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Knowledge Categories

Knowledge Categories


The concepts as outlined above incorporate 7 knowledge categories which underpin all learning within geography and these can be seen below.


Location - Understanding geographical location is an essential part of geography. Aspects of knowledge that may be included in this category are:

  • continents
  • oceans
  • regions
  • countries
  • capital cities
  • global position
  • compass directions
  • distances


Physical Features - Physical features are the naturally occurring landforms of environments. They include:

  • hills
  • mountains
  • valleys
  • bodies of water (streams, becks, tarns, rivers, lakes, lagoons)
  • natural resources e.g. the site of copper, tin, zinc (although mines that are created to extract them are human features)


Features that appear natural but are put there or managed by humans are human features (fields, trees, woods, forests. woodland)


Human Features - Human features are things made by or altered by people. They include:

  • urban and suburban settlements (cities/towns)
  • rural settlements (hamlets/villages)
  • leisure facilities
  • manufacturing facilities
  • transport hubs (bus stops/stations/airports/ferry ports)
  • retail outlets
  • farming and agriculture
  • reservoirs and dams
  • power stations


Diversity - Geographical diversity involves looking at how physical, human and cultural elements are differentiated from each other. Even places that are relatively near to each other can have a great deal of geographical diversity.


Some aspects of diversity that may be included in this knowledge category are:

  • various physical characteristics of a region or space, e.g. climate, vegetation, fauna, bodies of water, existing types of relief and landscape.
  • various human characteristics of a region or space, e.g. population density, ethnicity, the nature of the built environment and poverty levels.


Physical Processes - The world is shaped by physical processes which gives rise to the physical features we see in spaces and environments. Some important processes that may be included in this knowledge category are:

  • erosion and deposition associated with rivers and coasts
  • the water cycle
  • ocean circulation
  • climate change
  • earthquakes and volcanoes


 Human Processes - Human processes both influence and are influences by the physical features of environments. In this knowledge category it is important to make links between the two as often as possible so as to explore interconnection, connection and change. Some of the human processes that may be explored are:

  • transport
  • trade
  • migration
  • settlements
  • industry
  • travel
  • leisure and tourism
  • pollution


Techniques - Geographical techniques are a way of both finding out geographical information and communicating it. Some of the geographical techniques are:

  • fieldwork: observation, measuring and recording using various types of sketch maps and more formal mapping.
  • secondary geographical resources: atlases and other research materials
  • map reading e.g symbols, grid references and keys
  • using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)