Curriculum links

Countryside Investigators is rooted firmly in the National Curriculum for England and Wales. There is a focus on Geography and Citizenship (for England) but all lessons also cover a selection of Science, English (Welsh), ICT (IT), Art, D&T and Maths. Countryside Investigators is also firmly rooted in Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence where links are made across learning in Literacy, Mathematics and Health and Well-being, as well as in Social Studies, Science, Technologies and Expressive Arts.

Countryside Investigators’ various elements are designed to be used flexibly so that teachers can match different parts of it to ongoing themes and classroom projects. The resource integrates particularly well with the following English QCA Scheme of Work Units:

  • Geography Unit 6: Investigating the local area
  • Geography Unit 8: Improving the environment
  • Geography Unit 9: Village settlers
  • Geography Unit 11: Water
  • Geography Unit 14: Investigating rivers
  • Citizenship Unit 5: Living in a diverse world
  • Citizenship Unit 11: In the media – what’s in the news?
  • Science Unit 3B: Helping plants grow well
  • Science Unit 4B: Habitats
  • Science Unit 5C: Life cycles

For schools using a more cross-curricular thematic approach and those following the Curriculum for Excellence, Countryside Investigators will be an extremely useful resource for the following themes:

  • Food and farming
  • The countryside
  • Protecting the environment
  • Jobs and work
  • Habitats
  • Animals/wildlife
  • Water
  • Communities
  • Our local area
  • Landscapes

Countryside Investigators reflects the philosophy of the 2003 Primary Strategy and the national drive towards creativity, which encourages schools in England and Wales to be more innovative and flexible with regard to the curriculum and make the most of links between different subjects and areas. This resource definitely assists with the Government’s stated aim of ‘providing opportunities to have a wide range of learning experiences’.

The following list shows areas of the curriculum for England and Wales, which Countryside Investigators supports.

National Curriculum England

Key Stage 2 (ages 7–11)


Physical and human geography

Pupils should be taught to:

  • describe and understand key aspects of:
  • human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water
  • physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
Geographical skills and fieldwork

Pupils should be taught:

  • use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied


Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities

Citizenship is no longer in the national curriculum for primary schools in England

Preparing to play an active role as citizens

2. Pupils should be taught:

  • a) To research, discuss and debate topical issues, problems and events
  • e) To reflect on spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues, using imagination to understand other people's experiences
  • j) That resources can be allocated in different ways and that these economic choices affect individuals, communities and the sustainability of the environment
Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people

4. Pupils should be taught:

  • b) To think about the lives of people living in other places and times, and people with different values and customs
  • f) That differences and similarities between people arise from a number of factors, including cultural, ethnic, racial and religious diversity, gender and disability


Living things and their habitats

Pupils should be taught to:

  • recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways
  • explore and use classification keys to help group, identify and name a variety of living things in their local and wider environment
  • recognise that environments can change and that this can sometimes pose dangers to living things.
Working scientifically

During years 5 and 6, pupils should be taught to use the following practical scientific methods, processes and skills through the teaching of the programme of study content:

  • planning different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary
  • taking measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate
  • reporting and presenting findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations

Pupils should be taught:

  • identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers
  • explore the requirements of plants for life and growth (air, light, water, nutrients from soil, and room to grow) and how they vary from plant to plant
  • investigate the way in which water is transported within plants
  • explore the part that flowers play in the life cycle of flowering plants, including pollination, seed formation and seed dispersal.
Animals, including humans

Pupils should be taught:

  • identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat
  • identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.
  • construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.


Geometry – properties and shapes

Pupils should be taught to:

  • draw 2-D shapes and make 3-D shapes using modelling

Interpret and present data using bar charts, pictograms and tables


Pupils should be taught:

  • understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
  • use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.


Writing composition

Pupils should be taught to:

  • plan their writing by:
  • discussing writing similar to that which they are planning to write in order to understand and learn from its structure, vocabulary and grammar
  • discussing and recording ideas
  • draft and write by:
  • composing and rehearsing sentences orally (including dialogue), progressively building a varied and rich vocabulary and an increasing range of sentence structures
  • organising paragraphs around a theme
  • in narratives, creating settings, characters and plot
  • evaluate and edit by:
  • assessing the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing and suggesting improvements
  • proof-read for spelling and punctuation errors
  • read aloud their own writing, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.
Reading comprehension

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop positive attitudes to reading and understanding of what they read by:
  • continuing to read and discuss an increasingly wide range of fiction, poetry, plays, non-fiction and reference books or textbooks
  • understand what they read, in books they can read independently by:
  • drawing inferences such as inferring characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions, and justifying inferences with evidence
  • checking that the book makes sense to them, discussing their understanding and exploring the meaning of words in context
  • asking questions to improve their understanding
  • predicting what might happen from details stated and implied
  • identifying how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning
  • participate in discussion about both books that are read to them and those they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say.
  • read aloud their own writing, to a group or the whole class, using appropriate intonation and controlling the tone and volume so that the meaning is clear.

