“Geography is a living, breathing subject, constantly adapting itself to change. It is dynamic and relevant. For me geography is a great adventure with a purpose.” – Michael Palin
“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.” – Barack Obama
The Geography curriculum at Rushey Mead Academy aims to inspire students with a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, enabling students to recognise the innumerable links between the human and natural world, and develop a good sense of their own role and responsibilities within that world. By using a thematic approach students develop a deepening understanding of the Earth’s key human and physical processes, whilst honing the skills that will enable them to access Geography GCSE at Key Stage 4.
The study of Geography is dynamic, and so is the Geography curriculum. Lessons and units can be subject to change, as current events and global trends are integrated into the curriculum wherever possible.
Key Stage 3 features and summary
During Key Stage 3, Year 7, 8 and 9 have two lessons of Geography a week. In Year 7 and 8 the curriculum is interspersed with citizenship units.
At Key Stage 3 students study Human and Physical Geography through a thematic approach. This approach enables students to develop their understanding of a wide range of processes, whilst increasingly recognising how pattern and processes are interdependent. The Key Stage 3 programme ensures students have the skills and understanding to access the GCSE syllabus at Key Stage 4.
Progress at Key Stage 3 is measured using a range of assessments, including short questions, extended answers and exam style questions. This broad range of assessment styles ensures that all students are able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skill development within Geography.
- Introduction to Human and Physical Processes.
- Highland Life
- Extreme Weather
- Food and Rights.
- Climate and Ecosystems
- Lowland Life
- Global community
- Hazards – Volcanoes
- Housing Crisis!
- Hazards – Earthquakes
- Coastal Life
KS3 curriculum map & knowledge organisers
Key Stage 4 features and summary
During Key Stage 4, students have five lessons a fortnight of Geography.
The AQA Geography GCSE qualification enables students to travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs).
Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.
The qualification covers four key themes:
- Living with the physical environment
- Challenges in the human environment
- Geographical applications
- Geographical skills
The course has a balance of theoretical and practical work; it encourages an active involvement in the subject. The course is an ideal foundation for learners who want to pursue Geography at A Level or as a career. However, it also enables students to develop many skills, such as graphicacy, field work and report writing which are useful for a broad range of academic studies as well as jobs.
Students are assessed through three assessed components.
- Paper 1 – Living with the physical environment (Exam) 35%
- Paper 2 – Challenges of the human environment (Exam) 35%
- Paper 3 – Geographical applications (Exam) 30%
KS4 curriculum map & knowledge organisers
Assessment and feedback
KS3 students are assessed through a range of assessments. These include end of / mid unit tests and longer mid unit assessments. All KS3 students will also complete a Mid-year and End of year assessment which is in the form of a GCSE exam question, incorporating a range of small mark and extended answer questions.
AQA Geography GCSE: Syllabus
Useful websites and resources
Students are encouraged to develop their general knowledge of the world around them. The department has a twitter feed @rusheymeadgeog where many relevant stories, articles and clips are shared.
BBC Bitesize (www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize) has a range of resources for both Keys Stage 3 and 4 which may be useful for improving understanding and revising.
The Met Office has a range of good case study material for Key Stage 4. (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/about-us/who/how/case-studies )
Seneca learning gives students the ability to test themselves and check their knowledge. This is particularly useful for the theory work, but should not be used for case studies. https://app.senecalearning.com/classroom/course/5a073d30-21f8-11e8-8c19-619061cc7240
Further Reading KS3 Geography – Link
Further Reading KS4 Geography – Link
Teachers in the department are happy to support students after school by prior arrangement.
Geogumentary club runs on a Tuesday for Year 7 students. A range of documentaries and relevant films are shown to reinforce knowledge about the wider world.
Stretch and challenge opportunities
Students are encouraged to get out and about in Leicester. Visits to New Walk Museum, Newarke House Museum, Abbey Pumping Station, the National Space Centre, Abbey Park, Bradgate Park and Watermead Park all offer excellent opportunities to develop their knowledge of the world.
Regular reading of the news and watching of documentaries such as the David Attenborough series supports students further.
Homework is expected to take KS3 students between 20 and 30 minutes. At KS4 students can expect to spend between 45 and 60 minutes.
Revision advice on How to revise in Geography document.