Curriculum Intent 

The core aim of the Geography curriculum is to ensure students generate and maintain, a curiosity and fascination about the world and the people within it. To achieve this aim, the curriculum is designed to focus on developing student’s awareness of the interaction between both the physical and human elements of geography; to ensure students have a strong sense of place, on a variety of scales ranging from local to international; to become more familiar and confident with a range of geographical skills, and for students to progressively see themselves as global citizens by demonstrating a deep and meaningful appreciation of social, political, economic and environmental sustainability.

To achieve these aims, students begin their learning journey with an introduction of physical and human geography within the context of the UK. This allows students to immediately lean on their own experiences and to clearly understand how geography relates to them on a local, regional and a national scale. The curriculum is then designed to challenge students to think on an international scale by addressing the geography that impacts on a variety of global regions such as Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

By the end of their education, a student of Geography at Friesland School will:

  1. Have a depth of locational knowledge. Knowing where’s where’ supports pupils’ identity and sense of place and contributes to their understanding of geographical processes.
  2. Have a depth of place knowledge. The curriculum gives pupils the knowledge they need to develop an increasingly complex understanding of place. Their understanding of place helps them to connect different aspects of geography. It also gives them different perspectives through which to consider the content studied.
  3. Have a clear understanding of both physical and human geography. Increasingly detailed knowledge of physical and human processes allows pupils to describe and explain different environments. Through this, pupils develop an appreciation of interconnectedness.
  4. Present a high standard of geographical and fieldwork skills. Students should be able to collect, present and interpret geographical data and in doing so be confident in identifying patterns and trends.


Powerful knowledge

  • The KS3 curriculum is sequenced with a ‘spiral’ format that routinely embeds geography knowledge and skill. The structure focuses on deepening pupils’ understanding of ‘place’ as different physical and human themes are taught within global regions such as Europe, North America and the Middle East. This vertical integration, or repeated sequencing, of the geographical themes also provides a clear platform for spaced retrieval and encourages students to perform the cognitive process of transferring key knowledge from their working to long-term memory.
  • The KS4 curriculum is sequenced in relation to the AQA specification which again provides a balanced framework of physical and human themes and investigates the link between them. Students study thematically, the topics of natural hazards, living world, rivers and coasts, urban issues, economic challenges and resource management. Throughout the topics, case studies will be explored in the UK, other higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs). Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes. Upon completion of this course, students will have the skills and experience to progress onto A-level and beyond.
  • At KS5 the curriculum is sequenced in relation to the Edexcel A level specification. This specification encourages 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. The aim is that students will become independent thinkers, 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.

The Geography curriculum will support and scaffold all students to be successful:

  • There are a variety of teaching and learning strategies used to improve student’s success within geography such as ‘control the game’ reading, use of visualisers, ‘Do Now’ questions, ‘ABC questioning’ and ‘no opt out’
  • At KS3, ‘100% sheets’ are pre-planned and printed off for all students so that they have the ability to access the fundamental knowledge and skills during the lesson and beyond.
  • At KS3 all lessons are bookletised. This ensures students are exposed to high quality written texts in paper format thus not relying on brief information on the screen/slides.
  • At KS4 every lesson starts with a 20 question ‘geography guru’ knowledge checker, which allows students to actively recall knowledge stored within their long-term memory.
  • Most lessons at KS4 also end with an exam question. Students are then encouraged to use green pens to check and change their work in order to become active and reflective leaners.
  • At KS4, this bespoke website allows students to recap their learning or to plug any academic gaps by listening to audio slides, watching videos or by completing multiple choice quizzes.

The Geography curriculum contributes to the personal development of students at Friesland School:

  • Through teaching geography, we can also develop student’s spiritual development. Essentially, Geography is about studying people; where they live and our relationship with the environment. This involves providing students with the opportunities to reflect on their own values and beliefs and those of others. For example students explore their feelings towards what it would be like to live in a squatter settlement, or as a victim of a natural disaster.
  • Most geographical issues provide opportunities for distinguishing a moral dimension; for example, should deforestation be allowed in a rainforest? Should open cast mining be allowed in an area of outstanding natural beauty? Such issues are explored throughout the key stages, with students provided a number of opportunities to challenge their own attitudes and values in relation to these decisions.
  • Fieldwork and classroom opportunities that the geography curriculum provides, enhances social development as pupils develop a greater degree of self-discipline and rely on collaborative skills to ensure the learning is successful. Students are also exposed to a number of perspectives that differ from those shared by their own communities thus developing their empathy and understanding.
  • An essential component of geography is place knowledge. By understanding the features and characteristics their local area, students can contrast where they live with more distant localities. This cultural development ensures students are aware of the traditions associated with different places, as well as appreciating our own multicultural society and values.

Opportunities are built in to make links to the world of work to enhance the careers, advice and guidance that students are exposed to:

    • Students stay at Aberystwyth University as part of their GCSE residential field trip. This allows students to become familiar with a campus setting and become more aspirational when thinking about their future goals.

Curriculum plans

Year 7 curriculum plan

Year 8 curriculum plan

Year 9 curriculum plan

Year 10 curriculum plan

Year 11 curriculum plan