Celebrating Geography

Spring term

The children at Southwick Community Primary have had a great time learning all about the world around them this term. Take a look at what they have been getting up to.

Year 1

We started Spring Term by looking at the four countries within the UK and their capitals. We enjoyed using our art skills to create a display within our classrooms so that we can recap the countries and capitals of the United Kingdom throughout the year.

Within our topic of Traditional Tales, we looked at the tale The Great Race, a story from Ancient China. We loved learning about Chinese culture, locating China on a world globe and map, and looking at how people in China celebrate Chinese New Year.

Year 2

This term we have been looking at Charles Darwin and his voyage to the Galapagos Islands. We have located the different continents and talked about the different oceans using maps. We have located the islands on a globe and talked about its geographical position using compass references- North, East, South and West.

We have also looked at a UK map and located Shrewsbury (Charles Darwin’s birth place).  The children generated questions about what they wanted to find out about the Galapagos Islands.  They then compared the islands to the UK and looked at the weather and physical geographical features. We then spoke about the similarities and differences.

Daily, we have been talking about England and our location on the map, where we live, what our city is called and how we live in the north East of England etc. We have compared our location to Scotland as one of our children is Scottish and some of his family still live in Scotland. We talk daily about the weather and temperature here in the UK. We have also compared this to the Galapagos island weather.

Year 3

This half term, as part of our topic, we looked to make our school more hedgehog friendly. We explored the school grounds looking for areas that would and wouldn’t make a suitable habitat for a hedgehog.  We discussed in small groups why we thought a particular area would be a suitable or unsuitable habitat.

We then used our maps skills to identify habitat changes within the local area. We described how the locality of the school has changed over time. We used four-figure grid references to communicate knowledge of why certain parts of the local area are suitable or unsuitable habitats for hedgehogs. We took into account human and physical features in the local area and how these impact what makes an area suitable or suitable.

We then moved onto our topic ‘The Roman Empire’. We used our map skills to identify countries within Europe. As our knowledge of the Roman invasion advanced we then created a simple colour coded key to represent the land owned by Celtic tribes and land owned by the Romans. We used our map work to evaluate the invasion at different times, explaining which countries were invaded.

Year 4

In year 4, we have been focusing on our local area. We recapped and revisited human and physical features to consolidate previous learning. We then identified different human and physical features that can be found in Sunderland. As part of this learning, we visited Penshaw Monument and Herrington Country Park to witness these features first hand. We had a great time but it was very tiring climbing all of those steps!

We also looked at different settlements and why Sunderland is known as a city rather than a village or a town.

We have also looked at different maps and the different levels of detail included in them. We created our very own sketch maps of the area around our school. We also recapped and revisited our compass point and grid reference learning and used them to describe features on the maps.

Year 5

Our Geography topic this term has been ‘extreme earth’. During this topic we have learned about the Earth’s climate and areas of extreme temperatures. We learned that the hottest places in the world are near the equator and that the coldest places in the world are by the poles. We could then describe how climates and weather conditions vary around the world.

We then recapped what we had learned previously in school about the water cycle and the distribution of water across the world.

We found out about extreme weather conditions across the world. We learned that for a lot of the world, weather changes very little. It can be hot, cold, rainy, snowy, foggy,etc. but not extreme. However, freak weather occurrences can happen anywhere in the world and some parts of the world frequently have to endure extreme weather. We then learned about different types of extreme weather and how and why some of these examples of extreme weather occur.

We also found out about earthquakes and what causes them. We used maps to identify areas that are prone to earthquakes and looked at how the power of earthquakes can be recorded using the richter scale and the Mercalli scale. We also designed our own earthquake kits to help us, and our families survive for 3-5 days following an earthquake.

We learned about tsunamis and how they are caused. We learned that a tsunami is caused by movement of tectonic plates, and we described the effects of a tsunami. We also used maps to help us identify areas of high risk on a world map.

Finally, we built on previous knowledge of volcanoes and how they are formed. We looked at where the active volcanoes in the world are and discussed what the terms ‘active’, ‘dormant’ and ‘extinct’ mean.

Year 6

In spring term, year 6 continued our learning about the Maya which is predominantly a history topic. We revisited the location, looking at maps of modern-day Mexico and Central America and also revisited the human and physical features of the area.

We looked at the demise of the civilisation and several reasons that they were believed to have perished. We used our geographical knowledge to rule out a volcano or flood being the culprit. This is something we would like to investigate further in the future!

