Ethos and Aims
The geography curriculum has been designed around the relationship between people and the planet we live on. It encourages learners to “think like a geographer” and gives them the skills to make sense of a rapidly changing world. Our curriculum reflects the GCSE Assessment Objectives where the application of knowledge is of greatest value, enabling students to think creatively.
KS3 Curriculum Content
As geography is an optional subject at KS4 we aim to equip students with an understanding of fundamental current affairs by the end of Year 9. Environmental issues is a theme that runs through KS3 with a focus in Year 8 on Climate Change and the solutions. Similarly, inequality is referred to across the key stage, although the topic of Development is left until Year 9 when students have the maturity and depth of experience to investigate its complexities. Interleaved with these predominantly human topics is an introduction in Year 7 to the skills required for an enquiry approach to geography and the physical topics that lay the foundation for GCSE and for life-long learning.
KS4 Curriculum Content
At KS4 we study OCR Geography B because we value the enquiry approach with questions for investigation that lend themselves to creative thinking. The synoptic nature of bringing ideas together allows students to apply knowledge in creative ways and is the basis for being able to “think geographically”. We purposefully alternate between human and physical topics in order to embed this concept through our assessments. We start with Changing Climates and Resource Reliance as these lend themselves most readily with all other topics. Fieldwork is another integral part of the learning experience with the physical enquiry being at the end of Year 10 to apply the knowledge and understanding developed in class, while the human investigation is at the start of Year 11 as it lends itself to developing the skills built up across the key stage.
The geography curriculum is resourced in a way that is designed to inspire students to want to learn about the world they live in and to care about the fragile nature of human interaction with our planet. Sustainability is a key theme that runs across both key stages and encourages students to consider their own impact. There are numerous opportunities for students to appreciate the awe and wonder of the world and to consider their ability to have an influence on how to shape the future.
Students of all year groups are encouraged to join the Eco Club who meet regularly to discuss environmental issues and to work towards the Eco-schools Award: https://www.eco-schools.org.uk/about/
In addition to our curriculum fieldwork, the geography department has contributed to the wider enrichment programme with trips to Iceland, Sicily and Sorrento in Year 9 and to Snowdonia in Year 10.