The Geography curriculum at Noadswood is designed to give pupils the opportunity to develop an understanding of the ever-changing world in which they live, how their lives are interconnected with other people and places and how their actions can impact on the wider world. We aim to educate and inspire pupils so they have the desire and ability to become responsible global citizens who make positive contributions to society. The range of topics allows pupils to develop an understanding of the geographical processes that create distinctive human and physical landscapes. Pupils will continue to enrich their locational knowledge and their spatial and environmental understanding.

Year 7

In their first term, after a short introduction to what it means to be a geographer, pupils are given a whistle stop tour of some of the most interesting places on the planet through our Explore the World Unit. Pupils are transported to the natural beauty of Lulworth Cove, to unique wildlife of The Galapagos Islands, to the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park and to the skyscrapers of Dubai, to name just a few. Pupils will study aspects of human and physical geography and dip into a range of geographical concepts such as processes, sustainability and interdependence. Pupils will also get to grips with a variety of geographical skills that they will continue to use as their study of Geography continues, skills that include writing like a Geographer, graphical and analytical skills and building key vocabulary. The unit aims to develop pupil’s sense of awe and wonder about the planet on which they live and an enthusiasm for the subject.

Following on from their first term of geography where pupils were introduced to a range of geographical ideas and concepts through their Explore the World unit of work. Their geographical studies continue in the spring term by picking up on one of the key themes from Term 1, sustainability. During this term pupils will study two units of work, one focussing on human impact on the natural environment and one looking at the global Sustainable Development Goals. The Your Planet unit of work will look at the causes of environmental damage with the main focus being on climate change the problem with plastic. Pupils will also have the opportunity to complete an independent project to further develop their geographical skills. The Sustainable Development Unit will explore some of the UN’s 21 Sustainable development goals looking at their importance for different countries and how they might be achieved. These two units allow pupils to study both human and physical geographical ideas.

In the final terms of Year 7 pupils will revisit another of the key concepts introduced in term one, processes. Pupils will study a unit on weather and climate and explore the natural processes that take place in the atmosphere and on land that generate our planet’s climatic zones and control our daily weather. Pupils will investigate how weather and climate can influence human actions. Throughout this unit of work pupils will continue to develop their geographical skills and key vocabulary. The study of geography in Year 7 is completed with a school based fieldwork unit, where pupils will be able use their recently gained knowledge about weather and climate and their geographical skills to carry out a mini fieldwork investigation in order to answer the following enquiry question: Where should the school place the new picnic benches?

Year 8

Geography in Year 8 continues to pick up on key themes and concepts first explored during the Explore the World Unit with our first term dedicated entirely to the study of natural hazards. Through a number of topical case studies pupils will study the causes, impacts and responses to a range of natural hazards including; earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and tropical storms. This unit of work allows pupils to develop their understanding of the links between human and physical geography with a particular focus on the natural processes which cause the earth’s natural hazards, the impacts these hazards can have on humans. Pupils will continue to develop their geographical skills and vocabulary with a particular focus on writing like a geographer, improving their descriptions and developing their explanations.

The second term of Year 8 shifts focus to a study of mainly human geography, with our first of two units focussing on population. The unit allows pupils to explore where and how people live and why they choose to live in the places that they do. This unit will allow pupils to also develop stronger links between units of work previously studied, it will draw on their knowledge and understanding of weather and climate from Year 7 and will also make links between the Sustainable Development goals and the natural hazard units. For the second part of this term pupils will again be taken on a second mini tour of some of the most amazing places in the world, this time with a focus on the challenges and opportunities that exist for humans in some of the most extreme environments on the planet. This unit draws on previous units of study with a focus on sustainable development. Development of geographical skills continues throughout.

The final term of Year 8 comprises of two units, the first is a country study of the largest country on the planet, Russia. This unit introduces pupils to the largest but also one of the least known about countries on planet earth. Pupils will draw on knowledge from a number of previous units and apply them within the context of one country. Pupils will explore the numerous human and physical aspects of this vast country including population distribution, weather and climate, sustainable development and the physical landscape. The last half term of Year 8 is another school based fieldwork unit, this time an environmental study of the school and it’s grounds with aim to be to produce a sustainable development plan for the school. This unit allows pupils to draw on their prior learning from a number of units and further practice the geographical skills that have been incorporated throughout Year 7 and 8.

