- Mr A Brown - Curriculum Leader - Humanities
- Mrs V Carnell - Assistant Curriculum Leader- Humanities
- Mrs H Hogben - Teacher of Geography
- Mrs A Bolster-Woods - Teacher of Geography
"Geography is a living, breathing subject constantly adapting itself to change. It is dynamic and relevant. Geography is a great adventure with a purpose."
Michael Palin, 2011
The Geography department’s intention is to deliver a stimulating, broad and balanced curriculum; to offer opportunities to develop interest in, and a sense of wonder about, places and people at a local, national and global scale. Our aim is to teach relevant and topical content which allows students to broaden their horizons and to open up possibilities for them to make a positive difference in the future.
We will encourage them to develop their values and responsibilities towards other people, the environment and to the sustainability of the planet. A key aspect of our Geography curriculum is to promote problem solving through the development of a wide range of skills that will prepare our students for the world post-16, both as members of society and in any career path that they choose to follow.
The National Curriculum is the basis and foundation for the themes we cover at KS3. Throughout KS3 we build on core skills which are particular to Geography, but transferrable to the wider curriculum. Over the course of the KS3 curriculum we focus initially on breadth and as our geographers become more secure and confident we apply context and depth to their understanding.
In Year 7 our key theme is ‘Living with the natural world’ where we explore fundamental physical processes that shape landscapes and how humans interact within those landscapes. We also offer an opportunity for some local fieldwork. In Year 8 our theme is ‘Sustainable futures’ where we investigate the challenges of sustainability at a local, national and global scale. We explore a range of possible solutions to these challenges and encourage students to evaluate and reflect upon their appropriateness. There are opportunities to investigate this theme though both physical and human topics. In Year 9, we explore topics under the theme of ‘Living on the edge’ where we continue to explore the issues of sustainability, as well as our responses to those issues.
For some students this will be the end of their geographical education and so we ensure both physical and human geography remains part of the balanced curriculum all the way through Year 9. The concepts and skills embedded at KS3 offer a springboard into KS4, where we follow the AQA GCSE specification. The course covers a range of human and physical topics and includes a wide range of skills, as well as fieldwork opportunities in both a physical and human landscape.
Geography is delivered through a range of teaching and learning methods. Lessons begin with retrieval practice to help improve long term retention. These activities may be on knowledge retrieval or demonstrating understanding by answering longer questions. Lessons are delivered through a combination of teacher delivery, videos, images, graphics and discussion. Lots of opportunities are provided for deeper questioning to encourage higher level thinking.
Teachers use modelling to embed key skills and provide scaffolding for extended answers and students are provided with multiple opportunities throughout the year to practise these skills and develop independence and resilience both within the classroom and at home.
The effectiveness of curriculum implementation is measured by student progress; progress means knowing, remembering and producing more and is the direct result of excellent learning.
To track progress, we follow a three layered assessment structure.
High Stake Testing
High quality summative assessments (twice or three times a year) interleave knowledge and skills to support students in developing long-term memory. Stand-alone lessons ensure that students reflect and respond to teacher feedback.
Mid Stake Testing
Typically purposeful practice tasks completed independently in lessons at least twice per half-term. These tasks are used to identify learning gaps prior to high stake testing. Students receive personalised written feedback to which they respond in lessons.
Low Stake Testing
To embed knowledge in long-term memory, every lesson starts with students quizzed on prior knowledge (Do Now Tasks). Student performance is then used effectively by teachers to identify misconceptions and plan accordingly to narrow knowledge gaps.