Skip to main content


‘The study of Geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents, and in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.’    – Barack Obama

Our curriculum is designed to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to make sense of the world and face the challenges that will shape our societies and environments now and in the future. Our curriculum will develop an understanding of the complex physical processes which shape the natural world, the diverse interactions between human societies, and critically how each of these elements affects the other. This knowledge and understanding will enable students to empathise with different cultures, develop a sense of their own identity within communities at different scales, and gain confidence in their ability to succeed in an ever-changing world that faces complex and dynamic challenges.

Our curriculum is designed to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to make sense of the world and face the challenges that will shape our societies and environments now and in the future. Our curriculum will develop an understanding of the complex physical processes which shape the natural world, the diverse interactions between human societies, and critically how each of these elements affects the other. This knowledge and understanding will enable students to empathise with different cultures, develop a sense of their own identity within communities at different scales, and gain confidence in their ability to succeed in an ever-changing world that faces complex and dynamic challenges.

Key Concepts

Time Scale Space Place Sustainability
Processes Systems Interdependence Inequality Risk
Resilience Conflict Enquiry Development Globalisation

Year 7

The year 7 curriculum focuses on foundational knowledge of the key geographical concepts and skills to ensure students are ready to apply these in later years.

Autumn 1: What is Geography? (2 weeks)

Students will explore the foundations of Geography as a subject and its unique place within the curriculum as both a humanities and science based subject. We will explore the different elements of geography and how these relate to each other.

Autumn term 1: United Kingdom: Is the UK unique? (6 weeks)
This unit focuses entirely on our island home and its unique place within the world. Students will explore the different physical and human Geography of the United Kingdom and how this shapes our communities and lives.

Autumn 2: Population & Migration: Can the population keep growing forever? (6 weeks)
Throughout this unit students will explore the movement of people throughout human history and in the present day. They will explore the challenge of overpopulation and how this challenge has been addressed in the past and could be addressed in the future.

Spring 1: Weather and climate: Why does weather and climate vary around the world? (6 weeks)

Students will be introduced to one of the most fundamental elements of physical geography, weather and climate. We will explore the differences between weather and climate, how and why they change and the impacts these changes have on people and the environment. 

Spring 2: Cold Environments: Can cold environments be protected? (5 weeks)
Students will explore the different characteristics and processes in cold environments around the world. Students will also explore the fragility of the world’s cold environments and how they can be protected from the threats which they face.

Summer 1: Globalisation & Development: Can you follow the dollar? (6 weeks)
Students will be introduced to globalisation and development; two of the key concepts in human Geography. This unit will explore how changes in development and the rise of globalisation have both dramatically changed the human experience across six continents: both in positive and negative ways.

Summer 2: Fieldwork: Where should Year 7 have a picnic? (5 weeks)

Students will be introduced to the enquiry process and how this relates to Geography before collecting data on the school site. Students will learn how to identify patterns and draw conclusions from the data they have collected.

Year 8

The year 8 curriculum will focus on Geographical challenges at different scales and how these challenges can be overcome in the 21st century.

Autumn 1: Pollution: Can we clean up our planet? (7 weeks)

This unit will explore the different types of pollution and the impacts they have socially, economically, and environmentally before moving onto the extent to which humans are responsible for pollution around the world and how we can combat the problem.

Autumn 2: Disease: Are we more vulnerable to disease than ever before?   (6 weeks)

Students have all experienced the recent COVID pandemic and as such have a keen interest in the challenge of diseases and how these affect our world. This unit will explore how globalisation, development, sustainability, and place all relate to different diseases.

Spring 1: Resources: Do we have enough for everyone? (6 weeks)

Students will explore how physical conditions affect the availability of resources, how resources are sold and traded around the world, the impacts of resource scarcity on people around the world, and whether we can sustainably provide for our growing population.

Spring 2: Supervolcanoes: Will Yellowstone be an extinction level event? (5 weeks)

In this unit we will explore the processes that occur beneath the surface and how, in unique places known as hotspots, these processes can result in the formation of supervolcanoes. Students will learn about the world’s supervolcanoes including, how they form, previous eruptions, and the impacts of an eruption.

Summer 1: Haiti: Can Haiti overcome its challenges? (6 weeks)

This unit will bring together everything students have explored in year 8 as well as their foundational knowledge from year 7. This unit will explore the complex country of Haiti, the challenges it faces from pollution and disease to tectonic activity and hurricanes to colonialism and resource scarcity..

Summer 2: Fieldwork: Does our local area have a pollution problem? (5 weeks)

Students will develop their understanding of the enquiry process before conducting a more in depth fieldwork investigation including collecting primary data and secondary information, analysing data to identify trends and anomalies, presenting data in appropriate ways, and analysing data to reach valid conclusions.

Year 9

The year 8 curriculum will deepen student’s knowledge of key geographical concepts discovered in year 7 and explored in year 8 by applying them to some of the world’s most complex places

Autumn 1: The Middle East: Can the Middle East sustain its growth? (6 weeks)

Students will begin year 9 with a detailed exploration of the Middle East, exploring the complex economic, social, political, and environmental context of this region as well as how these factors have changed over the last century.

Autumn 2: China: Will China become the next global empire? (6 weeks)

Students will use their knowledge of development and globalisation and apply this to the context of China, investigating how China has grown into the economic, political, and military superpower it is today. Students will learn about the social, economic, and environmental costs of China’s rise to power as well as the impacts on the rest of the world.