Crazy Continents week (w/c 10.1.22)

This week, we have had a Geography focus week in school where each year group was given a different continent to focus on and learn about.

This has been fantastic as it has allowed children to look at a continent they may otherwise not have covered as part of their curriculum. It has also provided opportunities for children to recap and over learn previously taught skills.

EYFS – Africa

For continents week we have been learning all about Africa. We have been using our knowledge of England and winter to compare the similarities and differences between England and Africa. We have loved learning about the different African animals, housing, music, weather and food. We really enjoyed investigating some African fruits, exploring the different textures, shapes and colours, we were keen to find out about the different tastes of these fruits. Our favourite was the pineapple, and least favourite was the passion fruit! We have also made some amazing African art, painting sunsets and learning about mixing primary colours and adding finger printing to cut out African animals to make beautiful safari pictures.

Year 1 – Australia

We have focused on ‘Australia’ during ‘Crazy Continents Week’ in year 1. We looked at how Australia is both a country and a continent, and compared the geographical features of the United Kingdom, or recent geography focus, and that of Australia. We worked as geographers to explore the different geographical features of Australia, including the Outback, the Murray River, the Australian Alps, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. We used our excellent collage skills to represent the different features on our own maps of Australia, in groups.

Year 2 – South America

Year 2 recapped what a continent was. We did a pop task to identify the seven continents. Then we looked at South America. For this we observed and research all the different countries in South America and looked at land marks. 

We then linked this to our Amazing Animals topic where we have been looking at the life of Charles Darwin. WE looked at how he travelled to South America and focused on the geographical features in the Galapagos Islands.

We then compared the Galapagos Islands to Sunderland. We looked at weather, landscape and location on a map.

We had a fantastic time learning about South America during Continent week!

Year 3 – Europe

We have had a fabulous week this week recapping the Geography skills we have learned so far. We were given the continent Europe to focus on from Mrs Stephenson and have really enjoyed exploring the continent and the countries found in it.

Each day we have compared the weather in England to a chosen European country and discussed the differing humidity levels, precipitation, wind speed and temperature. We kept a record of the weather throughout the week in our very own continent week book.

Each day we looked at a different European country and used atlases and iPads to research and gather information to answer given questions. We identified borders, landlocked countries and capital cities as well as many other facts.

We recapped our grid reference skills too, answering a range of four figure grid reference questions about a map of Europe.

We also recapped the 8 compass points to help the school bus travel around Europe, providing sat nav instructions using specific vocabulary.

To round the week off, we tasted food from our five focus countries and enjoyed exploring the different tastes.

Overall, we have had a fabulous week and have learned so much about Europe.

Year 4 – Antarctica

This week, is has been Crazy Continents Week where each year group was given a continent to focus on and learn about. Year 4’s continent was Antarctica and we have had a fantastic time learning all about it.

Firstly, we looked at where in the world Antarctica is. We labelled a map to show the Equator, Northern and Southern Hemisphere and discussed how your location to the Equator can affect the climate. We also compared Antarctica to The Arctic and we were really surprised by some of the facts we found out. Did you know that Antarctica has no government because there isn’t actually anyone that lives there permanently?

Next, we began to link our learning to Science and focused on the animals that call Antarctica home. We looked at the unique adaptations they had in order to survive there. Once we had learned about these adaptations, we designed our very own Antarctic animals and labelled to show the unique adaptations it had.

We completed our week by looking at climate change and the effect it is having on the Polar Regions. We designed posters to record our understanding of climate change and the things we can do to help reduce it.

Year 5 – North America

Year 6 – Asia

Year 6 have been learning about Asia. As a hook into the continent, we sampled a range of delicious foods from China, Japan and Thailand-we were very impressed! We then looked at the countries within the continent and looking at size and population density. We were surprised to see that the countries largest by area were not the most densely populated!  We also researched the surrounding seas and oceans and we looked at the main languages spoken too. We used an atlas to identify the main mountain ranges, rivers and lakes and looked at the effects over population has on these places. We also looked at levels of deprivation in some Asian countries and its effect on life expectancy-we were very surprised by the results!

We then researched the human and physical features of the continent and their effects on the general population and the amount of tourism in the area; we then looked at the positive and negative effects tourism has on these areas. We were enthralled by the Great Wall of China and looked more in detail at this wonder, from dates it was built, reasons for its construction and how it is visible from space too! 