 Art and Design

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Pupils should be taught to:

  • to create sketch books to record their observations and use them to review and revisit ideas
  • to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]
  • about great artists, architects and designers in history.

 Design and Technology

Cooking and nutrition

As part of their work with food, pupils should be taught how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating. Instilling a love of cooking in pupils will also open a door to one of the great expressions of human creativity. Learning how to cook is a crucial life skill that enables pupils to feed themselves and others affordably and well, now and in later life.

  • understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet
  • understand seasonality, and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.
  • use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose, aimed at particular individuals or groups
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design
  • Curriculum links Wales

    Key Stage 2 (ages 7–11)


    Locating places, environments and patterns

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Identify and locate places and environments using globes, atlases, land maps, e.g. use co-ordinates and four-figure references.
    • 3. Use maps, imagery and ICT to find and present locational information, e.g. draw sketch maps using symbols and keys. Interpret maps, and photographs including oblique, aerial and satellite images
    • 4. Identify and describe the spatial patterns (distributions) of places and environments and how they are connected, e.g. a line of towns in a valley, the pattern of areas affected by a tsunami.
    Understanding places, environments and processes

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Identify and describe natural and human features, e.g. weather conditions, types of buildings
    • 2. Identify similarities and differences to describe, compare and contrast places and environments
    • 3. Describe the causes and consequences of how places and environments change, e.g. by season; from past to present; the need for sustainability.

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Observe and ask questions about a place, environment or a geographical issue, e.g. Why does it flood? How and why is our village changing?
    • 2. Measure, collect and record data through carrying out practical investigations and fieldwork, and using secondary sources, e.g. use instruments to measure rainfall, use GIS, design questionnaires
    • 3. Organise and analyse evidence, develop ideas to find answers and draw conclusions, e.g. use a data spreadsheet, compare weather data.

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Express their own opinions and be aware that people have different points of view about places, environments and geographical issues, e.g. about wind farms, fair trade
    • 2. Make decisions about geographical issues by distinguishing between fact and opinion and considering different arguments, e.g. a traffic problem
    • 3. Communicate findings in a variety of ways, e.g. using geographical terms, annotated photographs, maps, diagrams, or ICT.
    Ask and answer the questions
    • Where is this place/environment? What is it like and why? What is happening and why?
    • How have people affected this place/environment? How can I and other people look after this environment?



    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Search for, access and select relevant scientific information, from a range of sources, including ICT
    • 2. Communicate clearly by speech, writing, drawings, diagrams, charts, tables, bar charts, line graphs, videos, and ICT packages, using relevant scientific vocabulary
    • 3. Use standard measures and S.I. units, e.g. kg, s, N, m.

    Pupils should be given opportunities to carry out different types of enquiry, e.g. pattern-seeking, exploring, classifying and identifying, making things, fair testing, using and applying models, by:


    Pupils turn ideas suggested to them, and their own ideas, into a form that can be investigated. They outline the planned approach/method recognising, deciding upon and giving some justification for each of the following when appropriate:

    • 1. The choice of success criteria
    • 2. Predictions using some previous knowledge and understanding
    • 3. Where and how to find relevant information and ideas
    • 5. The observations or measurements that need to be made


    Pupils follow the planned approach/method, revise it where necessary, and where appropriate:

    • 1. Use apparatus and equipment correctly and safely
    • 2. Make careful observations and accurate measurements, using digital and ICT equipment at times
    • 3. Check observations and measurements by repeating them in order to collect reliable data
    • 4. Make comparisons and identify and describe trends or patterns in data and information


    Pupils think about what they have done in order to consolidate learning and transfer skills, knowledge and understanding to other contexts by:

    • 1. Beginning to evaluate outcomes against success criteria
    • 2. Deciding whether the approach/method was successful
    • 5. Describing how they have learned and identifying the ways that worked the best
    • 6. Linking the learning to similar situations, within and outside school.
    Interdependence of organisms

    Pupils should use and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding by investigating how animals and plants are independent yet rely on each other for survival.

