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Foundation Stage geography

Little girl with globe
What will your child be learning in Foundation Stage geography? We take a look.

Foundation Stage geography is where your child begins to gain a wider experience of the world around them.

Your child will learn through first-hand experiences to explore, observe, problem solve, predict, think critically, make decisions and talk about the creatures, people, plants and objects in their natural environments.

The teacher or practitioner will ask your child open-ended questions, for example, “What can you see here?” to help your child to think and make connections between ideas.

Children learn about seasons, the weather, features in the local area and the buildings that surround them. They may be shown photographs of the local area to help them identify features, for example a library, railway, church or mosque. They will also be encouraged to record their findings, perhaps through drawing, writing, and modelling.

Lesson examples

Here are the kinds of activities children might get up to in class:

  • Children practise pushing the button at the pedestrian crossing and watching for the green man.
  • During the spring and summer, the children observe the life cycle of frogs, butterflies and annual plants in the garden and pond and describe and draw the changes over time.
  • Children are encouraged to look at the different road signs on their way to school and find out what they mean.
  • The teacher encourages the children to talk about the different shapes of windows and sizes of buildings on a walk.

Help your child at home

Try these tactics to support your child’s school work:

  • Develop your child’s geographical vocabulary and awareness of the local environment by talking about topics, such as the weather, seasons, the features you pass on the way to and from nursery or school (buildings, the postbox and the zebra crossing).
  • Talk about the journey a letter takes, the role of people who help to sort and deliver the mail – where does the postman get all the letters he delivers?
  • Expose your child to as wide a range of places and cultures as you can. Remember, you can do this through the resources around you (such as pictures, maps, television programmes, posters, visitors, stories, artwork, and music) as well as through travel.
  • Introduce your child to maps, an atlas or a globe. You can use these to tell stories about different places in the world, talk about hot and cold climates, or to point out countries where people you know come from.
  • Find the geography in your home. Where in the world did your furniture, ornaments or kitchenware come from?
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