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​​​​Geography at Stringer


KEY STAGE 3 Geography

Intent
When geography teachers stand in front of their classes at Dorothy Stringer School, our aim is to foster a passion about the exploration and protection of Planet Earth.  We aim to inspire dreams of travel to exotic places, to ignite curiosity about people and places, to develop an understanding of geographical processes, to inspire action and demand answers.  We want to arouse debate about past mistakes and the potential for future triumphs. While recognising threats, we want to move away from the Hollywood prediction of environmental dystopia and look for positive solutions to a sustainable future.  We want to instil hope and empower students to bring about positive environmental and political change in the 21st century.

Our geography curriculum incorporates the past, the present and the future of our students and of our planet. Our aim is to build on the geographical knowledge, understanding and skills that students learned at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 while preparing them for further studies at Key Stage 4. We believe the development of knowledge and skills is essential to academic progression and to their transition into global citizens in a dynamic and changing world.

The geography National Curriculum is delivered in a creative way that engages students with the World around them while preparing them with the knowledge and skills they will need to embark on a GCSE geography course.  As such, the skills we develop and assess at Key Stage 3 are similar to those required of students at Key Stage 4.  We believe in developing the application of knowledge and skills, preparing our students for further studies and for the work of work.  As such, students are encouraged and supported to:

  • Think creatively by posing questions
  • Think independently by applying their geographical knowledge, skills and understanding
  • Become critical and reflective thinkers by involving them in the enquiry process.

    Geography students at KS3 deepen their knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes while cultivating their understanding of international development and our vulnerability in a changing World.   The concept of sustainability is embedded throughout our curriculum. Students are regularly encouraged to reflect upon how they can be more sustainable citizens on a local and global scale.  Students are encouraged to think about the solutions needed to support the future of our planet.  

    Parts of our geography curriculum are dedicated to recapping geographical learning that (should) have occurred at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Our students come from a range of feeder primary schools, who will have explored the geography curriculum at different depths and from different angles.  We do not assume prior knowledge; to do so would mean that some of our students would have significant gaps in knowledge and skills and would be unable to make good progress.  Where appropriate, we review, recap and in some instances re-teach the KS1 & KS2 curriculum before deepening and extending skills and knowledge.   A recap of geography is particularly evident in our Year 7 Key Geography unit, in which students revisit the geography of the British Isle and Europe.  Re-teaching is often required in Map Skills, in which students learn to read Ordnance Survey maps.

    At Key Stage 3, students study a wide variety of topics which cover physical, human and environmental geography. 

Year 7

  1. Introducing KS3 Geography
  2. Key Geography
  3. Map skills
  4. Coastal landscapes
  5. China
  6. Sustainability & ecosystems

Year 8

  1. Weather & Climate
  2. Natural hazards
  3. Climate change
  4. Africa
  5. River & flooding

Year 9

  1. International development
  2. Tropical Rainforests
  3. The Middle East
  4. An eco-schools enquiry
  5. Glaciation
  6. Consumerism


Progression
To ensure progress through the curriculum we have identified strands which are common to all geographical studies:

  • The ability to describe places, patterns and change
  • The ability to explain geographical processes and change.
  • The ability to form geographical opinions based on evidence.
  • The ability to give a balance evaluation of geographical opinions.
  • The ability to read maps and atlases. 
  • The ability to present, interpret, analyse and evaluate data
  • The ability to express knowledge and opinions verbally and in writing.

    These strands are assessed throughout Key Stage 3 using clear a progression grid, from which students can identify next steps and teachers can assess progress. 

    Implementation
  • Students have 3 lessons per fortnight.
  • Classes are mixed ability.  However, same ability grouping within classes is sometimes used to support learning and promote progression.
  • Students follow schemes of learning of approximately 10 lessons.
  • Teachers aim to start most lessons with a recall and retention activity, designed to embed prior learning and engage students who may have been absent during previous lesson.
  • A variety of independent, paired and groups work is used in lessons.
  • A variety of visual images, data and video clips is used to support learning and bring the wider World into the classroom.
  • Literacy skills are developed through the use of 'ever heard the word' documents, reading of geographical literature and completion of short and long written tasks.
  • Targeted and tiered questioning is used to check student understanding, address misconceptions and encourage deeper thinking.
  • Modelling of tasks may be included in lessons to support students where required.
  • Differentiated resources and tasks are included to support access and challenge students.
  • Map skills lessons are included throughout Years 7-9.  
  • Self-assessment is used to encourage students to reflect upon how they can make further progress.
  • Formative and summative assessment is used by teachers to track and record progress. Students have tracker sheets in their books to encourage them to reflect upon their progress in different areas (e.g. skills and/or knowledge and understanding)
  • Students in each year groups typically have four formal assessments each year: two GCSE style assessments and two multiple choice tests.
  • After all assessments, students are provided with feedback and targets for improvements. Students are given opportunities to respond to this feedback.
  • Most home learning assignments are designed to give students choice in their task selection, promoting engagement and providing an appropriate level of access and challenge.
  • We use the school grounds to good effect to stage fieldwork investigations.
  • Geographical trips are offered to each KS3 year group to provide an enrichment opportunity.

    Impact

    By the end of Key Stage 3 students will have a wide understanding of the core topics detailed above. In addition, they will have developed a variety of geographical skills which will support future studies as well as having cross-curricular links. Students will recognise the challenges facing our planet and be able to reflect upon their own contribution as a global citizen. In addition, they will be able to consider solutions to global challenges and appreciate their responsibility as a steward of our planet.

    Students will have demonstrated progress throughout KS3 with regard to formal assessment, however we also expect that progress will be demonstrated more holistically in regard to verbal contributions to class discussions.