    • 4. Through fieldwork, the plants and animals found in two contrasting local environments, e.g. identification, nutrition, life cycles, place in environment
    • 5. The interdependence of living organisms in those two environments and their representation as food chains
    • 7. How humans affect the local environment, e.g. litter, water pollution, noise pollution.
    The sustainable earth

    Pupils should use and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding by comparing the earth with other planets, investigating materials around them and considering the importance of recycling.

    • 4. He properties of materials relating to their uses
    • 5. How some materials are formed or produced
    • 6. A consideration of what waste is and what happens to local waste that can be recycled and that which cannot be recycled.



    Pupils should develop their application and understanding of their mathematical skills using contexts and techniques from across the Range.

    1. Solve mathematical problems

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • Select and use the appropriate mathematics, materials, units of measure and resources to solve problems in a variety of contexts
    • Identify, obtain and process information needed to carry out the work
    • Use flexible and effective methods of computation and recording
    2. Communicate mathematically

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • Visualise and describe shapes, movements and transformations
    • Read information from charts, diagrams, graphs and text
    • Use a variety of methods to represent data
    Shape, position and movement

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • Understand and use the properties of shapes
    • Make 2-D and 3-D shapes and patterns with increasing accuracy
    Handling data

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • Collect, represent and interpret data
    • Collect data for a variety of defined purposes, including those that arise from their own questions, and from a variety of sources
    • Use and present data in a variety of ways including tables, pictograms, charts, bar charts, line graphs, diagrams, text and ICT


    Find and analyse information

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Discuss the purpose of their tasks, the intended audiences and the resources needed
    • 2. Find information from a variety of sources for a defined purpose
    • 3. Select suitable information and make simple judgements about sources of information
    Create and communicate information

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Create and communicate information in the form of text, images and sound, using a range of ICT hardware and software
    • 2. Create a range of presentations combining a variety of information and media, e.g. a poster combining text and graphics, a multimedia presentation



    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Listen and view attentively, responding to a wide range of communication
    • 2. Identify key points and follow up ideas through question and comment, developing response to others in order to learn through talk
    • 3. Communicate clearly and confidently, expressing opinions, adapting talk to audience and purpose, using appropriate gesture, intonation and register in order to engage the listener
    • 4. Develop their awareness of the social conventions of conversation and discussion

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 3. read in different ways for different purposes, including:
      • a) Skimming, scanning and detailed reading
      • b) Using prediction, inference and deduction
      • c) Distinguishing between fact and opinion, bias and objectivity in what they read/view
    • 5. Consider what they read/view, responding orally and in writing to the ideas, vocabulary, style, presentation and organisation of image and language, and be able to select evidence to support their views
    • 6a. Use a range of appropriate information retrieval strategies including ICT, e.g. the alphabet, indexes and catalogues
    • 6b. Retrieve and collate information and ideas from a range of sources including printed, visual, audio, media, ICT and drama in performance

    Pupils should be given opportunities to communicate in writing and to:

    • 1. Use the characteristic features of literary and non-literary texts in their own writing, adapting their style to suit the audience and purpose
    • 2. Use a range of sentence structures, linking them coherently and developing the ability to use paragraphs effectively
    • 3. Use punctuation to clarify meaning including full stop, exclamation and question marks, comma, apostrophe, bullet points, speech marks
    • choose and use appropriate vocabulary
    • 5. Use the standard forms of English: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, connectives and verb tenses
    • 8. Draft and improve their work, using ICT as appropriate, to:
      • a) Plan
      • b) Draft
      • c) Revise
      • d) Proof-read
      • e) Prepare a final copy

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 2. Writing for a range of real or imagined audiences
    • 3. Writing in a range of forms
    • 4. Writing in response to a wide range of stimuli: visual, audio and written



    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. View and listen carefully, extracting the main points
    • 2. Respond extensively by:
      • a) Recognising the main points
      • b) Asking questions and offering comments
      • c) Taking and making use of notes based on their enquiries
    • 3. Communicate:
      • a) Clearly and confidently
      • b) In a manner that is suitable for the audience and purpose
      • c) Using appropriate gesture and intonation
    • 4. develop their awareness of the social conventions of conversation and discussion

