GEOGRAPHY CURRICULUM STATEMENT
Our high-quality Geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.
The synoptic nature of the Geography curriculum provides pupils the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes in the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Through Geography, students build locational place knowledge and develop geographical skills through field work.
Our curriculum allows students to the opportunity to view their world from different perspectives. From a deeper understanding of the complexities of the world students should consider the social, moral, cultural and ethical issues associated with their actions and the impacts these have over space and time to make them more sustainable and engaged world citizens.
What do we want our students to be as geographers?
- To understand the interaction of human and physical geography
- To have good place knowledge
- To have geographical skills to support their understanding
- To be able to show empathy
- To understand geographical development
- To be environmentally sustainable
- To know how to be world citizens
With our students coming from a wide range of junior schools we start with the basics of What is Geography and then essential Map Skills, and both themes continue to be revisited throughout the Key Stages. Following this we move through topics that allow the students to build and revisit skills, which get progressively more complex as the Key Stage develops.
We teach physical processes at the Coast in Year 7 which are revisited in Year 8 with Rivers and then Year 9 in Tectonics. We complete each physical unit by teaching about the synoptic relationship between the natural world and the human environment.
We re-enforce the concept of understanding how the world works through the concept of country development in studying African nations in Year 7, Brazil in Year 8 and then China and also the Middle East in Year 9.
The concept of sustainable living starts in Year 7 with African countries but mainly with Food and Farming and is developed further in Year 8 with Managing Resources and in Year 9 with the geographical issues of Wildfires, Water Stress and Peak Oil.
Instilling a sense of awe and wonder is a common occurrence, seen particularly with coastal features, the African countries of Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Egypt, and is picked up again in Inspiring Places and Brazil in Year 8, then with Montserrat, China and the Middle East in Year 9.
At Key Stage 4 we cover the physical topics of Global Hazards, Changing Climate, Distinctive UK landscapes and Sustaining Ecosystems. Also, the human topics of Urban Futures, Dynamic Development, The UK in the 21st Century and Resource Reliance. The OCR course is designed for those enquiring minds that want to find out about the people and places that make our world so fascinating. Each topic develops the skills to think, study and question like a geographer. Students have the opportunity to experience skills on a fieldwork opportunity in Hunstanton and Cambridge to support their learning. Again, we revisit the skills throughout the different units and focus on exam technique throughout the course.
At Key Stage 5 we offer the OCR A-Level Geography course which included physical topics of The Glaciated Landscape and Earth’s Life Support Systems in Paper 1 and the human topics of Changing Spaces, Making Places, Global Migration and Human Rights in Paper 2. The third paper takes a more synoptic approach in combining the topics of Hazardous Earth and Disease Dilemmas. Students also complete a Non-Examined Assessment project and have the opportunity to attend a four-day residential field work course in the Yorkshire Wolds to practise their skills in the field.
We provide adaptive teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of those learners whose individual differences, such as prior achievement, aptitude, or learning styles, differ. Our teaching also encourages the review of both content and pedagogy so students retain more information and understand how they best learn, and in particular, revise. We provide supportive scaffolding and modelling, working through small steps to develop secure knowledge. When checking for understanding we prefer formative marking and a reflective approach to identify ways to move forward to obtain a high success rate.
Our enrichment activities this year include;
- Sustainable Farming Year 7 Summer 2023
- Tropical Rainforest Animal Adaptations Year 8 Spring 2023
- Micro Climates Year 8 Summer 2023
- GCSE Field Work Hunstanton Year 10 Summer 2023
- GCSE Fieldwork Cambridge Year 10 Summer 2023
- GCSE Field Trip Iceland “Fire and Ice” Easter 2024
- GCSE lunch time Help Club weekly throughout the year
- University of Glasgow and Sheffield seminar on Global Commons - 21 Sep 2022
- RGS lecture Navigating our way towards a plastic free ocean - 19 Oct 2022
- RGS seminar on Micro Lectures, People and Planet - 23 Nov 2022
- Speakers for Schools Green Skills Week lecture - 9 Nov 2022
- GIS Workshops, Hannah Wright, Geographic Data Visualisation Consultant (OS Maps) - date TBC
- Professor Tariq Modood University of Bristol. World seminar on Multi-culturalism and Racisms - 29 Nov 2022 - joint with RS department
- Commemoration of the genocide at Srebrenica online memorial. Lord Bourne, President of Remembering Srebrenica - 18 May 2023 - joint with RS department
- The One Nation Lecture by Rory Stewart, RGS gold medal winner, ex-Secretary of State for Development and ex-Rural Minister - date TBC
Our Key Stage 3 results are strong with an average Subject Progress Index (SPI) of 0.41, nearly half a grade higher than flight path predictions. All learner groups gained positive outcomes especially the ECHP students whose SPI was 1. Our internal pupil survey in Year 9 revealed a strong department with robust standards on teaching and behaviour with good content and supportive activities.
Our Key Stage 4 results were also strong with an SPI of 1.32 in 2022. Again, all learner groups had positive outcomes with PP at 1.41, SEN 1.4 and EAL the lowest at 1.09. Students commented on engaging lessons and feedback that helped us to understand how to do better next time. We also notably set regular homework, managing good behaviour in lessons.
At Key Stage 5 our SPI was 1.14 with some outstanding results for students. 13% of students go on to study Geography or a geography-based course at degree level. Many use Geography as a facilitating subject to go on to follow a science-based course in biology, medicine or biochemistry. A-Level student comments were also extremely positive especially about the marking and feedback.
87% of lessons are judged as outstanding, with one lesson seen last year as good.
Mrs Sharon Gray (MSG): Head of Geography Department
Mrs Alison Amps (AMA): Teacher of Geography and AST
Dr Jane Combrink (XJC): Teacher of Geography
Mr Graeme Palmer (GRP): Teacher of Geography