KS2 Geography aims to inspire pupils with an interest and fascination about the world and its people. Children are taught about the world around them, including the UK, Europe and the Americas; physical processes and features, including earthquakes, volcanoes, mountains and rivers; and how humans interact with their environment, including land use such as settlements and trade routes. Children are taught to have a sense of place, why environments are as they are, how settlements are developed and to compare and contrast other localities with their own. Geographical skills are taught and embedded throughout, including mapping skills.
KS3 Geography prepares children for GCSE Geography, which they begin in Year 9. Children begin Year 7 by looking at the key skills and knowledge a geographer needs. This includes using a range of maps, mapping techniques, analytical writing and statistics. This is brought together in a project about the local area. They then move on to study the world’s environments with a focus on hot deserts, rainforests and mountains. Year 7 ends with a look at the development gap, with a focus on China and Lesotho.
In Year 8, children continue to build upon their geographical knowledge and skills by studying a range of human and physical topics. They begin with a focused study of Japan, looking at both population and then natural hazards, including earthquakes and typhoons. In the spring they further develop their knowledge of physical geography by studying river processes and flooding in different countries. In the summer term, following their study of a range of geographical topics children consolidate their skills with the ‘The Big Melt Down’ topic looking at global climate change.
The KS3 geography course aims to create global citizens as well as practicing literacy, numeracy and geographical skills throughout.
Children begin the GCSE Geography course in Year 9. It is a varied, relevant and exciting course, which provides a balance between physical and human units of study, while making links between them. Through the units of study children will travel the world from their classroom using case studies in the United Kingdom, higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs). The course begins with a study of natural hazards, including tectonic hazards, weather hazards and climate change, looking not only at the physical or human elements involved, but also the impact such hazards have on people, economy and environments. Children then build on their knowledge of human geography by studying the management of our natural resources; food, water and energy, before moving onto an in-depth study of the precious resource of water and how to ensure its sustainability for future generations. Moreover, they will investigate the challenges and opportunities faced by the UK and compare this with countries in poorer parts of the world.
The course continues with a study of our living world, exploring ecosystems, tropical rainforests and hot deserts, including the impact human activity can have on these environments. Children will then focus on UK landscapes, investigating the processes along the extensive coastlines and river systems and how to manage the challenges our coastlines and rivers face. The course concludes with two human geography units of study: urbanisation, including the issues and challenges associated with urban growth around the world and finally the changing economic world; looking at reasons of uneven economic development around the world and how to close the gap; the impact of rapid economic growth in LICs and NEEs and major changes in the economy of the UK.
There are three GCSE examination papers:
Paper 1: Living with the Physical Environment
Paper 2: Challenges of the Human Environment
Paper 3: Geographical Applications
Children will have the opportunity to experience a fieldwork study. This will involve collection and use of primary and secondary data to formulate into an enquiry and argument based on the data gathered. Moreover, they will also explore a topical issue, related to either a physical and human unit of study and apply a range of geographical knowledge and skills gained from these investigations in the ‘Geographical Applications exam.
Geography Related Careers
The knowledge and skills developed by studying Geography can lead to a wide range of career choice in development, environment, tourism and travel, geoscience, weather, mapping, built environment, risk, countryside and teaching. For example:
International aid worker
Government policy advisor
Air quality analyst
Climate change analyst
Teacher (primary, secondary, university and environmental education).