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 3. Use different strategies to establish meaning and retrieve information in texts including:
      • a) Skimming
      • b) Scanning
      • c) Detailed reading
      • d) Predicting
      • e) Using context and knowledge about language to understand that which is implicit in a text
    • 5. respond intelligently, clearly and appropriately both orally and in writing to the:
      • a) Plot
      • b) Events
      • c) Characters
      • d) Ideas
      • e) Vocabulary
      • f) Style
      • g) Register
      • h) Presentation
      • i) Form
      • l) Offering comments or opinions and using relevant terms
    • 6. Look for information by using all kinds of information organising systems, including ICT, e.g. the alphabet, indexes, catalogues
    • 1. Use the characteristics of chosen forms, adapting their style to the audience and purpose
    • 2. Link sentences and clauses in an intelligible and coherent manner; use various Welsh constructions and use paragraphs effectively
    • 3. Use punctuation to convey appropriate meaning, including:
      • a) Commas
      • b) Full stops
      • c) Question marks
      • d) Quotation marks
      • e) Exclamation marks
      • f) Apostrophes
      • g) Circumflexes
      • h) Bullet points
    • 4. Choose and use appropriate vocabulary, develop language that is both refined and robust, and use it to create effects
    • 5. Develop accuracy by:
      • a) Using verb forms
      • b) Forming negative sentences
      • c) Using prepositions
      • d) Using mutations
      • e) Using noun gender
      • f) Differentiating between ‘i’, ‘u’ and ‘y’
      • g) Circumflexes
      • h) Avoiding the unnecessary use of English words, phrases and patterns and those of an English nature
    • 6. Use a range of strategies which enables them to spell correctly; check spelling by using various methods, including ICT
    • 8. Draft and improve their work, using ICT as required to:
      • a) Prepare and plan
      • b) Draft and redraft content and language
      • c) Proof-read
      • d) Prepare a final copy
    • 9. Present their work appropriately by:
      • a) Developing legible handwriting in accordance with convention
      • b) Using appropriate presentation and layout, including ICT.

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Write for a variety of purposes including:
      • a) To entertain
      • b) To present information
      • c) To express opinions
      • d) To convey feelings and ideas
    • 2. Write for a variety of real and imaginary audiences, e.g. oneself, fellow-pupils, younger pupils, teachers, family and friends
    • 3. Write in a variety of forms, e.g. stories, poems, scripts, leaflets, posters, advertisements, reports, diaries, notes, electronic texts, portrayals, instructions, questionnaires, reviews, articles, speeches
    • 4. Write in response to a variety of audio, visual and audio-visual stimuli, e.g. stories, poems, their interests, activities and experiences in the classroom and elsewhere, television programmes, a statue.



    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Describe and make comparisons:
      • a) Between their own work and that of others
    • 2. Experiment with and examine the methods used by other artists, craftworkers and designers from different:
      • a) Periods
      • b) Places

    E.g. consider how work from unfamiliar cultures may influence pattern design for their own textile project


    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Select and record from:
      • a) Sbservation
    • 2. Investigate:
      • a) The natural environment using a variety of materials
    • 3. Organise:
      • a) Reference materials
      • b) Resources

    To develop ideas themes and feelings, e.g. collect information for a design project from the internet, library


    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Explore, experiment with and apply the elements of the visual, tactile and sensory language of art, craft and design which include:
      • a) Line, e.g. long lines, short lines, wavy lines, heavy lines
      • b) Tone, e.g. light, medium and dark tones
      • c) Colour, e.g. primary and tertiary, matching colours, cold, warm
      • d) Pattern, e.g. natural, made patterns, patterns from other cultures, repetitive patterns
      • e) Shape, e.g. shapes from nature, from the made world, and from their imagination
    • 2. Design and make:
      • a) Two-dimensional images

    In Art and Design, pupils at Key Stage 2 should develop their understanding and investigating skills in order to enrich and inform their making.


    Pupils should be stimulated and inspired, where appropriate, by:

    • Other artists, craftworkers and designers
    • Images and artefacts from a variety of historical and contemporary cultures and contexts.

    They should develop, where appropriate, their understanding through:

    • Videos
    • Digital-based resources
    • The Internet
    • Other resources

    Pupils should investigate:

    • Natural objects and environments

    They should, where appropriate, apply to their own work findings collected from:

    • Videos
    • Digital-based resources
    • The Internet
    • Other resources.

