Geography is a distinctive subject that inspires curiosity of our dynamic world and enables students to understand the current and relevant challenges our planet faces. At ICC, our intention is that students develop an understanding of the variety within physical and human geography, how they interact to shape our planet and impact our environment. In physical geography we aim to instil a sense of awe and wonder at natural landscapes; in human geography we create empathy for other cultures and lifestyles through exploring contrasting places and economies and in environmental geography we raise awareness of how important sustainability is, now and for future generations. At ICC, we want students to explore their own place in the world, their own values as well as consideration of different viewpoints and to foster an ethos of sensitivity and respect towards other people and the environment. Our geography curriculum develops and extends students’ locational knowledge and key geographical skills whilst also increasing their ability to think critically and to investigate geographical enquiries about issues affecting local and global areas. Students will make reasoned, informed decisions, judgements and conclusions based on sound evaluation of information. Geography has a wealth of transferable skills and we emphasise the importance of these to multitudes of employment opportunities, producing well rounded ready students for their steps in life.
The geography curriculum has been carefully designed to fulfil our intentions and is delivered through a variety of teaching approaches including group and independent learning. Students study a two-year Key Stage 3 curriculum, recently updated collaboratively within the department to address all aspects of the programme of study. Further rationale behind our curriculum design is alternating between physical and human topics to generate diversity and enthusiasm. Geographical skills alongside literacy and numeracy skills have been embedded throughout and continue into KS4 and 5. Paramount in implementing our revised curriculum and in recognition of progression not being linear, has been to adopt a spiral approach where places, themes and skills are revisited in ways that develop students’ confidence and build depth of knowledge and understanding. This is highlighted in our Geography Curriculum Map below. In KS3, students study12 broad and varied topics that equip them with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes that builds on KS2 and lays the foundations for KS4 and 5. At KS4, students follow the OCR B specification which is designed to make students think like a geographer by asking interesting geographical questions. There are eight topics and links are made between them in preparation for decision-making exercises. At KS5, students follow the AQA course which balances physical and human units with traditional topics such as ‘Global Hazards’ alongside the innovative ‘Changing Places’ unit where the changes in local and distant places over time are explored. All enquiry and analytical skills gained are put to good effect in their independent NEA. Fieldwork is integral to geography and mandatory at KS4 and 5 as it promotes deeper knowledge and understanding by bridging the divide between the classroom and the real world. We explore the school and local environment to develop the key skills of conducting geographical enquiries. At KS5 there has been the opportunity to visit Stratford and Pevensey Bay. Diversifying our fieldwork locations at KS4 and 5 is an area we are keen to develop within our curriculum.
Our curriculum impact is evidenced through regular AFL in the classroom, formative and summative assessments, book scrutinies, progress and attainment in external examinations and increased numbers taking geography at GCSE and A level.
Overviews & Disciplinary Literacy Framework
Geography GCSE Revision