By the end of KS3, pupils will understand what it is to be a geographer. Pupils will have a curiosity and fascination in finding out about the world around them and its people, as well as having an interest and intention to travel in order to deepen their understanding of a range of places. They will have developed a passion and commitment to the subject. Our pupils will have developed an excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like. They will have a holistic understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected, and how human and physical environments are interrelated. Pupils will develop a comprehensive understanding of the issues facing a diverse range of places and people, now and in the future. Our pupils will have an extensive core of geographical knowledge and vocabulary, which will be learned and regularly practiced so that students are confident and comfortable using academic language in every context that require it throughout their education and beyond. They will have good spatial awareness, and be able to use a wide range of maps effectively to investigate places routinely.
They will be able to carry out increasingly complex, independent geographical enquiry, ask their own relevant questions, make sense of geographical data, think critically about different views, and justify their own view in reaching conclusions.
The foundations laid in KS3 will help them to go on to succeed in KS4. They will have the knowledge and understanding to enable them to apply what they know to both familiar and unfamiliar contexts from the likes of Whalley Range, Hulme and Chorlton to the Amazon and the Arctic. This will help them to go on to achieve their potential, not just at A Level and in Higher Education but as global citizens living in a dynamic and interdependent world. Geographers at WHGS will have an appreciation for the world they live in and a deep understanding of how their actions can have an impact on the people and places around them.
Lessons are engaging and rigorous. Students want to succeed and, through hard work and achievement, they want to learn more.
Modelling is a key aspect of teaching in geography. Through regular feedback and guided practice students master key concepts, places and processes. Teachers explicitly teach students how to learn and revise so that they can be successful in regular knowledge and vocabulary tests. This helps to ensure long-term retention of core principles from KS3 through to KS4 and beyond. Fieldwork opportunities at KS4 provide students with a real world context to apply their knowledge. Key concepts are revisited over key stages as well as between lessons to practice retrieval and recall. Case studies taught are relevant to the lived experience of the students and cover a range of countries so that students leave as well-rounded and knowledgeable geographers.
Progress is measured within lessons, and over terms, years and key stages. In lessons, progress is measured through quizzes, choice questioning and through marking. Feedback plays an important role in assessing depth of student understanding Mastery is achieved through r opportunities to practice recalling key information, in addition to the opportunity to redraft and improve work based on feedback from the teacher. KPIs are tracked throughout the year and tested in a summative assessment at the end of each topic and cumulatively at the end of the year. Gaps are addressed and closed at the end of each topic to ensure students have a solid understanding before another topic is taught. This may lead to classes starting topics in different weeks, but will ensure all students are secure in their understanding. Students will be tested on words they learnt that week, but also on key terms from previous lessons in order to practice recall and retrieval.
Engagement in geography will be evident in a healthy uptake for examination classes. Students will be inspired to sign up for Duke of Edinburgh as the map and navigation skills required links closely with core geographical map skills that features throughout the course from KS3 to undergraduate level. Conversations about home countries, travel and holidays throughout the school year will show students interest in applying their geography knowledge to places they have visited. Geographers at WHGS will be proud to talk of their travels to other countries, visits to different parts of the UK, and documentaries and TV programmes showing the impact of people and processes on the places that people inhabit. The diverse and knowledge rich curriculum at WHGS should develop confident and articulate geographers who want to learn more about the world around them.
Three core units are followed in Year 7 - Year 8:
Year 7 Curriculum
What is a Geographer?
This unit focuses on introducing the role of a geographer in today’s world. The main purpose of the unit is to assess pupils’ geographical capabilities related to the expectations of an 11-year-old; to provide a benchmark for the rest of Year 7. Pupils will develop a range of core geographical skills.
This unit aims to help transfer between KS2 and 3, by determining the contextual world knowledge they have already gained and encouraging them to initially talk about the geography they already know.
This unit focuses on the work of rivers, the effect they have on the landscape and the impact of rivers on the lives of people living near them. Pupils have the opportunity to progress their map skills learnt from earlier on in Y7 to investigate how rivers change along their course. And to appreciate the impact of flooding both locally, nationally and globally. By the end of the unit, pupils will have gained knowledge of the ways in which rivers shape the land; and the relationship humans have with rivers in the context of flooding and flood prevention.
