For all students to build a sound understanding of human and physical geography topics, allowing them to develop an analytical and evaluative approach to understanding the human and physical processes of the world, through case studies and topical issues which operate at the local, national and global scale.
The geography curriculum has been designed to inspire curiosity about the world we live in and equip students with a toolkit to help answer some of the key questions and challenges facing society in the 21st century, such as: Is overpopulation or climate change the greatest challenge to our future? Should people ever protect any coastline? What is the best pathway to closing the development gap? Using the national curriculum as a guideline we have selected a range of themes which promote locational and place knowledge throughout both Human and Physical Geography. Topics have been chosen to cover Local, National and Global elements of the national curriculum.
The skills and knowledge developed by students in their geography education at St Anthony’s builds each year to allow students to ultimately understand the complex interrelationships between human and physical processes, operating at varying scales within the domain of geography. The sequence of learning has been designed to support students in building their knowledge and confidence to ensure all learners can access learning in the geography classroom. Lessons and assessments use scaffolding designed to meet the individual needs of students with the aim of reducing the level of scaffolding as appropriate to ensure equity of learning experience. Local examples are used where possible to improve student understanding and to make connections with the wider world.
In geography we have a clear structure to our lessons which are split into four sections: connect, activate, demonstrate and consolidate. This consistent structure sets a robust climate for learning and embeds our high expectations of all learners in the geography classroom. Connect tasks use memory recall to retrieve prior learning and long-term memory from previous lesson/topic. This means students are ready to attach the new information in the lesson. Connect tasks may also be based on responding to teacher feedback on an individual or whole class basis to enable the teacher to move students on in their learning journey. Activate tasks introduce new information to students which is then used in demonstrate activities which aim to incorporate a range of geographical skills where appropriate. Finally, consolidation tasks require students to apply their learning to an exam style question or alternative formative assessment or further research as homework, which then feeds into future learning or assessment.
In Year 7 students are introduced to Key Stage 3 Geography from varying starting points, their knowledge is built on by introducing students to the three key strands of geography; human, physical and environmental geography. Students then focus on Work, Rest and Play in the UK. They gain a deeper understanding of how jobs change over time and look at UK and local case studies to do this. This helps to develop their place and locational knowledge. Once their understanding of key concepts has been applied to familiar and local settings this is then built on by studying World Environmental Issues. Students will have the opportunity to explore the damage of plastics in the ocean along with climate change and how we can make tourism sustainable. Moving on from here students are introduced to the human and physical geography of Russia and the Middle East, this allows them to develop their understanding of key concepts in geography such as sustainable development and cultural awareness. Finally, students look at the ever-changing world and focus on case studies in both Africa and China.
In Year 8 geography students build on the knowledge they have gained about human and physical processes in geography and explore this in more detail, first in world cities then by exploring extreme weather, in the local and global context. Finally, Year 8 students study the World of Water and investigate further the physical processes that shape our landscape. Students will further improve their locational knowledge of the North East coastline and study the ever-changing nature of rivers and their importance in the development of settlements. Finally, students will learn about the impact of tourism in glaciated landscapes and the processes that have created the scenery that attracts visitors to places such as the Lake District.
In Year 9 geography students start the year by studying geophysical processes and hazardous areas. A range of case studies are applied over varying levels of development. Students then go on to study ecosystems, beginning by learning about small scale environments and the impact of change before applying that learning to world biomes. Students draw on their knowledge of world cities and apply this to the example of Rio de Janeiro, focusing on opportunities and challenges. This is then compared to a local city, Newcastle upon Tyne where themes such as deindustrialization and the north-south divide within the UK are explored. Students continue to apply their geographical understanding to UK examples throughout Year 9, covering a range of core human and physical geography topics to prepare students for GCSE geography.
In Year 10 students begin the AQA GCSE geography course. Students build on their prior knowledge and understanding of human and physical processes by exploring the causes, impacts and solutions to global inequality at varying scales. This learning is then applied to the case study of Nigeria to allow students sufficient depth of understanding. In the spring term students learn about the UK economy and how this has changed over time and the regional variations that exist. Students then move on to studying physical challenges facing the modern world including deforestation, desertification and the impact of climate change on tropical storms, considering how these issues impact populations at local, national and global scales. In the summer term students then further explore how physical and human processes are interconnected by studying resource management and water management, comparing local case studies with examples from Africa and Asia.
In Year 11 students begin with the study of Coasts and Rivers, building on the prior learning of how water shapes the land. This provides the foundation of learning for students to complete fieldwork at the local coastline in Spring. In the Spring term, students continue the GCSE course exploring natural hazards. Students first learn about tectonic hazards then move on to extreme weather, both in the UK and Tropical regions. They then investigate the impact of climate change on extreme weather and understand the different natural and human causes for climate change. Finally, Year 11 students study an issue evaluation released from AQA in March/April based on any area of the GCSE syllabus.
Following the completion of Key Stage 3 and 4 Geography curriculum students will have developed skills which can be applied to various pathways of employment and further study. Geography has cross-curricular links with Science, Mathematics/Economics, Business Studies, History, Politics and many others. Students will have developed their written skills and ability to construct a well-supported argument, through fieldwork they have developed practical skills and working as part of a team. Throughout their learning journey geography career paths will be highlighted through displays in all classrooms and teachers’ referring to their own pathways.