"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 



Ms M Chabrel (Subject Leader of Geography)

Mr A Easthorpe (Lead Practitioner)

Miss N Keane (Teacher of Geography)

Mrs H Pocklington (Teacher of Geography and Principal Assistant Headteacher)


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 CoastsDuring 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 the level of engagement that we achieve in the subject throughout the course!At A’level we maintained our experience of Edexcel with the new (2016) specification.  Please see the grid below to observe this pattern of themes. 









Autumn 1

Geographical Skills – local focus


International development

Dynamic Development: International development - Africa, (Zambia or Ethiopia 


2022 to 2023 only) Urban Futures: Population and urbanisationBirmingham and Istanbul or Lagos 

(from 2023) Changing Climate: Change in climate since the Ice Age to the present day 






Superpowers – China and India

Autumn 2

Continental Drift – Where in the world?

(Locational knowledge & Tectonic Processes)

Resource Management

Tectonic Hazards


Global Hazards: Plate tectonics, geological timescales 

weather and climate  

(2022 to 2023 only) Dynamic Development: International development - Africa, (Zambia or Ethiopia) 

(from 2023) Sustaining Ecosystems: Polar 

weathering and soils, weather and climate, 

 case studies – polar and tropical 







Superpowers – China and India  


Spring 1

World Climatic Regions / Biomes



Urban Futures: Population and urbanisation Birmingham and Istanbul or Lagos   

Resource Reliance the use of natural resources 

AfricaTanzania or Ethiopia


Fieldwork   and data handling skills 



Energy policy 


Spring 2


Population and migration (includes focus on countries in Asia)  


 Distinctive landscapes: processes and landforms

 UK in the 21st Century: Population and urbanisationMiddle East –British role 


Fieldwork   and data handling skills 



Energy policy 


Summer 1

World Population

Weather - including extreme weather



Distinctive landscapes: rivers and coasts 




Fieldwork   and data handling skills



Summer 2


Economic   change in the UK & Globalisation



Fieldwork   training - data handling and DME preparation




Impact – 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.

Learning Journey 

Useful links:

BBC Bitesize – KS3 Geography 

Meteorological Office – KS3

Ordnance Survey – MapZone

National Geographic

World Wide Fund for Nature

Impact – Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 we study the OCR B GCSE exam specification – ‘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. 

During Year 10 we work through the content of the Our Natural World paper.  This paper requires the students to develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world they live in and why it looks the way it does.  They study the rich diversity of landscapes and ecosystems which are changing through physical processes and human interactions.  

Paper 1 – Our Natural World (1 hour and 15 minutes) – 70 marks / 35% of the final score.

  • Global Hazards (Tectonic and Climatic)
  • Changing climate
  • Distinctive landscapes (Rivers and Coasts)
  • Sustaining ecosystems (Tropical and Polar)

This exam paper will also test the students’ understanding of their coastal fieldwork. Whether this is from the day trip to Walton-on-the-Naze, on the Essex coast or on the residential field trip to the Jurassic Coast, Dorset.

During Year 11 we work through the content of the People and Society paper. This paper helps the students to explore the social, cultural, political and economic forces that make places unique and how these places change over time and space.

Paper 2 – People and Society (1 hour and 15 minutes) – 70 marks / 35% of the final score.

  • Urban futures

  • Dynamic development

  • UK in the 21st century

  • Resource reliance

This exam paper will also test the students’ understanding of their urban fieldwork. Whether this is on the day trip to the Olympic Park and Stratford East, or the study of Bournemouth, as part of the residential trip to the south coast.

Paper 3 – Geographical Exploration (1 hour and 30 minutes) – 60 marks / 30% of the final score

The location that provides the focus for this paper is unknown before the students sit the exam, so what is being examined is the way that the students are able to draw upon their understanding of physical and human processes and the impacts that different events or decisions can have upon a place. As well as clear written analysis, and the ability to make synoptic links, in this paper the students are being examined on their geographical skills:

  • Cartographic

  • Graphical

  • Numerical

  • Statistical

This paper includes a decision-making exercise, so the students have to demonstrate their critical thinking skills and how they develop arguments in their written responses.

