Geography Curriculum Overview
Here at Sandhill View Academy, we aim to securely equip all of our students for life beyond school as successful, confident, responsible and respectful citizens. We believe that education provides the key to social mobility and our curriculum is designed to build strong foundations in the knowledge, understanding and skills which lead to academic and personal success. We want our students to enjoy the challenges that learning offers.
Our aims are underpinned by a culture of high aspirations. Through developing positive relationships, we work towards every individual having a strong belief in their own abilities so that they work hard, build resilience and achieve their very best.
The curriculum includes formal teaching through subject areas, assemblies and extracurricular activities. We regularly review content to ensure we continue to meet our curriculum aims. The Geography curriculum is planned to enable all students to develop knowledge and skills in the following areas:
- Broadening their understanding of different places in the dynamic, interconnected world we live in
- Knowing how the physical landscape is shaped by different processes
- Appreciating the interconnections between humans and different environments
- Being able to analyse and interpret data from a range of sources
- Communicating using precise, geographical conventions
- Building and applying their geographical knowledge and skills to conduct well planned Geographical Investigations
Throughout our programmes of study, every attempt is made to make explicit links to careers and the world of work. In addition to subject specific links, we aim to explicitly reinforce the skills and aptitudes which support employers say are important in the workplace;
- Resilience (Aiming High, Staying Positive, Learning from Mistakes)
- Collaboration (Teamwork Leadership Communication)
- Creativity (Originality, Problem Solving, Independent Study)
The British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect of those with different faiths and beliefs are taught explicitly and reinforced in the way in which the school operates.
Sequence and structure
Our curriculum is split into Key Stage 3 (years 7 and 8) and Key Stage 4 (years 9, 10 and 11). Our longer school day and generous allocation of curriculum time ensures a strong foundation of knowledge and skills to ensure success at KS4, whilst those students who do not continue to study Geography at KS4 have acquired breadth of knowledge and skill.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum includes the following areas of study:
KS3 Half Term 1 Half Term 2 Half Term 3 Half Term 4 Half Term 5 Half Term 6 Year 7 People and Places –
Skills Builder (Map skills for locational features)
Global locational knowledge
Global Physical and human patterns
Hot and polar deserts
World Explorer Project
Term 1 Assessment: Compare and contrast data and patterns from two locations
Global Geography continued – China
Comparing and contrasting rural and urban areas in each location
World of Weather – Weather and climate, including the change in climate from the Ice Age to the present;
Term 2 Assessment: Skills-based assessment
World of Weather skills builder – World weather patterns
Data analysis of patterns
Fieldwork in the local area
(weather patterns and microclimates
People Everywhere – Population and urbanisation
A Comparison rural and urban areas of India and Africa
Using GIS to explore variations
Term 3 Assessment: End of year exam
Rocky World– Rocks, weathering and soils;
Geological timescales and plate tectonics
Year 8 World of Water – Rivers and Coasts
Processes and landforms
Term 1 Assessment: Physical processes
World of Work –
Economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors
The use of natural resources
Skills Builder –
Investigation in the local area
(An investigation into economic activity/changes in the local area)
Term 2 Assessment: Skills-based assessment
Icy World – Glaciation
Processes and landforms
World Development- International development
Term 3 Assessment: End of year exam
Synoptic Unit – Global Politics –
Geography in the news?
We know that students who read well achieve well. As such all subject areas are committed to providing regular opportunities to read extensively and enrich learning.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum
At Key Stage 4 students follow the AQA.
KS4 Half Term 1 Half Term 2 Half Term 3 Half Term 4 Half Term 5 Half Term 6 Year 9 Natural Hazards – Tectonic. Convection current and the movement of plates. Four types of plate boundaries with their specific characteristics. The formation of a range of natural hazards, looking more specifically at earthquake formation. Comparing the impacts and management of two earthquake case studies from countries of contrasting levels of wealth. Natural Hazards – Weather.
Global atmospheric circulation patterns. The formation of tropical storms and a named example of a tropical storm with its impacts and management strategies. Extreme weather within the UK – a named example of an extreme weather event. Evidence of extreme weather becoming more frequent. Climate change – causes, impacts and adaptation/mitigation.
Resource management – Overview of global inequalities in food, water and energy.
Food – in depth look at food security and the inequalities of this on a global and national scale. Reasons for food insecurity. How can food insecurity be reduced – An example of a sustainable method of food production in a LIC/NEE. An example of a large scale agricultural development and its impacts
Urban Issues – What is urbanisation and urban growth? An understanding of megacities and the reasons for urban growth – push and pull factors. Impacts of rapid urban growth and an example of regeneration in an urban area of a LIC/NEE – case study India.
Urbanisation within the UK – case study Newcastle – it’s importance on a global, national and local scale. Migration and the Impacts of it in Newcastle.
Glacial processes relating to weathering, erosion, transportation and deposition.
Characteristics and formations of landforms resulting from erosion, transportation and deposition
Glaciation continued – An example of an upland area in the UK affected by glaciation.
Overview of economic activities in glaciated upland areas. Conflicts between land uses, development and conservation.
