Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future
– Michael Palin
The Geography Department aims to provide students with an understanding of the world around them, its environments, places near and far and the process that create and affect them. The array of physical and human topics and concepts we study at both KS3 and KS4 allow students to help them develop many transferrable skills which will help them both in High School and beyond. Geography is a subject that looks to make sense of the world and its people, places and environments through the study of human and physical interactions.
We believe that students will succeed through hard work, a positive attitude and an open mind. We build upon, and help students apply skills that can be used in other subjects including Science, Mathematics, English and Technology.
Students have three hours of Geography a fortnight. The new Key Stage 3 syllabus has been developed with an aim to deliver an engaging, broad and varied enquiry-based curriculum that gives students a genuine interest for the subject. Every endeavour has been made to make the content stimulating, interesting and topical. The key concepts which underpin our curriculum are those of physical and human processes, the interactions between people and the natural world, change, sustainability and personal responsibility. The subject requires a wide-ranging vocabulary and we encourage students to use and develop this whenever possible. The Geography Department supports students in as wide a variety of ways as possible, including additional study sessions, an extensive range of revision materials and fieldwork opportunities. We always endeavour to go the extra mile in helping students achieve.
All GCSE Geography lessons are taught by a specialist and students have five hours of Geography a fortnight. Both members of staff are experienced teachers with specialisms in Physical and Environmental Geography. Both are examiners and have collective expertise across all three GCSE papers. AQA GCSE is the chosen exam board. This is a result of it being considered the most accessible for our students as well as the staff having greatest expertise with AQA. Our schemes of work have been carefully developed to fully ensure consistent delivery across the department.
Topics studied at GCSE are largely prescribed and there is minimal choice. With Paper 1 students study Natural Hazards, The Living World and UK Physical Landscapes. Paper 2 encompasses Urban Issues and Challenges, Changing Economic World and Resource Management. Paper 3 includes a pre-release along with investigations relating to Manchester and saltmarshes.
Students are able to access a wide range of resources and support. Resources are available digitally, via SharePoint or as printed documents if required. Students are fully able to access PowerPoints, revision notes, exam questions, work booklets and a wide range of other resources to support their learning. There is a designated afternoon each week in order to help support students. Revision materials are provided for PP students.
Geography Curriculum Maps
Student progress is monitored in a variety of ways at KS3 and KS4.
- Y7 carry out a baseline assessment in September.
- A checkpoint piece and an assessment for each topic, which are marked in detail, incorporating the following: Star presentation, SPaG, what went well and even better if. The marks are recorded in the Geography spreadsheet.
- Verbal feedback in lessons
- Regular formative assessment in lessons.
- Homework tasks based on current learning.
- Assessments at the end of each topic/sub-topic to check understanding and to also build student’s confidence in answering exam questions. These are marked in detail, incorporating the following: Star presentation, SPaG, what went well and even better if. The marks are recorded in the Geography spreadsheet.
- Homework tasks
- Verbal feedback
- Practicing exam questions within lessons and at home.
Suggested post-16 pathways and possible careers
There are a variety of options for students that want to study Geography further, after leaving High School.
- Air Traffic Controller
- Countryside Ranger
- Environmental Health Practitioner
- Geospatial Survey Technician
- Geotechnical Engineer
- Landscape Technician
- Sustainability Business Specialist
- Surveying Survey Technician
- Town Planning Assistant
- Train Driver
Level 1, 2 & 3 courses available in:
- A Level – Geography
- A Level – Geology
- A Level – Environmental Science
- T Level – Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction
- T Level – Management and Administration
- T Level – Agriculture, Land Management and Production
- BTEC – Environmental Science
- BTEC – Applied Science
- BTEC – Construction and Quantity Surveying
- BSc (Hons) in Geography
- BSc (Hons) in Geoscience and Geography
- BSc (Hons) in Economics and Geography
- BA (Hons) in Geography and Tourism
- BA (Hons) in Geography and Management
- BA (Hons) in Geography and Planning
- BSc (Hons) in Human Geography
- BA (Hons) in Archaeology and Geography
There are many careers that are linked to the range of skills and knowledge that can be developed through the study of Geography. E.g. Town planner, Transport planner, Geologist, Sustainability consultant, Meteorologist, GIS office, International aid/development worker, Diplomatic service officer, Ecologist, Emergency planner. Environmental education officer, Teacher, Climatologist.
Sustainability plays a large role in Geography and students have the opportunity to be part of ‘Eco-club’ which aims to improve our school environment. Stanley High School has recently achieved the ‘Green Flag’ award for a range of environmental projects.
At KS4, students take part in two fieldwork-based trips, to collect a range of physical and human data which is part of their Paper 3 exam. This allows students to develop their data collection and analysis skills.
Every two years, the Geography department runs a trip to Naples, Italy which allows students to relate areas of classroom study to real life, which will enhance their understanding of a range of different Geographical ideas and concepts, as well as allowing them to experience a new environment.
On a Wednesday afternoon, GCSE students are invited to stay after school to support their learning.