SUBJECT Curriculum Map

Intent: We aim to create the best geographers. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working within the field would. We do this first by teaching to ensure students understand geographical skills and principles. Students can then apply them in a variety of familiar and unfamiliar contexts from around the world. We teach content in a variety of topics between human and physical geography to provide a varied and balanced appreciation of the ideas, skills and topics in this discipline. Our curriculum goes beyond what is taught in lessons, for whilst we want students to achieve the very best examination results possible, we believe our curriculum goes beyond what is examinable. At GCSE we provide students with extended learning opportunities in homework, but also in student participation in fieldwork at Slapton Ley, Devon and at Plymouth. Fieldwork is key to developing geographical skills, knowledge and understanding. At A Level the discipline of geography encourages students to gain enjoyment, satisfaction and a sense of achievement as they develop their knowledge and understanding of the subject. This A Level course will enable students to be inspired by their geographical understanding, to engage critically with real world issues and places, and to apply their geographical knowledge, theory and skills to the world around them. Students will grow as independent thinkers and as informed and engaged citizens, who understand the role and importance of geography as one of the key disciplines relevant to understanding the world’s changing peoples, places and environments.


Term 1   2   3  
Year 7 Introduction to Geography – Fantastic Places

Students are introduced to physical and human geography. In this first topic students learn geographical skills which will support

later learning in the subject. Skills such as map reading, direction, grid references and scale, through the lens of fantastic places around our planet.


Students begin this topic by deciding on what made a site a suitable place to start a settlement. Students then examine how settlements grow and change overtime. Particular focus is placed on identifying how we plan a structure

settlement from linear, dispersed

and nucleated settlement to the

Hoyt and Burgess land use

models. We finish the topic by

examining the growth of

Manchester the Roman conquest

to modern times.

Rivers and flooding

Students begin this topic by learning some of the key processes involved in the formation of river landscapes. We

further consolidate understanding of map skills while identifying the different types of river on OS maps.

We the link back to our learning

in settlements when we examine

how rivers impact upon the

human environment.

Students will also study how we

manage our rivers with hard and

sift engineering.

Field work – Harlesden

Having studied settlement earlier we now examine the historical geographies of the local area. By the end of this topic students will have developed an

understanding of how to carry out a geographical enquiry.

Quantitative and Qualitative data. From developing a hypothesis, choosing methodologies, collecting primary data collection. Data analysis, conclusion and evaluation.

Completing a field report

Population – China

Students study population change in China.

They examine what life has been like for Chinese citizens over the past

few decades. They then use information to create a Choropleth map to illustrate the population densities (population spread) with the country.

Year 8 The Wider World

Students learn about the structure of modern Britain. Firstly, we look at the physical make-up of the UK and its constituent nations. We then examine the demographic structure of the UKs population and the associated problems and solutions within a multicultural society.

We study the role of migration within our society and some of the misconceptions people have. This then leads us to examine and debate why people voted to leave the EU during the BREXIT referendum.

Finally, we look at the economic structure of the UK and has it created a North/South divide.

As we examine the nature of the UK we access and analyses maps, graphs and images.

Africa and


Students study the physical make-up of the African continent. Firstly, students the Great Rift Valley and its importance in human and local development.

We then exam the difference between LIC and HIC countries. While studying the development of Kenya we examine

poverty, shanty town living and rural to urban migration.

We use a range of maps, graphs and photo analysis to gain a better insight into the lives of African people(s).

Weather and Climate

Students study weather and climate, in the UK.

We take a close look at the link between weather and climate. We examine how we measure and forecast the weather.

We examine how we can collect data and present it on a climate graph. We then examine how temperature and precipitation can be presented up on climate graph.

Finally, we conduct a

geographical enquiry

which will further develop

skills students have

learned previously in



Students develop their understanding of physical geography in the context of Russia. We then learn about Russia’s climate, its natural resources and how these are exploited in support of Russia’s ever-growing population.

Finally, we examine Russia’s role

in the world. Firstly, the

Chernobyl disaster and secondly

Russia’s geo-political position on the world stage, particularly

following the invasion and

annexation of Crimea.