    We are proud that many of our geography students are engaged and responsible global citizens who are active campaigners for a sustainable future. 

    KEY STAGE 4 Geography

    Intent

    When geography teachers stand in front of their classes at Dorothy Stringer School, our aim is to foster a passion about the exploration and protection of Planet Earth.  We aim to inspire dreams of travel to exotic places, to ignite curiosity about people and places, to develop an understanding of geographical processes, to inspire action and demand answers.  We want to arouse debate about past mistakes and the potential for future triumphs. While recognising threats, we want to move away from the Hollywood prediction of environmental dystopia and look for positive solutions to a sustainable future.  We want to instil hope and empower students to bring about positive environmental and political change in the 21st century.

    Our geography curriculum incorporates the past, present and future of our students and of our planet. Our aim is to build the geographical knowledge, understanding and skills that students learned at Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 while preparing them for further studies at Key Stage 5.  We believe these skills to be essential in supporting students in their future studies and as global citizens in our dynamic and changing world.

    At GCSE we follow the WJEC Eduqas, Geography A specification.  This course prioritises the application of knowledge and skills, which enables us to develop characteristics sought by employers and tertiary education providers. Students are encouraged and supported to:
  • Think creatively by posing questions
  • Think scientifically by collecting, recording and analysing and evaluating data and evidence from a range of sources
  • Think independently by applying their geographical knowledge, skills and understanding
  • Become critical and reflective thinkers by involving them in the enquiry process.

    Schemes of Learning have been purposefully designed so that students regularly return to the same locations to study different geographical concepts; this promotes an understanding of the interconnectivity of issues, while providing an opportunity to revisit previous learning.  Much of the Year 10 content is UK based geography, widening to international then global issues in Year 11.  The scaling of studies from local to global facilitates a gradual introduction to the complexities of the World and of countries at different stages of development.

    Geography students at KS4 will deepen their knowledge of locations, places, environments, processes, the impact of change, environmental interactions and sustainable communities while developing their understanding of spheres of influence, cycles and flows, mitigating risk and geographical futures.  Students will learn about cultural, political and social geography.

    Topics studied include:
  • Distinctive landscapes in the UK
  • Coastal landscapes and management in the UK
  • Rural-Urban links in the UK
  • Regional economic development
  • Global inequalities
  • Urban challenges in global cities
  • River landscapes & management
  • Water resources
  • Tectonic landscapes & management
  • Extreme weather
  • Climate change
  • Ecosystems
  • Environmental challenges

    The curriculum is delivered in a way that encourages students to ask questions about the information provided to them, to conduct independent research, to interpret and evaluate information and to make decisions relevant in today's World.  We believe that the key to engaging students in their geographical studies is to encourage personal and active enquiry into current and topical issues.  We support students as they develop the skills necessary to conduct enquiries in the classroom and in the field. 

    Implementation
  • Students complete the GCSE course over a two year period.
  • Students have 5 lessons per fortnight.
  • Students follow schemes of learning that range from 5 to 15 lessons.
  • Students are taught in mixed ability classes.
  • The dynamics of students within each class is carefully considered to promote a positive learning environment and student progress 
  • Schemes of Learning have been designed to be current and relevant to student's lives.
  • Many lessons involve a decision making activity in which students have to evaluate sources of information and justify their decisions.
  • Fieldwork is an essential part of the curriculum, with 3 fieldwork opportunities embedded into the curriculum.  Although the fieldwork opportunities are in contrasting locations, the themes and methodologies are similar permitting students to reflect upon successes and failures and make improvements to their techniques. 
  • All fieldwork reinforces the geographical theory learned in the classroom.
  • Mathematical, graphical, cartographic and statistical skills are embedded within lessons, to develop learner's competence in using a range of investigative skills and approaches. 
  • Literacy skills are a key focus as we aim to build the levels of writing required for GCSE success
  • A variety of visual images, data and video clips is used to support learning, bringing the wider World into the classroom.
  • An understanding of command words, key words and sophisticated vocabulary is incorporated into lessons.
  • Targeted and tiered questioning is used to check student understanding, address misconceptions and encourage deeper thinking.
  • A variety of independent, paired and group work is used.
  • The modelling of tasks may be included in lessons to support students where required.
  • Differentiated resources and tasks are included to support access and challenge students.
  • Self-assessment is encouraged so that students can reflect on what they are doing well and what they could be doing better.  
  • In addition to regular short exam questions, three 90 minute mock examinations are completed over the two year course, giving students an introduction to each of the three final exam papers. Each mock is followed by a series of lessons in which students are given feedback and the opportunity to improve their work.
  • Formative and summative assessment is used by teachers to track and record progress.
  • Students are given clear guidance in regard to preparation for their final GCSE exams, including detailed Personal Learning Checklists. 
  • GCSE geography revision books are available for purchase and there are copies available for loan in the school library. 

    Impact

    Students do well in their final GCSE geography exams, with the department holding a sustained and improving trend in attainment and progress.  

    In addition to good and improving results, we take pride in watching our students develop into confident young geographers, both in the classroom and in the field.  We are proud that many of our GCSE geography students and KS3 geography students are engaged and responsible global citizens who are active campaigners for a sustainable future. 

    GCSE Geography Table of Results:
 201720182019
% Grades  7-933.0531.5247.62
% Grades  5-965.2572.8379.05
% Grades  4-983.0581.5289.52
Progress 8+0.1+0.54+0.66

 

 

 


Dorothy Stringer School, Loder Road, Brighton, BN1 6PZ | Tel: 01273 852222 | Fax: 01273 852310 | Email: office@dorothy-stringer.co.uk