"Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?"
Sir Michael Palin, President of the Royal Geographical Society, 2009 - 2012
Geography at Kings Langley School
Geography needs to develop geographers – citizens of the world, who can see, analyse and evaluate issues of places, landscapes, people, processes and resources. We need to encourage our students to think creatively and analytically about the world at a range of scales. They need to know about places and the processes that effect those places. They need to understand the range of decisions that people make about places and how others are affected by these decisions and processes.
This requires analytical skills to be developed. Examples from the local area and from around the world are to be used to encourage empathy and data analysis. Fieldwork is to be used following the enquiry approach and developing the level of independence through the key stages.
As a foundation subject, we need to develop students’ numeracy, literacy and ICT skills. Literacy needs to be developed through both written and oral experiences. Students need to be trained in how to write analytically. Students need to be at ease with comparing the importance and validity of different types of data.
Links with STEM need to be observed regularly and career opportunities which utilise Geography need to be celebrated.
Our character programme needs to be developed through tasks that encourage individual reflection and challenge, as well as paired or group tasks that develop skills of co-operation and collaboration. We are developing students who can empathise, demonstrate self-regulation and perseverance, to aim for the best grades that they can achieve. We are developing students who can persevere in seeking solutions to real world problems with others, using their insight, analysis and inter-personal skills.
The Geography curriculum follows a spiral and progressive design allowing students to revisit topics or themes several times throughout KS3, 4 and 5. The complexity or difficulty of the topic or theme increases with each revisit. These themes are World climatic regions / Biomes, Resource Management – with a focus on energy consumption, Changing Climate, Population and Migration, Tectonic Hazards, Climate Hazards, International Development, Economic Change and Globalisation, Weather including Microclimates & Extreme Weather, Urbanisation, Rivers and Coasts. During Key Stage 3 specific modules about the African countries of Kenya and Nigeria are studied. We help the students to recognise contrasting conditions at regional and national scales. From the continent of Asia, the countries of Japan, Singapore, India and China feature as topic-based case studies within the scheme of work. The United Kingdom is one of the locations that is studied for its economic changes, population dynamics and cultural identity. We also study the historical and current physical geography processes on our landscape, looking at the impact of glaciations on our famous scenery as well as the day to day impacts of erosion, weathering and the weather. These themes are revisited at GCSE and A’level. At GCSE we use the OCR – B specification, ‘Geography for Enquiring Minds’, which sums up how we hope to see the level of engagement in the subject throughout the course! At A’level we maintained our experience of Edexcel with the new (2016) specification. Please see the attached grid to observe the sequence of these themes at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.
Key Stage 3
By the end of Key Stage 3 we will have:
Developed the students’ world knowledge of significant places
Developed the students’ local knowledge of immediate places
Enabled the students to define the physical and human characteristics of places
Provided place based opportunities to learn about physical and human processes
Helped the students to understand that the impacts of these processes vary through time and across spatial scales
Developed the students’ geographical skills of description, explanation, interpretation, analysis and evaluation using secondary data provided or gathered during fieldwork
Developed their geographical skills of observation and accuracy during fieldwork and primary data collection
Helped the students to be at ease with interpreting information from maps, globes, diagrams, aerial photographs, and data rich layers of Geographical Information Systems
Developed the students’ written skills coupled with clear graphical, cartographical techniques so that they are literate and numerate in their communication of geography.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 we study the OCR Exam Board – Geography B – ‘Geography for Enquiring Minds’:
This scheme of work was chosen to enable the students to ‘think like geographers’ by developing an enquiry approach to place-based studies. Specific case studies are selected to draw together the physical and human features of places or events during Years 10 and 11. The separate papers for Our Natural World and People and Society have specific fieldwork questions that enable the students to demonstrate their skills and reflect on the places that they visited. The third paper, Geographical Exploration provides the students with the chance to make decisions and strategic recommendations for an unknown location. This is an exam paper that requires the students to think synoptically as they draw together the eight themes and processes from across the GCSE.
Summary of exam papers - Our Natural World, People and Society and Geographical Exploration
Useful KS4 links:
Fieldwork Skills and Data Handling - the route through a Geographical Enquiry at GCSE
Impact – Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 we study the Pearson Edexcel A' level specification
This specification offers an issues-based approach to the study of geography, with the concepts of players (stakeholders), attitudes and actions, and uncertainties regarding the future, providing synoptic links. Each component of the course has place-based studies to provide context for the students to apply their knowledge and understanding.
Factfulness – facts to help us see the world as it is
Worldmapper – maps to help us grow a sense of proportion about the world:
Field Studies Council – Fieldwork - support for the NEA and fieldwork at A’level
We develop the students’ observation skills through a series of studies with expanding geographical reach:
We hope through all these experiences to create young people with enquiring minds and an awareness that ‘Geography is everywhere’!
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Ms M Chabrel – Subject Leader of Geography: email@example.com
Miss N Keane – Teacher of Geography: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr J Sylvester – Teacher of Geography email@example.com
Mr D Crisp - Teacher of Geography firstname.lastname@example.org