     Design and Technology


    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Use a range of information sources to generate ideas for products
    • 3. Develop a simple specification/recipe for their products indicating their intentions and approach
    • 4. Demonstrate their creative thinking when considering and recording solutions to problems that arise during their designing and making, e.g. realise that it would be quicker and easier to use ready-made materials, components and ingredients rather than make their own
    • 5. Develop and communicate their design ideas in a variety of ways, using ICT and models where appropriate

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 1. Work to their specification/recipe to make products
    • 3. Measure, mark out, cut, shape, join, weigh and mix a range of materials and ingredients, using appropriate tools/utensils, equipment and techniques
    • 6. Discuss their products, and evaluate their work, e.g. explain why and how they made their product and what they think about its function, features, performance, taste

    Pupils should be given opportunities to:

    • 7. Plan and carry out a broad range of practical food preparation tasks safely and hygienically

    The following list shows the Level 2 areas of the Curriculum for Excellence that Countryside Investi-gators supports.

    Curriculum for Excellence Scotland

     Social Studies

    People, place and environment

    • I can discuss the environmental impact of human activity and suggest ways in which we can live in a more environmentally responsible way. SOC 2-08a
    • I can consider the advantages and disadvantages of a proposed land use development and discuss the impact this may have on the community. SOC 2-08b
    • Having explored the ways journeys can be made; I can consider the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of transport, discussing their impact on the environment. SOC 2-09a
    • Having explored my local area, I can present information on different places to live, work and relax and interesting places to visit. SOC 2-10a
    • I can explain how the physical environment influences the ways in which people use land by comparing my local area with a contrasting area. SOC 2-13a
    • To extend my mental map and sense of place, I can interpret information from different types of maps and am beginning to locate key features within Scotland, UK, Europe or the wider world. SOC 2-14a

    People in society, economy and business

    • I can explain how the needs of a group in my local community are supported. SOC 2-16
    • I can discuss issues of the diversity of cultures, values and customs in our society. SOC 2-16c
    • I can identify essential goods and services, discuss the different ways to pay for them, considering the benefits and risks of each method. SOC 2-21a

     Health and well-being

    Food and health – Food And Health: Food and the Consumer

    • Through exploration and discussion, I can understand that food practices and preferences are influenced by factors such as food sources, finance, culture and religion. HWB 2-34a
    • When preparing and cooking a variety of foods, I am becoming aware of the journeys which foods make from source to consumer, their seasonality, their local availability and their sustainability. HWB 1-35a / HWB 2-35a
    • I can understand how advertising and the media are used to influence consumers. HWB 2-37a


    Literacy, Reading: Tools for Reading

    • Through developing my knowledge of context clues, punctuation, grammar and layout, I can read unfamiliar texts with increasing fluency, understanding and expression. ENG 2-12a
    • I can select and use a range of strategies and resources before I read, and as I read, to make meaning clear and give reasons for my selection. LIT 2-13a

    Literacy, Reading: Finding and using information

    • Using what I know about the features of different types of texts, I can find, select and sort information from a variety of sources and use this for different purposes. LIT 2-14a
    • I can make notes, organise them under suitable headings and use them to understand information, develop my thinking, explore problems and create new texts, using my own words as appropriate. LIT 2-15a

    Literacy, Reading: Understanding, analysing and evaluating

    • To show my understanding, I can respond to literal, inferential and evaluative questions and other close reading tasks and can create different kinds of questions of my own. ENG 2-17a
    • To help me develop an informed view, I can identify and explain the difference between fact and opinion, recognise when I am being influenced, and have assessed how useful and believable my sources are. LIT 2-18a
    • I can: discuss the writer’s style and other features appropriate to genre. ENG 2-19a


    Number, Money and Measure: Time

    • I can carry out practical tasks and investigations involving timed events and can explain which unit of time would be most appropriate to use. MNU 2-10b

    Links to other Government initiatives

     Every Child Matters

    Countryside Investigators supports the aims of the Every Child Matters initiative. The Every Child Matters outcomes key is as follows:

    • S Be Safe
    • H Stay Healthy
    • A Enjoy and Achieve
    • P Make a Positive contribution
    • E Achieve Economic wellbeing

     Healthy Schools and Sustainable Schools

    This resource can also help schools which are part of the Government’s Healthy Schools initiative. This promotes a whole-school approach to physical and emotional well-being focused on four core themes:

    • Personal, Social & Health Education
    • Healthy Eating
    • Physical Activity
    • Emotional Health & Well-being

    Using Countryside Investigators is an effective way to get children interested in the great outdoors, to learn how food is made and to get exercise while
    exploring the countryside.

    The Countryside Investigators materials also link strongly with the Sustainable Schools programme, with their emphasis on conservation and protection of rural Britain, which will help raise awareness of environmental matters.