Geography - A Shared Understanding

The study of Geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected.

It builds on students’ own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global. Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, now and in the future. Fieldwork is an essential element of this. Pupils learn to think spatially and use maps, visual images and new technologies to obtain, present and analyze information.

Geography inspires pupils to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and their responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.

Key geographical concepts

There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of Geography, which pupils need to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding:

  • Place
  • Space
  • Scale
  • Interdependence
  • Process (human and physical)
  • Cultural diversity

Sexey’s Geography curriculum aims

Learning and undertaking activities in Geography at Sexey’s aims for all young people to become:

  • Successful learners – who progress and achieve
  • Confident individuals – who lead safe and healthy lives
  • Responsible citizens – who make a positive contribution to society

The Geography Department endeavours to:

  • Provide a rich curriculum for all years
  • Stimulate students by the work set to fulfill their potential
  • Emphasize student achievements
  • Prepare thoughtful schemes of work that demonstrate progression through the key stages
  • Provide differentiated learning resources and opportunities
  • Provide creative and intellectually appealing lesson experiences for all
  • Provide opportunities for students to take responsibility for their own work
  • Provide opportunities to learn about, discuss and reflect on moral issues and create an environment in which respect for others is evident in all conduct and relationships
  • Value each student and treat each as an individual

The Geography curriculum

Geography is a diverse subject and there are many possible approaches to the teaching of geography. At Sexey’s the department endeavours to provide a stimulating geographical experience for all students through a planned yet flexible scheme of work.

The KS3 course is intended to introduce students to the full scope of the subject from the start. The programme of study in each year incorporates a variety of places, scales and issues and is planned for progression of skills, knowledge and understanding.

The KS3 curriculum has also been planned as a solid foundation for KS4 and KS5 studies; the rationale for the KS4 and KS5 courses is based on the chosen specifications. The KS4 AQA GCSE and KS5 OCR A Level specifications have been chosen to best suit our pupils, for their innovative and topical nature, their interest and their varied assessment strategies.

Lessons and schemes are also planned with a view to increasing the pace of learning to avoid repetition, to stretch and challenge all pupils of all academic abilities

Key Stage 3 at Sexey’s

Geography is a compulsory subject at KS3. Students follow Schemes of Work that take their inspiration from the National Curriculum for England. A number of units are studied in a year. These units do vary in length, but generally last for one half term and allow for progression of knowledge, skills and understanding.

Year 7

Units in Year 7 are intended to build on and consolidate KS2 experiences and stimulate interest in enthusiasm for Geography. As a result, local places and distant places are studied, skills are developed and a variety of topics are covered.

Students come to Sexey’s with varying experiences of KS2 Geography, therefore the Year 7 courses are designed to establish their understanding and to develop their awareness of the subject, competence in basic skills and their existing geographical knowledge and help them develop a ‘personal geography’ and appreciation of place (The UK). Skills and knowledge are further developed by studying a distant place (Australia unit) and we begin the study of physical geography (‘Rivers and flooding’ unit).

Progression in Year 8 and Year 9

Units in Year 8 focus on studies on national and international scales and focus on a mix of human and physical themes. Year 9 has a strong global focus and brings together in-depth understanding of important concepts e.g. sustainable development. The Year 9 scheme is intended as a conceptually demanding and enriching experience for our students.

Throughout KS3 students increasingly:

  • Broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of places and themes
  • Make use of a wider and more precise geographical vocabulary
  • Analyze geographical patterns, processes and changes
  • Appreciate the interactions within and between physical and human processes
  • Appreciate that places are interdependent
  • Study a wider range of scales, places and environments
  • Apply geographical knowledge and understanding to unfamiliar contexts
  • Select and effectively use skills to support geographical investigations

Key Stage 4 at Sexey’s

Students follow the AQA GCSE Geography specification. Geography is a popular option at GCSE and groups are taught by specialist Geography teachers.

Teaching at Key Stage 4

Lessons and schemes of work are designed to be varied in content, resource and activity. The Key Stage 4 course provides a conceptual basis for in-depth exploration of issues and places. Students are offered an opportunity to participate in fieldwork in both Year 10 and Year 11. Fieldwork skills are assessed through a GCSE examination.