“Geography is the subject that holds the key to our future” (Michael Palin)
Geography Curriculum Statement
In Geography at The Oaks Academy, we want to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world in which we live and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our aim is to provide a rich and knowledge and skills-based Geography curriculum which allows our pupils to have an insight of the world, a better understanding of how it works and the geographical skills to support their understanding. Ultimately, we want our pupils to be thoughtful global citizens, understand what is going on around them and understand how their decisions will have impact in today’s world.
Human and Physical Geography are as equally weighted as possible and pupils are to develop learning from both sides of the discipline. This is applied through Key Stage 3 (KS3) and GCSE to provide over time a varied and balanced curriculum.
We have included a limited number of case studies at KS3 that we do not study at GCSE, as we believe they provide the pupils with a different perspective and comparison of an event that they are very unlikely to have first-hand experience of. Cultural enrichment is a focus in the Humanities department which we are proud contributors of; we aim to enrich pupils understanding locally, nationally and globally. Fieldwork is crucial part of Geography and we have a developed opportunity in our curriculum for pupils to gather their own data first-hand. We believe it is vital that all pupils have the opportunity to investigate the world around them.
- Develop locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s countries using maps of the world to focus on Africa.
- Develop Place Knowledge understanding geographical similarities, differences and links between places.
- Develop Human and physical geography understanding how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems.
- Develop Geographical skills and fieldwork building on their knowledge of globes, maps and atlases and apply and advance this knowledge in the classroom and in the field.
At the Oaks Academy we exceed the national curriculum by emphasising the interrelation between the human and physical world using cultural capital homework’s and a Humanities led Crewe regeneration project. This allows pupils to interact locally in a real geographical way and propose ideas to the local MP and council. It will develop skills of fieldwork, graph reading and demographics. Pupils will also have the opportunity to write a letter to the local MP and one to one discussion about their town and what it could offer in the future.
Here's our Curriculum Road Map for Geography:
To promote academic learning by delivering lessons that are enjoyable, challenging and engaging. Across Key Stage 3 we ensure a breadth of learning is provided before the depth of learning narrows as they progress towards and into Key Stage 4. Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all our pupils by focusing on building and retaining knowledge, developing key skills and improving literacy through extended writing. We teach pupils how to think critically, question and evaluate before drawing justified conclusions. We promote a class climate of calm, nurturing pupils to take pride in their learning and to show respect to the teacher and each other. Pupils are given teacher feedback to help them make progress and rewards are given to celebrate their work showing that effort is valued, and resilience promoted. The Geography curriculum is accessible for all students including SEND and EAL pupils through effective planning and differentiation. We provide cultural enrichment in lessons and through the provision of memorable experiences, visits and trips as we strive to prepare our pupils for life as productive members of society. Pupils will have the opportunity to forge inter-curricular links strengthening knowledge of theory learnt in other subjects. There are practical opportunities for pupils to engage in fieldwork, co-curricular activities and enquiries to boost their social and cultural capital and witness the value of the discipline of Geography in further education and the world of work.
Implementation: - What does learning look like?
In year 7 students are introduced to the subject by studying the continent of Africa. Students explore Africa’s physical and human geography, developing their knowledge of place, features and cultures of countries across the continent. Students then develop their geographical skills of map reading and navigation before building their knowledge of the World’s biomes and how these environments are at risk.
In year 8 students are given greater exposure to the range of physical and human aspects of geography with modules based on the Geography of Disease, Landscapes of the UK and Population. They are trained to research, problem solve and present information to substantiate their decisions and opinions, something that will be vital to their academic and career endeavours. Throughout KS3 students are exposed to GCSE style questions and
activities as well as course specific command words. This is to build up their ability to tackle extended answer questions in a structured manner whilst drawing on geographical concepts.
In year 9 students develop the key concepts and skills that will allow them an excellent grasp of topics such as Development and Globalisation, Natural Hazards and Weather and Climate. Students will have a good understanding of how the human and physical world interact and will go beyond the national curriculum to apply their geographical knowledge and skills to debate real world issues. All of this will be underpinned with a clear sequence of lessons and schemes of work which will display and enable progress, as well as being challenging and engaging.
When students choose to pick Geography as a GCSE option they will complete the AQA Geography specification. Pupils will complete 3 papers which will encompass a wide variety of topics:
Paper 1 – Living with the Physical Environment
Section A: The challenge of Natural Hazards
Section B: The Living World
Section C: Physical Landscapes in the UK
Paper 2- Challenges in the Human Environment
Section A: Urban Issues and Challenges
Section B: The Changing Economic World
Section C: The Challenge of Resource Management
Paper 3 – Geographical Applications
Section A: Issue Evaluation
Section B: Fieldwork (physical and human)
Alongside accruing a wide and deep understanding of geographical themes on different scales (local, national and international) at GCSE level students will be able to use their geographical skills to analyse, interpret and make judgements on geographical issues. The specification undertaken at GCSE level has been carefully chosen to build on the concepts already taught to students at KS3. Although some topics within the specification will be familiar and based on their own experiences, other topics, especially the ‘Changing Economic World’ unit, aims to broaden student horizons and introduce them to new ideas and concepts.
The geography curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to demonstrate progression. The progress students make is gauged through a number of formative assessment strategies. This takes the form of regular knowledge recall tests, low stakes assessments as well as effective teacher questioning. Progress from formative assessments will be reflected in teacher mark book data, assessment data as well as general quality of class and homework. Impact is also measured through the quality of class discussions and contributions students are able to make.
End of unit and half termly QMS summative assessments are used to measure the progress made by pupils over time. Pupil progress is tracked throughout the year allowing underachievement to be identified and intervention put in place to help pupils make progress. The Humanities Faculty marking policy is clear and aligned with the schools marking policy but further tailored to be subject specific. Pupils are expected to engage with and respond to their feedback in order to reflect and improve their work.
Cultural Capital Opportunities linked to Personal and Character development
Pupils in geography will take part in compulsory field trips to local parks and in GCSE will visit Liverpool One and Formby beech. Here they will collect data and complete their own inquiries and come to their own judgments. This mirrors the dissertation style of work many students will go on to do in further and higher education.
Pupils will complete a Cultural Capital Humanities homework project every half term to enrich and challenge with open ended tasks and rewards. It is important that pupils can be proud of their work and stretch themselves and we as teachers will acknowledge their hard work and effort.
More able pupils will be offered a specialist class where they will get to develop skills that would be expected at A Level and beyond. This More Able project will also develop teamwork skills and out of classrooms experiences.