Spring 1: Tourism in the UK: Are all forms of tourism a good thing?   (6 weeks)

Students will explore tourism as one of the most significant economic activities in the world which has social, economic, environmental, and political effects at a range of scales. Students will explore the growth of different forms of tourism and how the growth of niche tourism has impacts at different scales.

Spring 2 & Summer 1: Africa: Should we help Africa? (11 weeks)

Bringing together all their previous learning and understanding of Geography from development and globalisation to sustainability and scale, students will explore the complex and diverse continent of Africa. We will explore the differences in development, politics, physical environments, and cultures including the reasons behind these differences. Students will explore how Africa has changed in the last two centuries and how it might change in the future.

Summer 2: Fieldwork: Why is fieldwork valuable in Geography? (5 weeks)

Students will expand their understanding of fieldwork by completing an independent fieldwork investigation from a list of options. Students will create a hypothesis within specific guidelines before deciding on data collection techniques, forms of analysis and presentation, and finally drawing their own conclusions and evaluating the process they have followed.

Key Stage 4 Overview

The KS4 curriculum provides students with opportunities to build on their learning experiences gained during Key Stage 3.

Students will study a total of 8 units throughout their two-year AQA GCSE Geography course.

The Challenge of Natural Hazards: This unit explores the tectonic, atmospheric, and climatic processes that affect our planet and how these result in natural hazards that threaten human lives and civilisations. Students also explore specific examples of natural hazards, their impacts, and how these can be managed in the future.

The Living World: Exploring Earth’s unique and varied ecosystems from tropical rainforests to arctic environments. This unit explores how these regions developed, the fauna and flora that have adapted in these locations and the opportunities and challenges that the environment, and the people who live there, face.

Physical landscapes in the UK: The United Kingdom has varied and complex physical landscapes that have been primarily shaped by three natural processes: coastal processes, fluvial processes, and glacial processes. This unit explores how these processes have shaped the landscape of our country and continue to do so. Students will also explore how these environments present opportunities and risks, and how they can be managed sustainably.

Urban issues and challenges: This human Geography topic explores the world’s urban environments; how these areas have grown and changed over time, and how they will continue to grow and change in the future. Students will explore two urban areas in significant depth, Lagos in Nigeria, and Manchester in the UK. They will discuss the challenges, opportunities, and improvements in both areas and compare how these three aspects are different for two cities at different stages of development.

Changing Economic World: The first human Geography unit that we study is one focused on the unequal development across the world, the causes of this inequality, the impacts, and how the gap can be reduced in the future. Students will then study two countries at contrasting levels of development: the United Kingdom and Nigeria. Extensive knowledge of these two countries will be analysed and discussed to determine what challenges and opportunities they face now, and which await them in the future.

The Challenge of resource management: Resources are the essential items that we, as humans, need to survive and succeed in the world. These resources are rarely equally distributed, and students will explore these inequalities: the reasons behind them, the impacts of such inequalities, and how these inequalities have been solved in the past or can be solved in the future.

Fieldwork: Students are required to undertake two fieldwork visits: a physical enquiry and a human enquiry which link to their learning in other units. We currently visit a river landscape and Salford Quays, and students spend time in lessons analysing their data and reaching their own conclusions.

Issue Evaluation: Towards the end of the GCSE course, students are presented with a Geographical Issue which is relevant to their prior learning. Students must analyse this information and draw on their own understanding/other sources of information to reach a conclusion on the issue which has been presented.

Read like a Geographer

Geography is an ever-changing and evolving discipline that allows students to understand the complex and dynamic world around them. Reading is the cornerstone of knowledge, allowing understanding different cultures, places, and people to remain current and relevant whilst growing and developing. The literature surrounding Geography is as varied and diverse as the discipline of Geography itself. This literature allows students to learn about the world and challenge their views, becoming equally more knowledgeable and understanding of the differences on the diverse and dynamic planet.

Reading is built into the Geography curriculum in several ways.

  • Guided reading tasks are incorporated into each unit. Some are background information about the lesson, and others are specific information linked to student tasks. Sharples guided reading strategies are used for these tasks, combining teacher-led and student-led reading. The connected questions allow students to demonstrate that they have understood what they have read. 
  • Independent reading tasks with related comprehension activities are set as homework for students to encourage reading and understanding. This allows students to read about Geography outside of the lesson and encourages students to think more deeply about what they are reading and its meaning.
  • A collection of geographic literature is available within the department for students to access. These books allow students to explore Geography more widely in their own time, and many are directly linked to the topics students are studying, with some guided reading extracts in lessons taken from the books in the ‘Geography Library’.
  • Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson, and a range of strategies are used to familiarise students with essential vocabulary before each unit and before tasks. This allows students to explore this vocabulary, become more familiar with it, and build their confidence for the upcoming task or unit.
  • Each unit booklet shares Keywords with the students and appropriate definitions that allow students to access the content for the upcoming unit of work.

Click here to view the suggested reads poster.
Please note: the images of the book covers are clickable hyperlinks to the book.

Home Learning

Learning beyond the classroom will include regular recall and retrieval activities that will link to the learning that students undertake in their next sequence of lessons. This will enable students to start lessons confident of their previous knowledge and ready to begin their new learning. Other home learning activities will also be set where appropriate and when this will add to the learning already undertaken in the classroom.


Enrichment and other extracurricular activities

There is a weekly Geography club at lunch time as well as an eco-schools club where students explore ways to improve our natural environment and can become eco-ambassadors for the school. Additionally, there are educational visits for every year group during the year.



Mr Barnes, Director of Geography