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St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School

Geography

Geography is a subject that all teaching staff at St John’s believe is crucial to understanding the landscapes, people and processes of our world. We communicate geography to our students through challenging and stimulating lessons, which aim to breed a sense of wonder and curiosity. The Geography department has two modern practical classrooms which are decorated with key terms, maps, images and students’ work to ensure that students across all Key Stages are exposed to learning that is both progressive and enjoyable.

In Key Stage 3, students consolidate and extend their knowledge of the world’s physical and human environments. We aim to encourage understanding of how geographical processes interact to create distinct human and physical landscapes that change over time. There is distinctive focus on key geographical terminology and skills that will allow them to begin analysing and interpreting data sources. A high-quality geographical education in Key Stage 3 will provide students with a fascination about the world that will remain with them into Key Stage 4 when they will have the opportunity to take it on as an option in year 9. In Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA specification, while in KS5 we follow the EDEXCEL specification. These specifications have an ethos centered on geographical enquiry of places and processes. There is great emphasis on topical issues, which students will use as a framework to explain how our world is both shaped and interconnected. Geography is a popular subject for both GCSE and A level, as students find meaning and relevance in its accessible nature.

Year 7 

Term 1 

Mapping Unit - Students will develop a range of skills, including learning to map read, using compasses, learning 6 figure and 8 figure grid references. 

Term 2 

Globalisation - Students will gain an understanding of how connected the world they live in is. They will study the brand Nike and how ethical the brand may be. Students will become familiar with logos and the successes and problems globalisation can bring to a country. 

Term 3 

Britain - Students will gain an understanding of the rivers, cities and countries in the British Isles, focusing on Britain in particular. They will learn about why people live in certain areas and move from others. 

Term 4 

Settlements - Learning about the settlement hierarchy will be the key of this unit. Students will gain an understanding of the differences between each settlement and the positives and negatives of each. 

Term 5 

End of year exam revision - During this term, students will revise all content studied from September. Teachers will use different teaching strategies in these weeks to help students focus on the content for their major end of year exam. 

Term 6 

Weather and climate - Students will learn why weather varies and the different types of weather that occur. Students will also learn how to read weather maps and understand the different types of rainfall we get.

Assessment

Students will be assessed during each lesson so teachers can get an understanding on the progress each pupil is attaining. The students will also be involved in assessment through peer marking and personal assessment in lessons throughout the term. However, on the second last week of each term students will be assessed via a test sheet on the content students have been studying. Students will receive feedback individually after each assessment has been marked and guided on how to make further progress in future examinations. There will also be an end of year exam that will be held and which students/parents will be given notice about in due course.

Year 8 

Term 1 

Brazil - Students will gain an understanding of the Kayapo tribe in Brazil and learn about their beliefs and traditions. Students will also learn about deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, which is part of the GCSE AQA syllabus. Students will develop their map skills during this topic. 

Term 2 

Rivers - Rivers is an important topic in GCSE geography and builds from what students have learnt in year 7 in weather and climate. We introduce students to this topic in year 8 to help them with their studies in later years. Students will gain understanding in relation to formation of rivers, types of rivers, management of rivers and impacts of flooding. 

Term 3 

Tectonics - Tectonic hazards is a topic students in previous years have thoroughly enjoyed. It links with the science curriculum so many students have previous knowledge and understanding of this topic. Students learn about how tectonic events occur, where they occur and what we can do to help prevent the destruction they bring. We focus in on case studies also to help students analyse their understanding of real life events. 

Term 4 

Tsunamis - Tsunamis is part of the tectonics topic and links with the GCSE syllabus. For this topic, students will focus in on the Boxing day tsunami case study and learn how it occurred, when it occurred, and the impacts the tsunami had on the surrounding countries. Students will develop their map skills throughout this topic. 

Term 5 

End of year exam revision - During this term, students will revise all content studied from September. Teachers will use different teaching strategies in these weeks to help students focus on the content for their major end of year exam. 

Term 6 

Ice age - Learning about glacier landscapes is an important part of studying geography. It contrasts with the coastal landscape which students study in KS4. Students will gain an understanding of when the Ice Age occurred and why it occurred.

Assessment

Students will be assessed during each lesson so teachers can get an understanding on the progress each pupil is attaining. The students will also be involved in assessment through peer marking and personal assessment in lessons throughout the term. However, on the second last week of each term 

Year 9 

Term 1 

The living world - Students will learn about physical processes and systems, how they change, and how people interact with them at a range of scales and in a range of places. Students will focus in on ecosystems, tropical rainforests and hot deserts. 

Term 2 

Coastal zone - Students will be introduced to the coastal zone and the physical landscapes that can be found there. Students will learn about the physical processes that occur here and the different management strategies that can be used to protect coastline from the effects of these. 

Term 3 

Climate and its hazards - Students will build upon their prior knowledge of weather and climate from year 7 and begin to link weather conditions and the hazards that may occur. Students will learn how to determine patterns of weather and its hazards. 

Term 4 

Urban issues and challenges - This topic is a core topic and part of the GCSE syllabus and introduces the students to human processes and systems, how they change both spatially and temporally. They are studied in a range of places, at a variety of scales and include places in various states of development. 

Term 5 

End of year exam revision - During this term, students will revise all content studied from September. Teachers will use different teaching strategies in these weeks to help students focus on the content for their major end of year exam. 

Term 6 

Urban issues and challenges continued - Students will continue with this topic from term 5 looking more about sustainability and urban change in the UK. 

Assessment

Students will be assessed via a test sheet based on the content students have been studying. Students will receive feedback individually after each assessment has been marked and guided on how to make further progress in future examinations. There also will be an end of year exam that will be held which students/parents will be given notice about in due course.