Geography Subject Intent Statement 2021-2022

Geographical skills are used in making decisions important to everyday life—where to buy or rent a home; where to get a job; how to get to work or to a friend’s house; and where to shop, go on holiday, or go to school. All of these decisions involve the ability to acquire, arrange, and use geographic information and thus studying Geography is essential to enable students to have a rich understanding of the context of their lives, communities and their futures.

The Geography curriculum seeks to give students a rich understanding and broad overview of some of the world’s biggest modern day challenges on a global, national and local scale. It exposes students to potential solutions in the hope that we can empower and motivate our students to be responsible and determined global citizens who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to overcome some of these barriers. Our curriculum is designed to promote life long learners by encouraging all students to be inquisitive about the world around them, helping them to establish and identify their place in the world and to build on their social and cultural capital to ensure that they are able to access the same depth of knowledge as their counterparts. All lessons are positioned within the wider scheme of learning to enable students a contextual understanding of what is being taught.

The Geography curriculum adopts a spiral approach. It begins in Year 7 whereby students study their local area (Brixton) to enable them to better understand their surroundings and community.  Disciplinary knowledge is interleaved throughout this topic to ensure all year 7’s are at the same level due to the differing amounts of Geography taught in KS2. After their local study, students move onto look at the UK’s weather (how does the weather affect us?) before moving onto the final component, coasts (what are the marine processes that shape our coastline?). These enquiries are sequenced thematically so that students are able to make links between the various topics and subjects and continually build on their knowledge of the physical landscape of the UK. We have chosen not to teach the rock cycle or structure of the Earth in Yr 7 as these topics are covered in Science.

In Year 8 students progress on to more global issues that are focussed on the interaction of humans and our planet. These include How many people can the Earth cope with? (population) Is our planet getting smaller? (Globalisation) How is the Earth’s climate changing? (Past and current climate change) Why is Siberia under threat? (Taiga forest) How are we helping to shape the Amazon (Tropical rainforest) and What are the causes of flooding in the Amazon rainforest (Rivers). These Year 8 topics have been intentionally chosen to allow students to gain a unique insight into different places, cultures and their interaction with the environment. Students will develop their ability to explain the effect of human actions on our environment and evaluate the sustainability of these actions in different environments around the world. We have chosen to start the year with the population topic because all subsequent topics are closely linked to the fact that the population is rising exponentially.  The Globalisation topic follows on from population as both topics explore China and therefore it is a good opportunity for recall and to build on students’ schema. This composite includes the impacts of globalisation in the DRC/China and the USA, many of which are environmental which is why the next topic to be taught it Climate change. Climate change is covered in Year 8 science curriculum which further aids students’ understanding of this. One area that is particularly affected by Climate change is Siberia which is the reason for this being the next topic in the sequence. The tropical rainforest follows on from this topic to allow students the opportunity to compare the similarities and differences between the two biomes found in Brazil and Siberia. Lastly, students will build on their knowledge of the Amazon by studying the Amazon river.

In Year 9 students will apply their knowledge from Year 7 and Year 8 to more places such as the  Caribbean and Asia. In Year 10 and 11, students start by exploring the UK’s evolving human landscape before moving onto the UK’s Evolving physical landscape (including urban and coastal fieldwork – Covid dependent). This component is taught at the beginning of Year 10 and it introduces lots of important concepts and key terms that will provide the students with a good foundation for the rest of the specification. It is also a topic in which students can easily relate to as it is about the island that they live on. Students will also be able to draw on their own experiences during EQ2 which focusses in on London. People and the biosphere and Forests under threat follow on from these topics. Topics are taught in this order as the skills required in each topic become progressively harder to master. Whilst UK’s Evolving Human and Physical landscape require students to be able to evaluate and assess, People and the Biosphere and Forests under threat require students to be able to decision make, analyse data and problem solve.

Students will apply geographical knowledge, understanding, and skills creatively to real-world contexts, including fieldwork, and to contemporary situations and issues so that they will be able to develop well-evidenced arguments. Students will undertake their fieldwork in Stratford (human fieldwork) and Walton on the Naze (coastal fieldwork) as they have two contrasting areas so the students are able to compare their data and they are close to school which allows them to have more time to collect their data. We have chosen to conduct this fieldwork at the end of year 10 because fieldwork requires a level of independence that very few students will have experienced in Key Stage 3. Further to this, the exam in the summer will require students to refer/think back to these field trips and it is key that they remember them as best as they can and have had the opportunity to get through the content so that they feel confident with the processes and concepts needed to conduct the fieldwork.

As part of their learning, students will develop disciplinary knowledge such as mathematics, map reading and cartography. This gives students the opportunity to lay a foundation of knowledge and understanding that can be further developed at A Level and beyond.

The key themes that are regularly visited throughout the 5 year journey are sustainability and processes of change. We have chosen these key themes because they are key for students to be able to form judgements and debate topical issues. Visuals, dual coding and regular knowledge checks are included in all lessons to aid memory retention of key words and content to ensure all learners are able to access the knowledge needed to be lifelong learners of Geography.


For further details on the Geography Curriculum please click the relevant button below

5 year overview




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