CURRICULUM AIMS AND VALUES
“Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind. Geography therefore contributes to a balanced education for all young people in schools, colleges and other settings.” (A Different View, GA 2009)
- Geography is challenging, motivating, topical and engaging. In our diverse society, students need, more than ever before, to understand other people and cultures. The Geography department believes that geographical knowledge, concepts and skills are essential components of a broad and balanced curriculum. Geography makes a major contribution to students’ physical, intellectual, social and emotional development. As Professor Andrew Goudie puts it, ‘What other subject tells us so much about the great issues of our age?
- Geography must be a rigorous study of the real world at all scales – local, national and international. It must seek explanations about how the world works and help us think about alternative futures.
- Students who study Geography are well-rounded individuals, developing many transferable skills from across the curriculum. They display empathy towards others, are able to critically think about issues facing the world, and apply them across a range of geographical scales. The students are able to perceive their place in the world and take the knowledge and understanding gained into the future.
- We aim to equip our geography students for a place in the world and help them recognise that they may have a career in a field that doesn’t even exist. How do we do this? We want them to know more – learn deep and remember more through a carefully planned curriculum that is delivered by highly capable subject specialists.
Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes which shape them and the people who live in them. It helps students to make sense of their surroundings and to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the variety of physical and human conditions on the earth’s surface.
At GHS, we aim to:
- To stimulate students’ interest in their surroundings and in the variety of human and physical conditions on the earth’s surface.
- To foster students’ sense of wonder at the beauty of the world around them.
- To help students develop an informed concern about the quality of the environment and the future of the human habitat and thereby enhance students’ sense of responsibility for the care of the earth and its people.
RRS Sir David Attenborough
A selection of students attended ‘Ice worlds’ – an immersive and exciting festival of discovery to celebrate the official naming of the new polar research ship for Britain in association with the British Antarctic Survey and Cammell Laird Shipyard.
CURRICULUM ORGANISATION AND DELIVERY
Geography is taught in mixed ability classes across KS3 and KS4. At KS3, pupils are taught in year 7 form groups and in year 8 teaching groups. At KS4, pupils are taught in option groups.
|Year group||Lessons per fortnight cycle|
|11 from September 2020||5 lessons|
- As a department, we have visually produced the journey that all Geographers take at Greenbank from Year 7 to Year 11.  The curriculum has been carefully planned to provide a blend of both physical and human geography; all key elements from the KS3 National Curriculum are covered and are delivered through a thematic approach at KS3, to allow for wider coverage, and a topic based approach at KS4 to assist in pupil understanding. We have selected topics at KS3 that our GCSE specification does not cover at KS4 E.G. Tectonics, so pupils receive a broad and balanced Geography experience. We have also included topics that they will cover, to give them a good foundation which we can build on in later years.
- The focus at both key stages is enjoyment and to encourage a love of Geography through broadening a pupils’ mind. We aim to develop skills and deepen knowledge from KS2 and cover nearly all elements from the KS3 national curriculum. See  audit of coverage at KS3 and [3a] and how we plan for transition from KS3 through to KS4 with a focus on the three key aspects of pupil achievement: Contextual World Knowledge, Understanding and Geographical Enquiry. The small area of the national curriculum we do not cover (dispersion graphs, triangular graphs) are covered in the Maths curriculum later on and we feel that these are challenging topics that are visited at KS4.
- The KS3 curriculum has evolved over a number of years and we constantly review what we teach through department meetings, briefings and all members of the department quality check the year 7 and 8 lessons and feedback what may need changing next year. See KS3 curriculum rational [3b] and Scheme of Work outlines .
- At KS4 the curriculum is taught in a logical pattern to aid understanding E.G. Rivers, followed by Water Management. The more challenging topics and topics that require knowledge and understanding from other topics are taught later in the sequence.  Every KS4 is available on our VLE for the pupils to access prior to the lesson or as a “catch-up” resource. This is essential when we welcome mid-year entrants. This format of sharing resources also ensures consistency between different teachers and we can confidently say that pupils in different classes are getting the same high quality experience. This can be seen through detailed schemes of work for every topic (theme) at GSCE .
- We follow EDUQAS specification B. This exam board has been used by the Geography Department for a number of years with success. Historically we have an extensive track record of outstanding GCSE results from both an attainment and progress perspective. We have a deep understanding of the specification through extensive reading of examiners reports, external CPD that is effectively disseminated back to the department and a continual cycle of revamping/improving our lesson materials.
