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. Their place and locational knowledge are developed by studying ‘Our Island Home,’ once their understanding of key concepts has been applied to familiar and local settings this is then built on by studying the Middle East and Africa in the spring term. In the summer term students then develop their understanding of key concepts in geography such as sustainable development and cultural awareness by studying the human and physical geography of Russia and world issues.
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 in the context of geophysical processes and hazardous areas. Year 8 students will then compare their prior learning of world biomes and ecosystems in Russia with ecosystems around the world. In the summer term students then learn about the local coastal environment and complete a fieldwork project which introduces them to the key elements of geographical study in the field. After completing fieldwork in South Shields, students then develop their understanding of the impact of tourism both economically and environmentally.
In Year 9 geography 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, to improve students’ locational knowledge. 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. 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 undertake GCSE fieldwork at the start of the year. This fieldwork is based on the local coastal environment and the relationship between this and the local human environment. Students will build on the fieldwork skills developed in Key Stage 3. In the Spring term students draw on their prior learning about climate change to evaluate the causes, impacts and possible solutions to the challenges facing current and future generations. Students also explore the impact of tectonic hazards on areas of contrasting levels of wealth. Finally, 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.