Geography Teaching Staff
- Mr S Harrison – Curriculum Leader
- Mr S Adams – Head of Year 8
- Mr M Bell
Why Geography is important
Geography is a sprawling, hybrid discipline that spans both the natural and social sciences.
Powerful knowledge in geography:
- Provides students with new ways of thinking about the world using ‘big ideas’ such as Place, Space and interconnection.
- Provides students with powerful ways of analysing, explaining and understanding the world.
- Gives students power over their own knowledge- students need to know about the discipline and how knowledge has been developed and tested.
- Enables students to follow and participate in debates in significant local, national and global issues.
- Takes students beyond their own experience. This knowledge of the world contributes strongly to students’ general knowledge.
Geography education within Wey Valley School aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to be successful global citizens. Our curriculum is not about students leaving with a long list of facts about the world; we want our students to appreciate the ever-evolving nature of Geography as an academic discipline. Through our sequences of learning experiences, students will steadily work out how the world works and how it can and will change in the future. Students will learn about places that are outside of their own experience, they will develop their understanding of the world’s diversity of environments, peoples, cultures and economies. Students will develop a global ‘open mindness’ so that they can challenge stereotypes and understand the fluidity of key ideas and concepts. In their lessons, students will view the world objectively and go beyond their everyday experience. Students will be encouraged to develop a deep and descriptive conceptual world knowledge that enables them to explain relationships in both the natural and human realms. Students will then utilize the knowledge and be equipped with the tools to think through alternative social, economic and environmental futures for a range of places
The geography curriculum has been designed with the intention of providing our students with the skills required to tackle the formal assessments at the end of Year 11, the content of which is very synoptic in approach and requires candidates to be able to apply their learning to a range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts.
Key Stage 3
The curriculum in Key Stage 3 has been designed to introduce our students to the world around them. By underpinning knowledge early in these two years, this allows teachers
in the later years of the course, to be able to stretch and challenge our learners where appropriate. The intention, through the delivery of lessons, is to bring excitement into the classroom beyond the traditional specifications.
Below is just a selection of topics that students in Key Stage 3 will encounter:
- Map skills
- Climate change issue
- The geography of fashion
- Weather & Climate
Key Stage 4
The Department has opted to follow the Edexcel B Specification, which we firmly believe meets the needs of our students, providing them with a broad and balanced curriculum taking into account of the rapidly changing world. It includes many traditional geographical elements but adds a global and local perspective. It is accessible for our learners needs and is fully supported by a national subject advisor for Geography in the Faculty. It is delivered through topics, in four 60-minute lessons per fortnight, using a range of traditional learning activities and more modern approaches that take into account the needs of our learners. There are regular low-stakes assessments throughout the delivery of the course, but there are more formal assessments that mirror the whole-school assessment calendar.
Paper 1: Global Geographical Issues
- Development Dynamics
- Natural Hazards
- Challenges of an Urbanising World
Paper 2: UK Geographical Issues
- The Evolving UK Physical Environment
- The Evolving UK Human Environment
- Fieldwork – Coastal and rural environments
Paper 3: People and Environment Issues
- People and the Biosphere
- Forests Under Threat
- Consuming Energy Resources
At Key Stage 4, the terminal exams are unequally weighted, with 37.5% being awarded from Papers 1 and 2 and the remaining 25% from Paper 3. This will allow candidates the full breadth of the mark range from Grade 1 to 9. The formal assessment process demands candidates to be able to demonstrate competency in all four assessment objectives, which, at a simple level address factual recall of geographical processes, description and explanation of such processes, being able to make geographical interpretations, analysis and judgements, and the use / interpretation of cartographic skills within geography.
At Key Stage 3, assessment is a continuous process, through a variety of formative and summative methods. This may include activities that relate to the production of a written article (which could be a newspaper report, an essay or a [verbal] presentation, for example). All assessments are graded using the GCSE 1-9 system banded into groups which are defined as Foundation, Developing, Secure, Greater Depth and Mastery.
In addition to lessons, we are looking to develop field work opportunities and trips that will broaden the horizons of our students. Students are also encouraged to partake in additional activities outside of their lessons- this may include attending drop in sessions for extra support or looking at the accuracy of geography in film and television. There is also a wealth of geographical literature which we encourage our students to explore.