Students begin this topic by learning some of the key processes involved in the formation of coastal landscapes. We further consolidate understanding of map skills while identifying the different types of river on OS maps.

We then link back to our learning in settlements when we examine how the sea impacts upon the human environment. Students will also study how we manage our coasts with hard and soft engineering.

Year 9 Natural Hazards and Plate Tectonics

Students are introduced to GCSE geography. Students begin with learning about the structure of the earth and our place on the earth. They explore how we are impacted by our physical environment. We then place this in the context of 2 case studies in Nepal (LIC) and Chile (HIC). For each case study we study the primary and secondary impacts, and the immediate and long-term responses.

Weather Hazards and

Tropical Storms

Students study the role that our atmosphere plays in the physical and human environments. We begin with learning about the global atmospheric circulation and how this leads to the formation of tropical storms. We then place this in the context of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Climate Change

In this section we consider the evidence for climate change from the beginning of the quaternary period to the present day. We then examine the natural causes and human causes of climate change. Finally, we look at how humans are attempting to mitigate and adapt to climate change. We specifically study 3 major climate change agreements

– the Kyoto Protocol, the Copenhagen Agreements

and the Paris Agreement.

Ecosystems – Tropical Rainforests

Firstly, we learn about the key components found with ecosystems and then scale up to a global level. Here we examine the contrasting environments of tropical rain forests (TRF). We then place this in the context of two case studies in Malaysia (TRF) and the Thar desert (HD).

For TRF we look at at the social, economic and environmental uses. Finally, we examine the sustainable management of


Hot Deserts

Having studied TRF we now study a contrasting environment, Hot Deserts. Key to this section of our course is the case study example of the Thar Desert. Here we learn about how people use hot deserts and how this may impact upon the development of the people who live there. How this can lead to desertification and how this can be reduced by sustainable management.

Year 10 Physical Landscapes in the UK and Coastal Landscapes


We begin by studying the relief and landscape of the UK. As we begin studying coastal landscapes we learn about the formation and characteristics of waves and the process of erosion, transportation and deposition. We then study how these lead to the formation of coastal features, such as headlands, bays, beaches, sand dunes, spits and bars. Finally, we study hard and soft engineering of the coast, which is then learned about in the context of coastal erosion at Lyme Regis.

Physical landscapes in the UK – River landscapes


We begin by learning about the stages of a river in a drainage basin. Followed by the processes of erosion, transportation and deposition in the river. We then study the formation of river features that have been created by these processes, for example waterfalls, meanders, flood plains and levees. We then find out how physical and human factors can increase flood risk. i.e. Hydrographs. Finally, we look at hard and soft engineering in the river valley. This is then studied in the context of the

river Banbury. The river basin acts as the basis to our physical geography fieldwork.


Urban issues and challenges  – Rio (NEE)


We study a city in an NEE (newly emerging economy) country. We begin by learning about the factors which affect the growth of cities i.e. push/pull factors, natural increase, rural to urban migration. We learn about the location of Rio De Janeiro and its regional, national and international importance. We examine the social, economic and environmental challenges and opportunities. We look in greater detail at the squatter settlement in Rio.

Urban Issues and Challenges -Bristol (UK)


We study a We begin by finding out about the distribution of the UK population and the location of its major cities.

We learn about the regional, national and international importance of Bristol. We continue by learning about the social economic and environmental opportunities and challenges found in the city. Finally, we focus on the Temple Quarter in central Bristol. We examine reasons to regenerate the area and the scheme to regenerate the area. Urban regeneration acts as a basis to our human field trip in year 11.


Sustainable Urban Planning – Freiburg


Focusing on Frieburg – Germany, a sustainable city, we learn about the sustainable development of urban areas which require social, economic and environmental planning. Students learn about the need for sustainable energy and green space in sustainable cities. Finally, we compare traffic management in Frieburg with strategies in Singapore and Beijing.


