Upper Key Stage 2 - Vocabulary

The national curriculum for Geography aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
  • Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change overtime
  • Are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
  • Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
  • Interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.


During key stage 2 pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America.  This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features.  They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.


Vocabulary – Locational/ Geographical Enquiry & Skills

Locate/ Identify/ Plot

Location/ Situation

Landmarks/ Famous

Continents/ Countries/ Cities/ Capital city

Regions/ Bordering continents

Significant/ Key/ Special/ Major/ Type

Human/ Physical

Aspects/ Characteristics/ Features/ Geography/ Patterns in characteristics







Latitude/ Longitude/ Equator/ Northern Hemisphere/ Southern Hemisphere/ Tropic of Cancer/ Tropic of Capricorn / Arctic Circle/ Antarctic Circle/ Prime/Greenwich Meridian/ Time zones/ Day/ Night

Position in relation to …

Identify/ Position/ Significance

Compass points/ North/ South/ East/ West/ North-east/ North-west/ South-east/ South-west

Four-figure grid references/ Six-figure grid references/ Symbols/ Key

Northings/ Eastings/ Along/ Up

Contours/ Scale




Maps/ Atlases/ Globes/ Satellite images/ Aerial photographs/ Street plans/ Satellite mapping tools/ Ordnance Survey maps/ Digital mapping/ Plans

World map/ Map of Europe/ Local map

Geographical source materials/ Data

Primary/ Secondary

Geographical questions

Similarities/ Differences/

Compare/ contrast

Measure/ Calculate/ Analyse/ Observe/ Test/ Predict/ Interpret/ Record/ Present/ Research/ Select/ Draw/ Gather evidence/


Describe/ Explain/ List/ Findings/ Conclusions/ Discuss/ Purpose/ Reason

Sketch map/ Diagram/ Table/ Plan/ Graph

Distance/ Route/ Plot routes