In this unit, pupils will examine the distribution of development globally. Students will consider methods of measuring and comparing development and explain the factors that affect the varying rates of development. Pupils will use a range of indicators to analyse world patterns of development, and then evaluate the effectiveness of similar indicators in assessing the quality of life of different people in particular locations. Pupils are required to consider the causes of world poverty before investigating what can change people’s quality of life, globally and from a personal and community scale. Students will then asses the effectiveness of one strategy, which improves quality of life in a specific location, in the developing world.
Year 8 Curriculum
This unit further progresses pupil understanding of the processes of erosion, deposition and transportation, building on Rivers in Year 7, but now applied to a coastal context.
Pupils will have further opportunities to interpret a variety of at different scales to understand the formation of key coastal features and to consider how the position of the coastline may change over time. In carrying out the latter activities pupils will consider the factors which determine whether or not stretches of the UK coastline deserve to be defended based and what methods can be used.
Population and Migration
In this unit, pupils study different aspects of population growth, structure, density and distribution – in different contexts. Pupils will investigate where people of the world are currently living and understand the difference between density and distribution. This builds on pupils’ knowledge of different parts of the world from the first unit in Y7.
The last section of this unit explores migration. The lessons build on the key aspects of migration, before moving on to look at an example of migration within the wider context of a particular place.
This unit provides opportunities for pupils to explore their personal geographies as many have heritage from around the world.
Students develop their knowledge of tectonic events and landforms and the processes that create them. Students evaluate the issues surrounding monitoring, predicting and preparing for tectonic events. Pupils gain depth of understanding by investigating comparisons, e.g. between different types and locations of volcano, and/or volcanoes and earthquakes. Case studies are used to show the dynamic nature of the subject and its relevance around the world.
This unit provides an opportunity to build on pupil understanding of development from Y7 through the investigation of the differing impact of volcanoes and earthquakes of countries at different stages of development.
Year 9 Curriculum
Two core units delivered together with a choice of UL optional units available.
This unit focuses on the natural and human causes of climate change. Students study the consequences of rising temperatures and consider what, if anything, we can do to prevent it. This element of the unit builds on their understanding of river and coastal flooding studied in Y7 and 8. Pupils will study the effects of climate change in a range of geographical locations and understand the importance of international co-operation in achieving a positive outcome for the planet.
Pupils will extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s newly emerging economies with examples taken from countries and major cities across the continents.
Pupils will investigate how and why countries are emerging as major economic superpowers in Asia, Africa and South America. The unit provides an opportunity for pupils to reflect on their understanding of development in Year 7.
The AQA Geography GCSE Specification (8035) is taught to mixed ability sets This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the two-year course.
The aims of the specification are very clear:
- To provide a familiar approach that considers new ideas and developments in Geography and about changing the nature of Geography in the 21st Century
- To provide a relevant and dynamic Geography course, with an up-to-date content, to raise student achievement
Our aims are to broaden student horizons‐GCSE Geography helps:
- develop awareness and understanding of the real world around us and the importance of safeguarding the environment;
- is about our future and encourages flexible thinkers;
- helps foster a range of transferable skills which are an asset in the complex world of employment today;
- helps develop skills in ICT in a range of contexts
Students will travel the world from the classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs). Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.
Subject content is assessed across three examinations:
Unit 1: Living with the Physical Environment 35%
The study of physical processes and patterns to include the challenge of natural hazards (volcanoes, earthquakes, tropical storms and climate change), the living world (students are required to study Ecosystems, Tropical rainforests and one from Hot deserts or Cold environments) and Physical landscapes in the UK (Coastal landscapes and UK River landscapes are our chosen options)
Unit 2: Challenges in the Human Environment 35%
The study of human geography themes and includes urban issues and challenges, our changing economic world and the challenge of resource management (we focus on Water Management as our selected resource issue) .
Unit 3: Geographical Applications 30%
Issue evaluation, based on resource booklet and fieldwork.