At Springwell, Geography is a well-respected subject where students are interested and engaged in the world around them. A variety of topics are studied from Year 7 through to Year 11 and students learn key geographical skills such as map reading, locational knowledge and how to execute accurate fieldwork. Students are expected to ‘think like geographers’ and to have an enquiry based approach to their learning. Teachers have high expectations of all students and challenge them to think deeply about the topics studied.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, students study a wide range of topics, which aim to give them a deep understanding of key geographical concepts. The content studied also prepares students for the demands of GCSE geography.
There is a mixture of human and physical topics studied and key geographical skills are embedded in every lesson.
Wherever possible, lessons focus on current areas of interest and engages students in real-life enquiry.
Assessments prepare students for Key Stage 4 and include a mix of extended writing and short answer questions.
In Year 7, students learn a wide range of geographical skills such as map reading. They also increase their locational knowledge of places and start to engage with the geography of their local area. They complete a country study of Kenya, exploring the challenges faced by a low-income country (LIC) and how a country might develop over time. Students also study some physical geography when they examine coastal processes and how our own country is shaped by the coast.
In Year 8, students develop the skills and knowledge acquired in Year 7 and start to think more deeply about key concepts in geography. The year starts with a closer look at population issues, with a specific focus on how populations change as a country develops, and the impacts of migration. They then focus on physical geography with an in-depth introduction into natural hazards; including earthquakes and tropical storms.
In Year 9, students experience the nature of the GCSE curriculum. They start the year by looking at The Living World, which incorporates a closer look at rainforests and hot desert environments. They also examine the way in which resources (water, energy and food) are shared around the world and most specifically, how the UK plays its part in a global economy. Year 9 is completed with a closer look at the skills needed to complete Paper 3 at GCSE with an opportunity for some small-scale fieldwork and a focus on decision making skills.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA GCSE 9-1 specification for geography. This is based around three papers (Paper 1 – Physical Geography, Paper 2 – Human Geography and Paper 3 – Geographical Skills) and the content is divided across Year 10 and Year 11.
In the summer term of Year 10 we also complete the fieldwork requirement for the GCSE. This has to be a human and physical piece of fieldwork and students are required to be able to talk competently about their investigation. For the past two years of the new GCSE specification, we have visited Bridlington where we have investigated the effectiveness of hard engineering strategies and then taken a closer look at the opportunities available for tourists.
The GCSE is 100% examination, split over the three papers and includes a variety of geographical skills (graph use, map reading, use of photographs), extended answers and short answer questions.
Geography classrooms are well-resourced with specialist teachers and up-to-date textbooks. We have access to a range of information technology including laptops and iPads, for which we use GIS and other forms of data presentation.
Students get the opportunity to take part in a range of fieldwork opportunities to enrich their learning experience. We also run a range of intervention and revision sessions, as well as offering homework help to students who may need it.