Learning Journey 

Useful KS4 links:

OCR Exam Board – Geography B

BBC Bitesize – KS4

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.

Paper 1 – Physical Geography (2 hours and 15 minutes) – 105 marks / 30% of the qualification

  • Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Coastal Landscapes and Change (landscape option)
  • The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
  • The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Paper 2 – Human Geography (2 hours and 15 minutes) – 105 marks / 30% of the qualification

  • Globalisation
  • Regenerating Places (shaping places option)
  • Superpowers
  • Migration, Identity and Sovereignty (global development option)

Paper 3 – Synoptic paper (2 hours and 15 minutes) – 70 marks / 20% of the qualification

This paper links two or more of the compulsory content of the syllabus – tectonics, water, carbon, globalisation and superpowers to a particular place for the student to study and comment on the geographical issues, processes and implications for that place in a synoptic manner. A resource booklet is provided for the students to draw upon for their analysis.

Coursework – Independent Investigation (Non-Examined Assessment) – 70 marks / 20% of the qualification

The student defines their own question or issue for investigation. This topic is their choice, but must relate to an aspect of the course specification. They will undertake primary research independently, or whilst on the field trips organised in year 12. They will also gather their own secondary data and incorporate this into their report. All the training required for the fieldwork, data collection, presentation and analysis will be provided during the latter half of Year 12 and the Autumn Term of Year 13. The final report produced by the student will be 3000 – 4000 words in length.

Learning Journey

Useful KS5 links:

Pearson Edexcel A’level specification

Field Studies Council – Fieldwork for A’level students

Useful links for all Geographers, but particularly the GCSE and A’level students:

Disasters Emergency Committee

Changing Climate

Jurassic Coast

Rivers and flood risk

British Antarctic Survey

Costa Rica tropical rainforests

Factfulness – Facts to help us see the world as it is

Worldmapper – Maps to help us grow a sense of proportion about the world

United Nations – Sustainable development goals

World Economic Forum

Royal Geographic Society 

Field Studies Council 

Character Development:

At Kings Langley we aim to challenge all of our students to look for opportunities to develop the main school character virtues of stickability, self-regulation and empathy. We aim to help students grasp what is ethically important in situations and how to act for the right reasons, so that they become more autonomous and reflective. In this process, the ultimate aim of character education is the development of good sense or practical wisdom (phronesis): the capacity to choose intelligently between alternatives. Within Geography this encompasses the way that the students reflect on their own experiences in lessons, the way that they interact with others, the manner in which they apply themselves to their work, and the way that they consider themselves to be citizens locally and globally.


We develop the students’ observation skills through a series of studies with expanding geographical reach:

  • Year 7 – Microclimates around the school site
  • Year 8 – Local study of the human geography of Kings Langley High Street
  • Year 9 – Environmental quality study of an area of urban renewal
  • Years 10 & 11 – there are two options at GCSE. To fulfil the exam board criteria, one experience of human geography fieldwork and one of physical geography fieldwork is required, as two different day trips.

The day trips are to Walton-on-the-Naze on the Essex Coast and to an area that has been built with sustainability criteria – London Olympic Park 

The three night residential field trip is to the Jurassic Coast, where three of the days are looking at landforms and coastal processes.  The fourth day is spent mapping the zones and land use of Bournemouth as a town centre.  We stay in Weymouth for this field trip. 

Years 12 & 13 – we prepare our sixth formers for their Independent Investigation with a pair of residential field trips.  Firstly to the North Norfolk coast where we stay in Sheringham, looking at the psammosere of Holkham Sands, the coastal defences of Sheringham and Sea Palling and the coastal processes actively at work at Blakeney Point and Happisburgh.  Our contrasting urban studies are of Sheringham and Great Yarmouth, with a particular focus on regeneration.  The second field trip is to the Thames Valley.  We examine the river processes and the flood management techniques along the long profile of three rivers, the Ray, which flows into the Cherwell at Islip, which flows into the Thames at Oxford.The urban study is a comparison between the market town of Wokingham and the ‘new’ town of Bracknell.  

We hope through all these experiences to create young people with enquiring minds and an awareness that ‘Geography is everywhere’!