Bright Lights, Big City

Year 1

Unit Overview

This project teaches children about the physical and human characteristics of the United Kingdom, including a detailed exploration of the characteristics and features of the capital city, London.


Inspiration Day- Pupils will have a special garden/tea party complete with complete with formal introductions and conversations that might be had at a royal party. To help prompt their thinking, ask 'Why are royal garden parties important? What do they help the Queen to do? What might you say to someone at such an event? What questions might the Queen or other guests ask?’ Invite the children to enjoy the royal role play, encouraging them to talk to others formally.


Throughout this unit of work we will be writing labels.

We will make a fact file to present our new knowledge.


In this unit of work we will use the local area and have a go at giving directions to our friends.

Unit Sequence: Learning Intentions

  1. Describe the role of a monarch.

  2. The United Kingdom. To name and locate the four countries of the UK and their capital cities on a map, atlas or globe.

  3. Physical features of the United Kingdom. To use basic geographical vocabulary to identify and describe physical features, such as beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley and vegetation

  4. What is a city? To identify the characteristics of a settlement.

  5. Human features in the locality. To carry out fieldwork tasks to identify characteristics of the school grounds or locality.

  6. Weather in the United Kingdom. To identify patterns in daily and seasonal weather.

  7. Identify the characteristics of a settlement.

  8. Name and describe the purpose of human features and landmarks.

  9. The Great Fire of London. Describe a significant historical event in British history.

  10. Aerial Photographs. Identify features and landmarks on an aerial photograph or plan perspective.

  11. Giving Directions. Use simple directional and positional language to give directions, describe the location of features and discuss where things are in relation to each other.

  12. . Comparing Capital Cities. Identify the similarities and differences between two places.

  13. Fact Files. Name and locate the four countries of the UK and their capital cities on a map, atlas or globe.


We will present our new knowledge in a fact file and share it with our class.


The class will be reading

The Queen's hat by Steve Anthony

Kids' Travel Guide London

We completely must go to London!

The Queen's Knickers by Nicholas Allan

Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been? By Russell Punter and Dan Taylor