Overview-principles for the curriculum
We have developed a carefully interwoven KS3 Geography Curriculum, which builds upon the key Geography principles, sense of place and processes of change. It enables our students to understand the causes and effects of our evolving planet whilst developing intrinsic links between human and physical Geography from individual, regional, and national to global. Our thought-provoking KS3 curriculum aims to inspire students to be compassionate and inquisitive about the world in which they live for their lifetime.
Our KS3 Curriculum is unique and has been praised by our recent Durham County Council inspection and Ofsted. It focuses on continents as the sense of place and uses the topics of GCSE Geography to drive the content studied within each continent. The teaching block for each continent is divided into two or three enquiry questions, which frame to learning content and provide the basis for extended writing.
Frameworks/guidance within which we must work
The National Curriculum suggests geography content that (primary and) secondary schools might teach, and we have always used this as a starting point with our KS3 curriculum. We continue to do this, although we recognise that, as an academy, we have considerable freedom in the shaping of our curriculum.
What does KS2 liaison work tells us the students’ starting points are?
Experience demonstrates that the students who come to us have had very different experiences of learning geography. The key focus of year 6 is on literacy and numeracy and when geography is covered, the topics that are studied are very varied. Popular project-based topics include discreet topics such as country studies, e.g. Brazil and Tropical Rainforests, Italy and volcanoes.
Assessment objectives at KS4 and how we can support this in KS3.
AO1: Demonstrate knowledge of locations, places, processes,
environments and different scales.
AO2: Demonstrate geographical understanding of:
- concepts and how they are used in relation to places, environments and processes;
- the inter-relationships between places, environments and processes.
AO3: Apply knowledge and understanding to interpret, analyse and evaluate geographical information and issues and to make judgements.
AO4: Select, adapt and use a variety of skills and techniques to investigate questions and issues and communicate findings.
Evidently, we need to ensure that each KS3 teaching block enables students to demonstrate these four skills and to build upon them as they progress through the key stage.
What broader knowledge will support their continued learning in this subject?
There are four units of study in our GCSE course:
- PAPER 1: The physical environment: This paper studies Changing landscapes (rocks, rivers & coastal landscapes). It is an advantage for students to have studied tectonic activity and glaciation in KS3.
- PAPER 2: The human environment: This paper studies global development, changing cities and resource management. All of these themes are studied in KS3, especially the work on shanty towns in Africa and Asia and the distribution of resources studies in Antarctica, North America & The Middle East.
- PAPER 3: Geographical Investigations: This paper is synoptic and draws together students’ ability to link human and physical geography. In addition, it develops their analytical fieldwork skills, which have been visited earlier in KS3.
How are you allowing opportunities for students to show progress?
We will ensure that the key assessment skills (see assessment objectives above) feature in each teaching block. Our KS3 curriculum is structured around imperative enquiry questions designed to show progression in understanding of the sense of place and causation of processes. These are standard pieces of extended writing aiming to show progression in a multitude of skills.
Weather and Climate
Globalisation and Coasts
Regeneration and Tectonics
Health and Carbon
Superpowers and Water Management
Superpowers and Water Management