- All four members of the geography department currently mark for EDUQAS and this level of expertise and insight into the exam board has helped us plan, mark and moderate effective assessments at both KS3 and KS4. See  Assessment plan. Assessments are largely an examination/test format with all pupils at KS3 and KS4 completing one assessment every half term. At KS4, pupils are then provided with a detailed assessment feedback review  and a lesson is spent on improvement time. The regular assessments each half term ensures we have a secure system and can confidently forecast both bands and target grades across KS3-4. To compliment this we have introduced a marking policy were by books are checked by the class teacher and the pupils are responsible for RAG-ing their understanding every lesson. [8a&b]
- Assessment at KS3 has been carefully planned and all pupils complete an end of topic assessment and an end of year exam (currently 3 in total). These have been re-written for summer 2020. Assessment Criteria has been carefully considered by the department and assessment markers (Bands) have been identified for each stage . Parent guides regarding assessment and curriculum for Year 7 and 8 have been written and shared on the school website for parents 
- Pupils retain the key knowledge from the subject through effective strategies adopted by the whole department. E.G. At KS4, each Theme is taught in a different colour book to help pupils plan and remember for revision. Every topic has a contents page [8a&b] which requires pupils to RAG their own understanding, organise catch up and plan revision notes. At the end of a topic, pupils complete a revision clock or revision aid of their choice and examples of good practise are modelled for students. Prior to key exams (Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 PPE’s) pupils are each provided with a detailed revision list of key content. Revision is often set as homework at KS4 and knowledge is regularly checked through recall activities in lesson time. At KS3, we have introduced Geog-Your-Memory homework’s for year 7 and 8 to help pupils get into good habits for KS4 and learning/recalling information. Every pupil receives a Knowledge Organiser to help with revision for assessment  and model how to write
- All geography classes are taught in mixed ability form, teaching groups or option classes. We believe that the curriculum is most effectively delivered to every child this way. The class teacher will ensure high impact lessons are taking place where all pupils are challenged to meet their needs and supported to access the material. This is monitored through lesson observations, drop-ins, work samples and pupil voice feedbacks.
- Examples of where this occurs: extra reading materials through articles are provided to students and all lessons have additional “challenge” questions in them. All our subject specialists are experts at delivering and explaining the concepts. We also offer: Master classes for the more able KS4 pupils throughout year 11, Pupil Premium revision club for all KS3/4 pupils to encourage them to get into good revision habits and a weekly “Geography Catch-Up Club” that all pupils are invited to.
Our school is committed at every stage to ensure that no pupil is disadvantaged because they do not have the cultural experience to access the full curriculum and within Geography the following key areas are developed:
- A love of the subject and a love of learning fostered through high impact lessons with all Geography lessons taught by specialists.
- As a department we develop careers provision and aspiration through a number of avenues. We communicate the importance of Geography as a subject in today’s ever changing World by referring to World events, issues both local and International and linking these to future career opportunities. As all Geography lessons are taught by specialists, we can refer to multiple examples. We have created an area on the VLE (https://greenbankhigh.fireflycloud.net/humanities-and-computing/geography/why-study-geography) that pupils can access and feel inspired by possible careers and a display has been made to highlight some of these outside room 31. A large number of pupils continue to study the subject at A Level and our links to local colleges and sixth forms have commented on the high level our pupils start on. We have had a number of pupils return to us for work experience and an ex-pupil currently as a Geography KS3 Lead.
- Cultural participation is taught through carefully selected case study examples at local, national and an international scale.
- Literacy skills are a key component of accessing all curriculum areas. In Geography, skills are developed through the use of text books, Newspaper articles that we regularly update from the BBC news website and other credible sources and articles from the Hodder Wide World magazine that we subscribe to in school. Reading is developed through the modelling of good reading by the teacher and other pupils. The teacher considers the age relevance of the material and appropriateness before use and all high level words/subject specific words are highlighted to the pupils and meanings provided.