An example of a glaciated upland area in the UK used for
Year 10 Coasts – Location of UK upland/lowland/river areas. Wave types and characteristics. Coastal processes: weathering/erosion/mass movement / transportation/deposition. Rock types linked with erosion rates. Erosion/ deposition landforms. UK Case study of major landforms – Old Harry. Management to protect coastlines – hard and soft engineering. UK Case study of management scheme – Swanage Living World – Overview of global ecosystems and a named UK example. Focus on Tropical Rainforests and cold environments. Looking at the climate, plants, animals and people of both ecosystems Living World continued – Studying the impacts of humans and their risks to the natural environment in a named rainforest and cold environment, and sustainable management. First Geographical Enquiry – Theory of Geographical enquiries. Planning an enquiry – suitable question or hypothesis, locations, risk assessments, appropriate sources. Data collection methods (external visit) and justifications of these. Data presentation techniques and analysing data. Suitable conclusions and an evaluation – how successful? Issue Evaluation – pre-release
Practice for GCSE Pre-release. Interpretation of figures. Preparing exam questions using the pre-release as a guide. Completion of prep-booklet to mirror what will happen in Year 11.
The Changing Economic World – Global development inequalities and inequalities in quality of life. Economic and social measures of development, limitations to these and links to the DTM. Causes and consequences of uneven development – strategies to reduce this. Case study – LIC/NEE – India – it’s importance, changing industries (including linking to tourism and TNC examples of Coca Cola), and the environmental impacts of its development. Year 11 The Changing Economic World continue – UK Case Study – economic future within the UK, causes of economic change, and impacts of industry. Importance of the UK.
Social and economic changes within rural areas – named examples of population decline and population growth in rural areas.
Improvements in transport within the UK – HS2, linking this with the north/south divide and strategies to reduce this.
Second Geographical Enquiry – Recap of Geographical Enquiry sequence. Key enquiry question and location justification and risk assessment. Human enquiry data collection (external visit). Present and analyse data. Link conclusion and evaluation to exam questions. Gap analysis Revision – Areas of weakness from Mock exams Gap analysis revision – areas of weakness from Mock exams
Paper 3 – Issue Evaluation – pre-release.
Gap analysis revision – areas of weakness from Mock exams
How does our Curriculum cater for students with SEND?
Sandhill View is an inclusive academy where every child is valued and respected. We are committed to the inclusion, progress and independence of all our students, including those with SEN. We work to support our students to make progress in their learning, their emotional and social development and their independence. We actively work to support the learning and needs of all members of our community.
A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age. (CoP 2015, p16)
Teachers are responsible for the progress of ALL students in their class and high-quality teaching is carefully planned; this is the first step in supporting students who may have SEND. All students are challenged to do their very best and all students at the Academy are expected to make at least good progress.
Specific approaches which are used within the curriculum areas include:
- Seating plans to allow inclusion
- Use of differentiation in lessons including challenge and support, differentiated tasks and differentiated reading materials.
- Where possible, use of additional support from adults is planned and communicated in advance.
- Intervention strategies are used when required.
- Written and verbal feedback to stretch and support pupil progress.
- Ensure all resources are accessible to all pupils
- Homework tasks to promote literacy and independent study.
- Use of data to support planning
- Group work
- Questioning and class discussion
How does our curriculum cater for disadvantaged students and those from minority groups?
As a school serving an area with high levels of deprivation, we work tirelessly to raise the attainment for all students and to close any gaps that exist due to social contexts. The deliberate allocation of funding and resources has ensured that attainment gaps are closing in our drive to ensure that all pupils are equally successful when they leave the Academy. More specifically within the teaching of Geography, we;
- Provide targeted support for underperforming pupils
- Use data to identify gaps and underperforming pupils.
- Discuss strategies and implement these in order to address pupils needs
- Ensure homework is accessible and where needed resources and support are provided outside of lesson time.
- Provide revision materials to pupils to reduce financial burdens on families.
How do we make sure that our curriculum is implemented effectively?
The Geography curriculum leader is responsible for designing the Geography curriculum and monitoring implementation.
The subject leader’s monitoring is validated by senior leaders.
Staff have regular access to professional development/training to ensure that curriculum requirements are met.
Effective assessment informs staff about areas in which interventions are required. These interventions are delivered during curriculum time to enhance pupils’ capacity to access the full curriculum.
Curriculum resources are selected carefully and reviewed regularly.
Assessments are designed thoughtfully to assess student progress and also to shape future learning.
Assessments are checked for reliability within departments and across the Trust.
Members of the department mark for the AQA exam board and provide CPD to the rest of the department to improve reliability of data.
Gap analysis spreadsheets are used to identify areas of development for pupils and the Geography department. Analysis of topics, concepts, skills and case studies is used to ensure pupils have a comprehensive coverage of a curriculum which is both coherent and rigorous. The curriculum at KS3 and KS4 is presented in a sequence which allows pupils to move from simple, familiar, local concepts to more complex, unfamiliar, global ones. The curriculum offers a range of topics to help build skills and knowledge at KS3 to provide a foundation to build upon at KS4. A change to cold environments and Glaciation topics at KS4 will allow pupils to study a broader range of topics, as river and desert environments are covered within the KS3 curriculum.
Implemented within the Geography curriculum are links to future careers. Within lessons we aim to build employability skills to enable pupils to transfer these when leaving school and looking for employment and future careers. We teach teamwork and the importance of clear communication, map and mathematical skills, the use of GPS and effective research skills. As part of the whole school careers program, pupils are expected to implement the skills acquired during lessons to plan their own journey to an interview in London and abroad. Class based discussion around the employment opportunities associated with Geography are held at both KS3 and KS4 level, linking both careers and voluntary work to gain experience, to the natural disasters’ units taught in year 8 and at GCSE.
How do we make sure our curriculum is having the desired impact?
- Examination results analysis and evaluation, reported to the senior leaders and the local governing body to ensure challenge
- Termly assessments-analysis and evaluation meetings
- Lesson observations
- Learning walks
- Book scrutiny
- Regular feedback from Teaching Staff during department meetings
- Regular feedback from Middle Leaders during curriculum meetings
- Pupil surveys
- Parental feedback
- External reviews and evaluations