Year 9

The study of Geography in Year 9 begins to incorporate larger units of study, similar to those experienced at GCSE, with one unit lasting the entire term, pupils will begin to develop and explore the skills required for further study.

The first unit of study introduces pupils to the idea of an issue evaluation and aims to develop their decision-making skills and competent use of resources. Pupils will use a tropical rainforest theme in order to develop these skills. Pupils will explore the physical characteristics of the rainforests and look at the opportunities and challenges that exist there for humans. This unit incorporates key geographical concepts of sustainability, processes, interdependence and place. Pupils continue to build upon their existing geographical skills and more complex statistical and analytical skills begin to be built in. In preparation for GCSE, exam style questions and technique are also beginning to be introduced to pupils.

The second term in Year 9 focusses on fieldwork through a number of different themes including rivers, coasts and urban areas. This unit starts with pupils exploring and developing their understanding of the enquiry process. Pupils will investigate each aspect of the enquiry process from the geographical theory through to data collection, presentation and analysis. Pupils will continue to develop their use and understanding of maps at various scales and will make use of primary and secondary data. Fieldwork will form a part of this terms work, exposing pupils to the practical nature of the subject. Development of exam technique and key vocabulary continues throughout.

The final term in Year 9 looks at the issue of climate change. Pupils will explore the idea that climate change is a natural occurrence that is not new for the planet, they will look at the evidence that climate change has happened in the past and what may have caused it. We will then bring them to the present situation and investigate the evidence for the current period of global warming. Pupils will look at the causes, impacts and responses to the current climate crisis including the recent international agreements reached at COP26. This unit draws on and develops pupil’s prior learning from a number of previous topics. Geographical and exam skills development continue throughout.

Assessment in Years 7-9

Pupil’s progress is assessed though a combination of short regular learning checkpoints, that are designed to assess pupil’s knowledge and understanding of the key ideas, and longer more formal end of topic tests.

Assessment in Year 10 & 11

Year 10

The study of Geography in Year 10 and 11 follows the AQA GCSE Geography specification. The course starts with pupils studying a unit on Natural Hazards where they will develop their knowledge and understanding of the different tectonic and climatic hazards that affect people around the world with a focus on earthquakes and tropical storms. They will explore the reasons why some places suffer more severe consequences of these hazards than others and investigate the factors that affect a country’s ability to cope. Pupils will revisit the issue of climate change, and delve deeper into the causes, impacts and responses. Pupils will then move on to focus on the Economic Development unit where they will gain a deeper understanding of the factors that influence the levels of economic development and the strategies that can be used to close the gap in development. Pupils will explore how Nigeria has developed their economy, and the positive and negative impact Trans-national corporations have had. The final unit in Year 10 is Physical Landscapes in the UK, this unit starts by looking at river and coastal process and the resulting landforms they create, the unit then moves on to look at how river flooding and coastal erosion affect people and the different strategies that are used to manage these landscapes. The learning that takes place during this unit feeds into the final half term of Year 10 when pupils will be engaging in geographical enquiries away from the school site.

Year 11

Pupil’s GCSE studies continue in year 11 with the Urban Issues unit where they will develop their knowledge and understanding about the problems faced in urban areas in different parts of the world now that more people than ever are living in towns and cities. Pupils will study two case studies one in a newly emerging economy, Rio de Janeiro and one in a high income country, Southampton. They will look at the opportunities and challenges for people in each of these urban areas and the strategies which are being introduced to reduce the challenges. Pupils will then move on to the penultimate GCSE taught unit, The Living World. This unit looks at the global climate zones and the reasons they exist, pupils will develop their understanding of the global circulation model and how this generates the different climatic zones. Pupils will focus their studies on; the tropical rainforest and hot deserts using examples of the Malaysian rainforest and the Sahara desert. Similarly to the Urban Issues unit, pupils will explore the opportunities and challenges in these areas including deforestation, economic development, accessibility and sustainability. The final unit is the Resource Management unit where pupils will develop their understanding of the UKs resource provision in terms of food, water and energy. The will explore issues surrounding supply and demand and look at how the UK provides resources. They will then move on to look at global resource supply and demand issues with a focus on water, developing an understanding of the reasons why some areas of the world suffer from water insecurity and what can be done to make water supplies more sustainable.

Assessment in year 10 and 11 takes the form of interim and end of topic tests all of which use past paper exam questions. They will also have a year 10 exam during the Summer term and Mock exams in the November and March of Year 11