Year 11 The Changing Economic World and Development

We begin by learning about global variations in economic development and quality of life e.g. GNI, HDI, birth rate. We then learn about the demographic structure of countries at varying levels of development. Students will learn about population pyramids and the demographic transition model (DTM). Students will also learn about the causes of underdevelopment, how this leads to inequality in health and wealth. This

is further developed by relating them to migration. Finally, we examine strategies to counter under development – aid and intermediate technology, fair trade, debt relief and tourism (Jamaica).

Field Enquiry – Residential

Students undertake a residential field trip where students develop their geographical skills and knowledge. They study techniques used in collecting primary and secondary data., data presentation, evaluation and conclusion.


The changing Economic

World – Nigeria (NEE)

We begin by studying the location and importance of Nigeria. We study the changing relationship with the wider world. We examine Nigeria’s economy in detail, the role of TNC’s (Transnational Corporations). We also study the role of

international Aid and the quality of life.


The Changing UK Economy

We study how the UK economy has changed over time, from primary

to quaternary production. We then study the growth of the post-industrial economy and the growth of science and business parks. Students will then examine the changes in the UKs transport network. We particularly examine the HS2 project. Finally, we examine social disparities in the North/South divide of the UK. Furthermore, we learn about the role of Britain today.

The challenge of resource management

Students study the UK distribution, challenges and opportunities of water, food and energy. We then focus on the global distribution and consumption of water. We study two examples the water transfer scheme in Lesotho and the Wakel River Basin as scheme to increase sustainable water supply.


Pre-release and



The pre-release booklet is released 12 weeks before the exam. This will give students the opportunity to examine it in more detail. The pre-release is based on a topic previously studied in physical or human geography.

Year 12 Human – Topic 3: Globalisation

Globalisation and global interdependence continue to accelerate, resulting in changing opportunities for businesses and people. Inequalities are caused within and between countries as shifts in patterns of wealth occur. Cultural impacts on the identity of communities increase as flows of ideas, people and goods take place. Recognising that both tensions in communities and pressures on environments are likely, will help players implement sustainable solutions.


GCSE links Urban Issues


Physical – Topic 1: Tectonic processes and Hazards


Tectonic hazards – earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and secondary hazards such as tsunamis – represent a significant risk in some parts of the world. This is especially the case where active tectonic plate boundaries

interact with areas of high population density and low levels of development. Resilience in these places can be low, and the interaction of physical systems with vulnerable populations can result in major disasters. An in- depth understanding of the causes of tectonic hazards is key to both increasing the degree to which they can be managed and putting in place successful responses that can mitigate social and economic impacts and allow humans to adapt to hazard occurrence.

Physical – Topic 2: 2B Coastal Landscapes and


Coastal landscapes develop due to the interaction of winds, waves and currents, as well as through the contribution of both terrestrial and offshore sources of sediment. These flows of energy and variations in sediment budgets interact with the prevailing geological and lithological characteristics of the coast to operate as coastal systems and produce distinctive coastal landscapes, including those in rocky, sandy and estuarine coastlines. We will examine the need for holistic and sustainable management of the coasts. The study will include examples of landscapes from inside and outside the UK.


Physical – Fieldwork follow up – NEA

The independent investigation of 3000 to 4000 words. These will include; define hypotheses that are linked to the specification. Design and implement an individual fieldwork and research methodology, and then to present the data and information. Analyse, reach conclusions and critically reflect on the methods and results. Explain how the results and findings relate to the wider geographical context and help extend geographical understanding.


Human – Topic 4A: Regenerating Places

Local places vary economically and socially with change driven by local, national and global processes. These processes include movements of people, capital, information and resources, making some places economically dynamic while other places appear to be marginalized. This creates and exacerbates considerable economic and social inequalities both between and within local areas. The relative success of regeneration and rebranding for individuals and groups depends on the extent to which lived experience, perceptions, and attachments to places are changed. Students should begin by studying the place in which they live or

study in order to look at economic change and social inequalities. They will then put this local place in context in order to understand how regional, national, international and global influences have

led to changes there. They should then study one further contrasting place through which they will develop their wider knowledge and understanding about how places change and are shaped. A local place may be a locality, a neighbourhood or a small community, either urban or rural.