Year 6 South America!

We started our learning about the world’s 4th biggest continent and have looked at its position in relation to the equator and hemispheres. We identified the countries and capitals and then identified countries on the 8 compass points. Then we looked at the languages spoken in the different countries and created a key to show these. We have also looked the the climate zones around the world and then, more specifically, in South America. We researched each climate zone and identified the climates of the countries of the continent too!

Crazy Continents!

Due to the success of the previous focus weeks and the level of engagement and enthusiasm from the children we will be having another one this year!.

Geography Week for the 2021-2022 academic year will focus on the continents. Each year group will be allocated a continent to focus on throughout the week.

Come back in the New Year to see the fantastic work the children produce about their given continent.

It’s Europe Week!

Summer term 2021

This week has been Europe Week at Southwick Community Primary. Each year group was allocated a different European country to focus on and research and we have all had so much fun doing it! Take a look at what each year group has been getting up to.

Nursery – England

The nursery children focused on England during Europe Week. The looked at England in maps and on globes. They used peg boards to create their own England flags and also created Union Jack flags too!

We also looked at typical English food and tasted some scones with jam and strawberries.

We all went for a walk around school and observed the different wildlife we could see.

At the end of the week, we all dressed up in the colours of the England flag.

Reception – England

This week is Europe week in school. Reception have been learning and celebrating all about England. We have been talking and learning about England and all of traditional English things to do and see. We started off by locating England on a map. We have been looking and finding Sunderland and Southwick on the map and comparing it to the Capital city, London. We explored and talked about British coins and notes, finding out which coins we would need to buy different objects worth different amounts. We were fascinated. We were invited to an afternoon tea so we all helped to prepare it. We used our cutting skills to make bunting, spreading and creating skills to make England flags and strengthened our fingers to make paper chains to decorate the room. We made cakes, scones, sandwiches and decorated England flag biscuits. We learnt to spread butter, use weighing scales and talked about the changes before and after the mixture had been in the oven. We talked about recipes and what they are used for.
We then enjoyed our lovely afternoon tea, chatting to our friends and eating all of the lovely treats we had made.

We then compared the British seaside in the past and now, looking and discussing the different clothing and swimwear and how it has changed and lots of things that have stayed the same. We talked about how eating fish and chips and ice cream is a tradition at the beach. We ordered and ate fish and chips for our lunch and then ice cream for dessert. It was delicious.

We have had lots of fun learning about England and all of our traditions!

Year 1 – UK

Year 1 have been looking at the UK this week and they have been learning about the four different countries that make up the UK.

As part of this, they took part in a food tasting session and thought the food was delicious!

They also used different artistic techniques to create the flags of the 4 UK countries and went on a parade around the school grounds.

To end the week, all of the children came to school dressed in the colours of the Union Jack flag.

Year 2 – France

This week the Year 2 boys and girls have had lots of fun during Europe week. In year 2, our focus country war France. We have learnt lots of new words in French including how to say hello and goodbye in French. We know numbers in French to ten and we have used the numbers in French, 1-3 to follow simple instructions. We impressed our grownups when we sang the song ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’ in French.

We had fun trying different foods from France and compared them to the foods we eat in in England. Our favourite was definitely the Toronto ham! Many of us disliked the Emporium French brie- you should have seen our faces! Hopefully our teachers have captured them and you can see them below.

Each day we compared the weather in Sunderland and the weather in France. We used key vocabulary when describing and comparing the weather. For example, wind speed, precipitation, humidity and temperature. We labelled the continents and oceans and discussed in detail the continent both England and France are a part of. We then looked at the seas surrounding our countries. We learnt lots of wonderful facts. We even discussed why France might be warmer than England using our knowledge and understanding of the equator.

We did some wonderful art work on special landmarks in France and England. We compared these and drew them, making sure we used lots of intricate detail. We used aerial maps to look at the different landmarks and to navigate around cities to see what the landmarks are close to.

Some of us in year 2 applied all of our learning and new knowledge to create some very detailed and informative leaflets all about France. We made sure that the leaflets included persuasive, repetitive language and we used eye catching images to draw in readers. We enjoyed using all of our learning throughout the week and included it onto our leaflet.

To end the week, we came to school dressed in the colours of the French flag.

Year 3 – Spain

Year 3 have been learning all about Spain this week and we have had so much fun doing it! We got to taste a range of Spanish foods and practise lots of our geography skills too.

