Mountainous Landscape by the Sea

GEOGRAPHY

“You can travel the seas, poles and deserts and see nothing. To really understand the world you need to get under the skin of the people and the places. In other words, learn about geography. I can’t imagine a subject more relevant

in schools. We’d all be lost without it.”

 

Michael Palin

The purpose of our geography curriculum is rooted in our vision and core values. It has been designed to enable every individual to achieve and fulfil their potential and in doing so prepare them to achieve success in the future and in their lives beyond school.

 

Subject Intent:

 

Teaching an expansive and balanced curriculum that is tailored to the diverse cultural heritage of our school community creates well-rounded, socially aware citizens of our global community.

 

Our curriculum is designed to promote academic excellence through a structured spiral journey which builds upon prior learning to explore the many issues which affect our lives today and will so in the future. The geography curriculum constantly builds on prior learning both sequentially through the course and through our four core geographical values of sustainability, stewardship, equality and vulnerability. These four core geographical values are the columns around which the curriculum is designed.

The curriculum is fully inclusive, ensuring all pupils can access the knowledge and skills no matter their starting point. Topics reference previous knowledge to make connections throughout this journey.

 

We built the curriculum with the intent that pupils will:

 

  • experience a broad, deep and knowledge rich curriculum building on the complex interactions of people and places in a variety of contexts and scales which both satisfies and nourishes curiosity.

  • extend their KS2 locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s countries using maps of the world to focus on a range of locations to include key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities.

  • be literate and numerate in order to show their in-depth understanding of geographical patterns and processes. They will be able to communicate, in detail, their knowledge and opinions in order to demonstrate their understanding. Numeracy skills will underpin this capability, through the ability to handle qualitative and quantitative data of real world events to reinforce the patterns that they discover.

  • have high expectations for their behaviour and achievement through engaging experiences within the subject. Our pupils will demonstrate respect and courtesy when examining a variety or people and places, and will value their place in the global community.

  • develop their cultural, moral, social, mental and physical awareness by allowing them to make greater sense of the world they live in, by organising and connecting information and ideas about people, places, processes and environments. We intend to provide our pupils with more complex information about the world, including the relevance of people’s attitudes, values and beliefs. The promotion of British Values will underpin this learning.

  • be prepared for life beyond the school by building curious, independent and inquisitive individuals who have an appreciation and understanding for the world around them. We intend to equip our pupils with the knowledge and skills our society needs to address modern day issues, deepening understanding of contemporary modern day challenges. In an increasingly unpredictable world we aim to provide our pupils with the knowledge on which to base resilience, creativity and social understanding. 

Geography Map 2022.jpg

Subject Implementation:

  • The curriculum builds from year 7 to 11 focusing on the cumulative development of key knowledge based upon broad concepts. In this respect we deliver clear and coherent step-by-step sequences that build knowledge across the year and between key stages.

  • The broader concepts are revisited, however, knowledge is built on foundations from previous study.  Whilst reinforcement and retention of previously learnt knowledge is addressed relentlessly, building a deeper and more coherent understanding is key to preparation for further study.

  • Routine expectations that pupils show resilience in each and every lesson are supported through independent learning resources; with a central focus on a range of engaging material, relevant and contemporary examples and case studies.

  • Throughout both key stages pupils build a knowledge of a range of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As they progress they deepen their understanding of the interactions between physical and human processes in order to explain how these interactions create the diverse and interdependent world we live in.  Schemes of learning specifically address the locational knowledge and spatial awareness of a broad range of countries, focusing on Africa (to include Malawi and South Africa), Asia (to include India, Vietnam and China), Russia and the United Kingdom.

  • Rigorous, reliable and accessible assessment tracks understanding and allows bespoke planning to occur as a result. There are regular formal assessments, weekly low stakes quizzing and an end of year exam. On-going assessment occurs through teacher monitoring of classwork and discussions with pupils. Outcomes of these are analysed and discussed within the department and interventions and extra support implemented where appropriate. Assessment outcomes are compared to targets to monitor progress. Specific groups such as SEND, DP, MA are closely monitored and intervention, where necessary, is planned in order to reduce gaps.

  • A blended approach to pupils education runs throughout all that we do, developing a deeper understanding as well as developing independence.  Knowledge organisers support teaching and learning both in school and at home. Microsoft TEAMs is used to set work, allow for learning conversations between staff and pupils and provide a platform for feedback where appropriate.

 

Subject Enrichment:

In the Geography department we believe that all spaces can be used as learning places. In this way we value learning that occurs both within the classroom and beyond it. Our pupils have access to frequent, continuous and progressive experiences in the school grounds, educational visits further afield and residentials.  These experiences are used as a tool for teaching, learning and delivering the curriculum. 

 

Enrichment includes:

  • Residential visit to the Ribble Valley studying the complex interactions between human and physical landscapes in the area.

  • Visit to Manchester city centre to study the effect human interventions can have on flow rates in an urban area.

  • Salford Quays visit to examine the extent to which urban regeneration has been successful in creating a sustainable community.

  • Visit to a UK National Park to examine the change that has occurred over time and the impact of tourism within these areas.

  • Woodland Trust led visit to Walker Fold and Winter Hill to learn about the impact that afforestation has had on reducing flood risk in the area.

  • Paris residential visit to study the impact of urbanisation and the challenges is poses to a global city.

  • Weekly geography club (“Eco Club”)

  • Departmental involvement in D of E

 

Subject Impact:

  • Ensure the curriculum builds systematic and geographical ‘journey’ for pupils from year 7 to year 11. Pupils revisit key concepts and ideas in different contexts in order to allow rapid subsequent progression. Knowledge is sequenced in a way that builds breadth and depth.

  • Develop socially aware citizens equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to actively engage with a global community.

  • Develop pupils with an ability to critically think about the modern world and give them the confidence and skills to change the world around them.

  • Provide pupils with a range of vocabulary to identify and name places, the features within them and the human and physical processes at work there. Such core knowledge provides the building blocks of deeper explanation and understanding; providing entry points to further study, training or employment and geographical conversations about the world.

  • Through the study of geography our pupils increase the range and accuracy of investigative skills, advancing their ability to select and apply these with increasing independence to geographical enquiry.

Contact Head of Department:

Mr Hindley - M.Hindley@smithillsschool.net