The Vision Statement – What is the purpose of the Geography curriculum at BHA
"Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the Earth as the home of humankind. Geography therefore contributes to a balanced education for all young people in schools, colleges and other settings."
(A Different View, GA 2009)
- To stimulate students' interest in their surroundings and in the variety of human and physical conditions on the Earth's surface.
- To foster students' sense of wonder at the beauty of the world around them.
- To help students develop an informed concern about the quality of the environment and the future of the human habitat and thereby enhance students' sense of responsibility for the care of the earth and its people.
- To develop and grow a number of transferable skills in readiness for KS4.
The current Geography curriculum has been influenced by a variety of factors ranging from the characteristics of the local area and the catchment cohort to the need to dovetail in with the aims and objectives of the school as a whole.
Two of the most important influences have been the National Curriculum and the Geographical Association’s (GA) progression framework which have been used to develop 5 key themes for the curriculum: places, interdependence, sustainability, physical processes and skills.
The curriculum shows a progression from Year 6 to Year 8 which allows students to improve their knowledge and skills over time by using a series of carefully planned and interconnecting topics. Geography at different scales also shows a progression over time with the scale shifting from local and regional issues to more national and global issues.
Year 6 – Topics:
The UK and map skills. This unit allows students to learn basic geography using maps of the world, Europe and the British Isles. This reinforces their sense of place. This is followed by an introduction to map reading using Ordnance Survey maps.
The Local and Global Environment. This unit allows students to examine the world at different scales, looking at the local area and examining the impact of global environmental issues on it as well as what people do to influence changes in the environment.
Water and Rivers. Here the students learn about how rivers work using the River Nile as an example. This is followed by examining how water is used and where it comes from. Students discover what a precious resource water is.
Year 7 – Topics:
Settlements and Shopping. This unit allows students to study the local area and the places found in it. Some key questions include: What are settlements and why do they grow? How is the site for a settlement chosen? Students will study the places they live in and compare it to Pershore. A fieldtrip to Pershore to collect data will be included in this unit.
Coasts. A unit of physical geography that shows students how to identify coastal features and how they were formed. Do coastlines change and can this affect people? They will create a detailed tourist brochure about a section of the Dorset coastline.
Weather. Students will examine how the weather that we all moan about occurs and how we measure and observe it. They will find out how amazing and dangerous the weather can be by looking at extreme weather events around the world.
Economic Activity. This unit explores different types of industries and the variety of jobs that people do and how this can affect the environment. Students will find out about farming in the UK and play a decision making game where they are put in charge of their own farm.
Year 8 – Topics:
World map skills and knowledge. Students learn and reinforce where oceans, continents and countries are.
Ecosystems. In this unit students will find out more about the variety of natural landscapes found in our world. They will find out what an ecosystem is and how people can affect them. Soil erosion is investigated as an example of an current ecological issue. Finally, students will carry out their own independent research study on a global biome.
Earthquakes and Volcanoes. Which of these are the most destructive? Here students will find out about the phenomenal natural forces that have shaped our planet and how they cause earthquakes and volcanoes. They will learn about the changes that our planet has undergone and how natural disasters affect people around the world.
Glaciation: In this unit students discover how ice has changed Earth’s landscape and learn to recognize some common features made by ice.
China, an emerging country: What is China like and how has it changed? Students are able to find out about the people and places in this fascinating country and how it has developed at a break-neck speed.
Kenya: Students examine a contrasting area of the world to China to give a perspective on the development of both countries.
Assessment in Geography:
Teacher assessment will take place throughout the course and regular assessment tasks will be set and marked. Both formative and summative assessments are used to help us improve the progress of the students and inform us on improvements that may be needed to the curriculum.
By the end of Year 8 pupils will have:
- A knowledge of a wide range of places, environments and features at a variety of scales extending from local to global.
- An understanding of the human and physical processes that lead to the development of, and changes in, a variety of geographical features, systems and places.
- An ability to make connections between different geographical phenomena they have studied.
- An ability to use a range of data and information to help them investigate, interpret and make conclusions about geographical issues and questions, communicating their ideas in a variety of ways.
- A grounding in the subject in readiness for High School.