During our food tasting session we got to taste chorizo, olives, olive oil, tortilla and oranges. The olives weren’t very popular but the tortilla and oranges were delicious!

This week we have looked at so many different areas of geography, including;

  • Human and physical geographical features
  • Weather comparisons
  • Compass points
  • Map reading
  • Researching facts about our focus country

We have also been practising our Spanish speaking skills, including greetings, body parts and numbers. We have even recorded a song about the Spanish numbers.


Once we had gathered so many facts about Spain, we created our own iMovies to show how much we had learned. Take a look.


To end the week, we came to school dressed in the colours of the Spanish flag. Our teachers were very impressed with how much effort we had put into our outfits. We looked amazing!

Year 5 – Italy

Year 5 have had lots of fun during Europe week. Our focus country was Italy. We learnt some Italian words and phrases (hello, goodbye, good morning, good afternoon, good evening/night, please, thank you, yes, no and the numbers 0-10). We listened to some famous Italian musicians (Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli). Also, we used our map reading skills to look at the physical geography of Italy and located mountains, rivers, lakes and cities on a map of Italy. We realised that it is easy to spot Italy on a map due to the fact it is shaped like a boot!  We used text books and the internet to research lots of facts and information about Italy. We looked at famous landmarks in Italy, the climate, currency, population, Italian history, Italian foods and famous Italian people.

We also enjoyed some food tasting and tasted some delicious Italian foods.

Year 3 – Help the hedgehogs!

The new topic in Year 3 is ‘Help the Hedgehogs’. We have discovered that hedgehogs are endangered and are at risk of becoming extinct. One of the reasons for this is a loss of their natural habitat.

We have been looking at a range of maps of our local area to observe how the local area has changed over time. We noticed that there are much fewer green areas in Southwick today than there were 50 years ago. This means that there is far fewer areas for hedgehogs to live.

We also used 2 and 4 figure grid references to discuss and describe suitable and unsuitable areas for hedgehogs to live.

Year 4

Year 4 have been looking at Africa recently and have packed so much Geography learning into this topic! They have looked at a variety of maps to identify the different African countries. They have also used their knowledge of compass points to describe their locations.

Year 4 have also recapped the different between human and physical geographical features and identified these features when looking at different African countries.

Year 6

Year 6 have focused on North and South America and linked their geography work to this topic. They have used a variety of maps to locate the countries of North and South America. They have also discussed human and physical geographical features and how these can affect trade, land use and economic activity.

Year 5

Year 5 have packed so much geography into this year so far! They have recovered previously taught geographical skills in order to embed their knowledge and understanding. Map work has been a big focus for Year 5 this year and they have looked at a variety of different maps in order to complete their tasks. They have also used aerial photographs to discuss changes over time.

They have also recapped Europe and focused on the human and physical geographical features of a chosen European country.

Weekly weather reporting is also carried out in Year 5 as this provides an opportunity to discuss the topic specific vocabulary and also allows for over learning and embedding.

Year 3

Year 3 have been having so much fun in our geography recently. As we have been looking at The Romans during our history topic we have linked this to geography and have began to learn about Italy.

We have been learning all about the difference between human and physical geographical features and can sort these accurately. We can also use topic vocabulary to explain how we know that we have sorted them correctly. We did this for both Italy and the UK and then compared the different countries.

We have also been developing our map reading skills. We really enjoy working with maps, atlases and globes and can identify the UK on a variety of maps. We have also been learning about Europe and can identify the countries of Europe using our resources.

In order to allow opportunities to over learn and practise using our geography vocabulary we do a weather report 3 times a week. This allows for opportunities to recap the 4 countries of the UK and their capitals. We also choose a European country each week and compare their weather to ours here in the UK.

Year 2

In Year 2 we have been doing weekly weather reports. We discuss the key vocabulary; precipitation, wind speed, temperature and humidity.

We have also discussed that the temperature is colder the further North of the equator you go. We have looked at maps, globes and atlases to discuss direction (North, East, South & West).

We have linked our topic work of habitats, looking at their location and how close they are to the equator.

We love to sing the continents song and even know the oceans surrounding them! We know that there are 7 continents and we can identify these on our class geography display.

Year 1

Year 1 have been very busy discussing different landscapes and have created a beach scene containing all of the relevant features. We have worked hard as a team and discussed the different features we see when we visit our local beach.

We also play guess the country every morning and give a mini weather forecast using our UK map.