Synoptic links Globalisation – deindustrialisation, the global shift, urbanisation


Year 13 Human – Topic 7: Superpower Geographies

Superpowers can be developed by a number of characteristics. The pattern of dominance has changed over time. Superpowers and emerging superpowers have a very significant impact on the global economy, global politics and the

environment. The spheres of influence between these powers are frequently contested, resulting in geopolitical implication.



Synoptic Link: Globalisation

– the establishment of the current and future world superpower.


Physical – Topic 5: The Water Cycle and

Water Insecurity & NEA write up


Water plays a key role in supporting life on earth. The water cycle operates at a variety of spatial scales and also at short- and long- term timescales, from global to local. Physical processes control the circulation of water between the stores on land, in the oceans, in the cryosphere, and the atmosphere. Changes to the most important stores of water are a result of both physical and human processes. Water insecurity is becoming a global issue with serious consequences and there is a range of different approaches to managing water supply.


Human – Topic 8: Health Human Rights and Intervention & Revision

Traditional definitions of development are based largely on economic measures but have been increasingly challenged by broader definitions based on environmental, social and political quality of life with many new measures used to record progress at all scales in human rights and human welfare. There are variations in the norms and laws of both national and global institutions that impact on decisions made at all scales, from local to global. These decisions lead to a wide range of geopolitical interventions via international and national policies, from development aid through to military campaigns. The impact of geopolitical interventions on both human health and wellbeing and human rights is variable and contested, with some groups appearing to benefit disproportionately, which can lead to increasing inequalities and injustice.



Physical – Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security & Revision

A balanced carbon cycle is important in maintaining planetary health. The carbon cycle operates at a range of spatial scales and timescales, from seconds to millions of years. Physical processes control the movement of carbon between stores on land, the oceans and the atmosphere. Changes to the most important stores of carbon and carbon fluxes are a result of physical and human processes. Reliance on fossil fuels has caused significant changes to carbon stores and contributed to climate change resulting from anthropogenic carbon emissions. The water and carbon cycles and the role of feedbacks in and between the two cycles, provide a context for developing an understanding of climate change. Anthropogenic climate change poses a serious threat to the health of the planet. There is a range of adaptation and mitigation strategies that could be used, but for them to be successful they require global agreements as well as national actions




At KS3 we know that the students learning geography understand and enjoy their learning. This can be seen in the large number of students opting to do GCSE Geography in recent years. Furthermore, while students develop their geographical, graphicacy, numerical and literacy skills, they also develop verbal, communication, evaluative and exam skills. Students who have studied KS3 geography are articulate, passionate and knowledgeable when confronted with contemporary geographical issues.

At KS4 students will have a deep knowledge of the processes at work in our world. They will be able to place their knowledge within the context of ongoing challenges and opportunities, whether they are inherently physical or human related. Students will now have a working knowledge of how to create and develop a geographical field study in a physical and human geographical context. Students will have developed their numeracy, graphicacy and literacy skills that allows them to apply them in context. Students are assessed following a whole school calendar leading to data collection, distribution and reactive planning on every level (both academic and pastoral).

At A Level students will have developed an in-depth knowledge of physical and human geography. Students will have used a wide range of both quantitative and qualitative skills in developing an extensive independent geographical investigation. They will therefore have an integrated approach to geographical study and debate. They will be able to recognise and be able to analyse the complexity of people–environment interactions at all geographical scales, and appreciate how they underpin understanding of some of the key issues facing the world today. They will have developed their understanding of, and ability to apply, the concepts of place, space, scale and environment, that underpin both their GCSE, including developing a more nuanced understanding of these concepts they will have gained understanding of specialised concepts relevant to the core and non-core content. These will have included the concepts of causality, systems, equilibrium, feedback, inequality, representation, identity, globalisation, interdependence, mitigation and adaptation, sustainability, risk, resilience and thresholds. They will have developed their understanding of the ways in which values, attitudes and circumstances have an impact on the relationships between people, place and environment, and develop the knowledge and ability to engage, as citizens, with the questions and issues arising in the context of people’s lives, and the socio-economic and political milieu in which they may find themselves.