Geography is the study of the natural and human worlds in which we live. It incorporates current, past and future patterns and processes. It allows us to investigate, assess and make judgements about how people and the natural world interact; skills which are increasingly important in a world where humans have such an influence on the natural world. Our Geography curriculum introduces different aspects of geographical ideas and global characteristics plus giving students the skills to interpret and decide for themselves about current global issues. Students have told us they like the way Geography incorporates what is happening in the world at the time they are studying; we often discuss and include issues in the news and those that students are interested in and feel are relevant to their lives.
Key Stage 3
Our Key Stage 3 curriculum takes inspiration from the ideas underpinning the UN Sustainable Development Goals and allows students to investigate a wide range of ideas and topics relevant to the world today. The curriculum is designed around three main questions. What makes places unique and different? How do people interact with their environment? How can people create a more sustainable future? These questions allow us to focus on a wide variety of topics ranging between those that are based primarily around natural processes and those focusing on human characteristics. The curriculum is diverse and gives students a wide range of topics to investigate and build their knowledge within an overall framework of humans living within a sustainable present and future. Students build up skills of interpretation, analysis and investigation plus becoming confident in the written techniques that allow explanation, evaluation and data analysis in a wide range of different circumstances. Students start Key Stage 3 with large scale ideas about how our planet works with topics as diverse as tectonics (earthquakes and volcanoes), population and migration, and coastal geography. This builds in Year 8 into issues associated with weather and climate, development issues around the world and the geography of rivers. Year 9 allows students to bring together lots of these ideas in studying global scale topics including globalisation and ecosystems and an over view of issues in global regions such as Asia and Africa.
Key Stage 4
At GCSE our students follow the EDUQAS B Specification. This course is well balanced between Human and Physical Geography with students studying three large units.
Unit 1: Changing Places – Changing Economies; studying global cities, UK rural and urban characteristics and development issues.
Unit 2: Changing Environments; river characteristics and processes, coastal characteristics and processes, weather and climate and climate change.
Unit 3: Environmental Challenges; how ecosystems function, ecosystems under threat, water resources and management plus desertification.
Geography is a very popular GCSE choice, it gives students opportunities to bridge both essay writing and more scientific thinking within a framework of data analysis, evaluation and problem solving. Students have to complete fieldwork within the GCSE course, this is normally a combination of one study within the local area and one further afield. These are a popular part of the course and allow students to build their confidence in real world situations outside of the classroom. The GCSE Geography course gives an excellent grounding for further study of both scientific and arts subjects and gives students those skills of understanding and working within the modern world which is highly valued by employers.
Key Stage 5
The Key Stage 5 Geography course follows the Edexcel course. The course is balanced between both human and physical geography but encourages cross topic thinking allowing our students to build up a detailed and complex view of their world. In Year 12, student study four topics focused on Globalisation and Regeneration, plus the Water Cycle and Water Insecurity and Coastal Processes and Management. At the end of Year 12 students begin a coursework unit where they are asked to identify and investigate a geographical issue of their choice. For the past few years we have been gathering fieldwork data for this unit in North Devon during a short fieldtrip in June of Year 12, this location allows students the opportunity to choose questions relating to a wide range of geographical issues. During Year 13 students again study four units, in Human Geography Superpowers and Global Development and Human Rights are investigated. While in Physical Geography the Carbon Cycle and Energy Security and Tectonic Hazards are the focus. We consistently have students who choose to carry on studying Geography and related subjects at university and are very pleased to send them off to the next stage of their education with an excellent level of understanding of our modern globalised world.
Geography Year 10 and 11 -Knowledge Organisers