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National Curriculum

Attainment target for geography

Level 1

Pupils show their knowledge, skills and understanding in studies at a local scale. They recognise and make observations about physical and human features of localities. They express their views on features of the environment of a locality. They use resources that are given to them, and their own observations, to ask and respond to questions about places and environments.

Level 2

Pupils show their knowledge, skills and understanding in studies at a local scale. They describe physical and human features of places, and recognise and make observations about those features that give places their character. They show an awareness of places beyond their own locality. They express views on the environment of a locality and recognise how people affect the environment. They carry out simple tasks and select information using resources that are given to them. They use this information and their own observations to help them ask and respond to questions about places and environments. They begin to use appropriate geographical vocabulary.

Level 3

Pupils show their developing knowledge and understanding of places by describing the physical and human features of different localities and offering explanations for the location of some of those features. They recognise that different places may have both similar and different characteristics that influence the lives and activities of people living there. They recognise that people seek to improve and sustain environments. They offer simple reasons for their observations and views about these places and environments. They use skills and sources of evidence to respond to a range of geographical questions, and begin to use appropriate vocabulary to communicate their findings.

Level 4

Pupils show knowledge and understanding of aspects of the geography of the UK and the wider world. They recognise and describe the physical and human features of places and begin to do this within a wider locational framework. They describe how physical and human processes can change the features of places and how these changes affect the lives and activities of people living there. They recognise and describe simple geographical patterns. They understand that people can both improve and damage the environment. They offer reasons for their own views about environmental change and recognise that other people may hold different views. Drawing on their knowledge and understanding, they begin to suggest suitable geographical questions, and use a range of geographical skills to investigate places and environments. They use primary and secondary sources of evidence in their investigations and communicate their findings using appropriate vocabulary.

Level 5

Pupils show increasing depth of knowledge and understanding of aspects of the geography of the UK and the wider world. They use this to describe physical and human characteristics of places within a wider locational and contextual framework. They describe how physical and human processes can lead to similarities and differences in the environments of different places and in the lives of people who live there. They describe and begin to explain geographical patterns. They understand some ways that human activities cause environments to change. They demonstrate an awareness of sustainable development and recognise the range of views held about environmental interaction and change. Drawing on their knowledge and understanding, they suggest relevant geographical questions and use appropriate geographical skills to investigate places and environments. They select and begin to evaluate sources to establish evidence for their investigations. They suggest plausible conclusions to their investigations and present their findings both graphically and in writing using appropriate vocabulary.

Level 6

Pupils use their knowledge and understanding of the geography of the UK and the wider world to describe and begin to analyse physical and human characteristics of places in a range of locations, contexts and scales. They explain physical and human processes and recognise that these interact to produce the distinctive characteristics of places. They begin to explain the ways in which physical and human processes lead to diversity and change in places. They identify geographical patterns at a range of scales. They recognise how conflicting demands on the environment may arise and compare sustainable and other approaches to managing environments. They appreciate that different values and attitudes, including their own, result in different approaches to environmental interaction and change. Drawing on their knowledge and understanding, they suggest appropriate sequences of investigation into relevant geographical questions and issues and use geographical skills effectively when carrying these out. They evaluate sources to establish evidence for their investigations. They present their findings in a coherent way using appropriate methods and vocabulary and reach conclusions that are consistent with the evidence.

Level 7

Pupils make links in their knowledge and understanding of the geography of the UK and the wider world. They use these links to analyse the physical and human characteristics of places, drawing on their knowledge of a wide range of locations, contexts and scales. They explain interactions within and between physical and human processes and show how these interactions create diversity and interdependence and help change places and environments. They identify and analyse the geographical patterns that result from these interactions at a range of scales. They understand that many factors influence the decisions made about sustainable and other approaches to developing places and environments, and use this understanding to explain the resulting changes. They appreciate that the environment in a place and the lives of the people who live there are affected by actions and events in other places. They recognise that human actions, including their own, may have unintended environmental consequences and that change sometimes leads to conflict. Drawing on their knowledge and understanding, they plan their own sequences of investigation into relevant geographical questions and issues and use a wide range of geographical skills accurately when carrying these out. They evaluate sources by considering critically their origin, nature and purpose, present well-argued summaries of their investigations, use accurate geographical vocabulary and begin to reach substantiated conclusions.

Level 8

Pupils use their knowledge and understanding of the geography of the UK and the wider world to analyse the physical and human characteristics of places. They explain changes in the characteristics of places over time by drawing on their knowledge and understanding of a wide range of locations, contexts and scales. They analyse the interactions within and between physical and human processes and show how these interactions create diversity and interdependence and help change places and environments. They describe and analyse the geographical patterns these interactions create at a range of scales and the changes that result. They analyse different approaches to developing places and environments and explain the causes and consequences of environmental change. They show how the interaction between people and environments can result in complex and unintended changes. They understand and describe a range of views about environmental interaction. Drawing on their knowledge and understanding, they show independence in identifying appropriate geographical questions and issues, and in using an effective sequence of investigation. They select a wide range of skills and use them effectively and accurately. They evaluate critically a range of sources, they present full and coherently argued summaries of their investigations and reach substantiated conclusions.

Exceptional performance

Pupils use their detailed knowledge and understanding of the geography of the UK and the wider world to explain and predict change in the physical and human characteristics of places over time across a wide range of locations, contexts and scales. They explain complex interactions within and between physical and human processes and show how these interactions help to change places and environments. They analyse complex geographical patterns. They understand alternative approaches to development and their implications for the quality of life in different places. They assess the relative merits of different ways of tackling environmental issues and justify their views about these different approaches. They show how considerations of sustainable development can affect their own lives as well as the planning and management of environments and resources. They illustrate this with a full range of examples. They draw selectively on geographical ideas and theories, and use accurately a wide range of appropriate skills and sources of evidence. They carry out geographical investigations independently at different scales. They evaluate a wide range of sources critically and present coherent arguments and effective, accurate and well-substantiated conclusions.

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