Intent: Handsworth and Migration  

Handsworth has experienced significant demographic changes and cultural shifts over the years due to migration. The impact of migration on the Handsworth community can be observed through various waves of immigration, each contributing to the rich diversity, culture and character of the area.

The neighbourhood of Handsworth has a long history of migration where old migrants from areas such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, the Caribbean and Africa outnumber new, and with recent immigration adding to the diversity of the neighbourhood. GP Registration data indicates that people from 170 different countries moved to Handsworth in the period 2007-2010.

Post-World War II Migration

After World War II, there was a wave of migration to the United Kingdom, particularly from the Caribbean. Many immigrants from the Caribbean, often referred to as the Windrush generation, settled in Handsworth. This migration significantly influenced the cultural and social landscape of the community.

South Asian Immigration

In the 1950s and 1960s, there was also significant migration from South Asia, particularly from countries like India and Pakistan. The South Asian community has played a crucial role in shaping Handsworth, contributing to its cultural diversity and economic development.

Economic Migration

Handsworth has historically attracted individuals seeking economic opportunities. Economic migration from various parts of the world has led to a diverse mix of skills and professions within the community. This diversity has contributed to the economic vibrancy of the area.

Cultural Diversity

The various waves of migration have resulted in a rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions in Handsworth. The area is known for its multicultural atmosphere, with a variety of ethnic shops, restaurants, and community centres reflecting the diverse backgrounds of its residents. A walk down the Soho Road offers an insight into the vibrancy that characterises life in Handsworth. 

Religious Diversity

The migration patterns have also influenced the religious landscape of Handsworth, with the presence of various religious institutions representing different faiths. This religious diversity has contributed to the cultural richness of the community. Within walking distance of St. Michael's, one can visit churches, mosques, temples and other places of worship. 

Intent: Curriculum Drivers 

At St. Michael's CE Primary Academy, our children begin to learn about their locality; carefully exploring human and physical geographical features through fieldwork. Children then build upon their knowledge by comparing their life in this locality to other parts of the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. As children grow and move through school, they will build upon their knowledge and deepen their understanding by considering the interactions between the human and physical forms and processes. Geography teaching motivates children to find out about the human and physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of care and responsibility for the quality of the natural and human environment in a changing world.

The intention of the St. Michael's geography curriculum is to inspire children’s curiosity and interest to explore the world that we live in and its people, which aims to ignite a love of learning. We intend to equip children with geographical skills to develop their knowledge through studying places, people and natural and human environments. Through our teaching, we intend to provoke thought, questions and to encourage children to discover answers to their own questions through exploration and research to enable them to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of the world and their place in it.  

All of this is underpinned by our three curriculum drivers: 

Cultural Heritage - the topics and content selected for the study of human and physical geography, in line with the National Curriculum, have been selected to reflect the cultural heritage of the St. Michael’s pupils. The geography of Birmingham, Britain, South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean all feature heavily in our geography curriculum. The movement of people across the globe features heavily in our geography as it is something that resonates with so many of our families.

Aspirations - Our knowledge-led curriculum sets out specific bodies of information that must be taught in-depth. With fewer topic areas studied and subjects valued highly in their own right (rather than as part of a broader topic-based approach), we can focus teaching on the aim of deepening pupil under-standing and avoid surface-level understanding.

Faith - Wherever possible, we have integrated our faith into the curriculum con-tent. For example, Year Six study human and physical geography via the Bible. Using scripture as the starting point for a more in-depth study of topics covered.


Each Year Group are taught two or three geography units across the year. Topics generally alternate with history. Where possible, geography knowledge is interspersed throughout the history curriculum, and vice versa, to further develop children’s knowledge and understanding of each subject. For example, when Year 3 learn about the geography of South Asia, they also learn about India's independence in 1947 and the formation of East and West Pakistan, and eventually Bangladesh, especially the impact that these historic events had on the human geography of the region. 

Early Years

In Reception, children develop their understanding of the world around them and geography through a play-based explorative curriculum. They learn about their location and that of others, as well as different cultures and communities.
Year 1

Children study geography through ‘topic’ lessons, introducing them to some of the ways that geographers think and the language that they use.
Years 2 to 6

Pupil Workbooks - We believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills. The knowledge taught across the geography curriculum is defined at the outset and made explicit to all teachers. Regular retrieval activities and carefully planned tasks ensure learning is broken down into small chunks in order to avoid cogni-tive overload, while affording pupils with the opportunity for regular practice of new learn-ing.


The sometimes negative portrayal of migrants in the main stream media is dismantled and debunked by our geography (and wider humanities) curriculum. The contribution that migrants have made to the shaping of modern Handsworth, Birmingham and Britain is celebrated. Pupils gain an understanding into the paths trodden by their own family and greater awareness of their heritage and their place in British society.

Geography Curriculum Handbook