and discussing their differences. They will expand upon their previous physical and human geographical knowledge of volcanoes from Year 3 by looking at a significant volcano in North America, Mount Blackburn. Children will then build upon knowledge of rivers from Year 4 through the study of the River Amazon and its key geographical features, in particular, land use, settlements, vegetation, trade and key economical features along its route. Children will finish the unit by building upon their prior knowledge of land use and settlements by identifying reasons that people created settlements along the river and the importance of its global impact. Pupils will also investigate the global impact of the Amazon rainforest deforestation.