We have chosen KS3 subjects and examination courses that reflect the different elements of geography: physical, human and environmental. This enables students to develop their knowledge of a broad range of issues and places on our planet and to promote a curiosity about the world in which they live. The students should understand our planet at a range of scales – local, regional, national, international and examine how places and topics relate to each other. Students will learn about places that are within and outside of their own experiences, helping to understand their local context and open their eyes to the world beyond Sandiacre. We incorporate current issues and news stories into learning to increase the relevance of the curriculum to the students and to support their journey to become global citizens. In Years 7 and 8, we have designed the curriculum with two groups of students in mind, those who will study geography to GCSE and A level, and those who won’t.
The KS3 curriculum is designed to give all students the opportunity to study a range of topics, in different geographical contexts, and to also introduce material that lays the foundation for the students who will study at GCSE and A level. The curriculum includes skills that are transferable to other lessons and beyond, in addition to the geography specific skills that are especially useful to students who will study at a higher level. There are geographical investigations in Years 7 and 8, which develop skills for the fieldwork at GCSE and NEA at A level. By studying people, issues and places in different locations, students are able to examine people’s viewpoints and to broaden their appreciation of the diversity of our planet.
The curriculum is knowledge led, with most skills developed within a context, rather than independently. The exception to this is the start of the Yr 9 course, where students learn a range of skills and fieldwork techniques that are used throughout the GCSE course. We have put an emphasis on students developing a sense of place, as many arrive from their primary schools with limited knowledge of the UK and wider world. Lessons include challenge and differentiation, to make them accessible for students and to encourage deeper thinking. Lessons feature a variety of learning styles and activities. At the end of all modules in KS3 and KS4, students sit an assessment, based on knowledge, understanding, key terms and skills. This style of testing is to be extended into KS5 to test the specific factual knowledge needed for the exams. To support students’ revision for tests, revision materials will be provided, such as knowledge organisers. The curriculum has been designed by the geography team and we share resources, to develop consistency across lessons.