- As a department, we support pupils with less cultural capital in the classroom by offering extra revision clubs (PP KS4 Revision Club) to provide a nurturing and supportive area to prepare for examinations and learn good routines. We encourage participation by issuing a loyalty card in which pupils receive revision aids to assist them. E.G Notebooks, flash cards, highlighters, special pen to use in exams. In addition, all teachers adhere to the school policy regarding disadvantaged pupils by ensuring they are in premium seats in the classroom, books/homework of these pupils are priority checked and most importantly all Geography teachers make every effort to build strong relationships with the disadvantaged pupils – “they know we care”. Outside the classroom; we ensure that all disadvantaged and SEND pupils are personally invited on field trips and know how to claim financial support for costs. We aim that at least 25% of pupils participating in extra-curricular trips are PP and we keep a record of pupils attending these extra opportunities.
- Extra-curricular activities on offer to enhance the curriculum for all pupils include:
- GCSE Geography revision classes
- GCSE Geography Master Classes for the More Able pupils
- Pupil Premium Geography Revision Club for all Year 9, 10, 11 pupils.
- Geography Catch-up club every Thursday for all KS3&4 pupils.
- A host of KS3 Geography competitions throughout the year 
- A visit by The Animal Roadshow – James McKay (full KS3 year group) to compliment the Year 7 Ecosystems topic
- Participation in Friday for Future events with the Geography Department
- Trips and experiences that we offer to support the delivery and understanding of the curriculum are:
- Martin Mere to focus on Ecology and Climate Change (full year group KS3)
- KS3 Sefton Coast Beach clean and local area (full year group KS3)
- Recycling Plant Wirral (Year 9 Eco-Club 30 pupils)
- Blackpool Zoo (KS3 30 pupils)
- Ceremonial naming of the RRS Sir David Attenborough (KS3 30 pupils)
- Residential to Sorrento, Italy (KS3&4 40 Pupils)
- GCSE Lake District Fieldwork
- GCSE Local Study of Southport
- GCSE Study of an Urban area-Liverpool
- Vulnerable pupils’ access to this provision is monitored carefully in order to support those whose cultural gap may be wider.
The personal development curriculum embraces the strands of Citizenship, Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE), Careers Education and Guidance (CEAG) and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) educational policies. In Geography, the personal development of pupils is supported in a number ways through the 4 SMSC strands, such as:
SPIRITUAL – The study of Geography is promoting a sense of wonder and fascination with the physical and human world. An understanding of scale is an important aspect of Geography and how small changes in climate can have far-reaching consequences. Understanding that all life is linked together and create the processes that make Earth the only known inhabited planet. Pupils reflect on the long and short term impacts noting the rights and wrongs linking into the value of justice.
MORAL – Moral issues are a vital part of many of the topics covered in Geography. We look at how the development of cites have put pressure on wildlife and the rural-urban fringe. At GCSE, we cover the issues of an ever-increasing population and the different approaches taken by countries to tackle the problem. We explore issues of poverty and the development of informal settlements and the issue of food miles and the moral dilemma of importing food and the consequences of it on global warming.
SOCIAL – Social education in Geography involves the study of real people in different societies. In looking at their own locality and others in the world, students’ sense of identity and community can be strengthened. At KS3, we study the impacts of Globalisation and how fast fashion demands in the UK can have a direct impact on the life chances of children in NICs. At GCSE, social impacts are studied in detail from flooding to meeting the increasing demand for water. Pupils also develop leadership and teamwork both in the classroom and on fieldwork visits.
CULTURAL – Cultural education involves the study of real people in real places in the present. It provides opportunities for multi-cultural education through recognising commonalities and differences. It also encourages students to reflect on their own personal reality of sense of space. Understanding different cultures is an important part of Geography. We look at how different cultures and beliefs can impact on issues in low-income countries. At GCSE, pupils look at different places such as Malawi, India and China and are introduced to their customs and traditions allowing pupils to develop their humility and an understanding of the world as a global community.
We aim “to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”. In the Geography department at Greenbank, we reinforce these values regularly throughout the curriculum:
In Geography we
- have respect for democracy and the right of all our fellow students to have their voices heard
- encourage everyone to feel confident in expressing their ideas and opinions in class discussions
- treat others how we would want to be treated
- are involved in decision making through the use of student voice and feedback to our teachers
- have opportunities to experience the importance of decision making G. Component 2 of the GCSE specification
- are encouraged to set our own targets for improvement
- have opportunities to undertake self-assessment
- have the opportunity to explore and discuss injustices and inequalities (perceived or real) and challenge and debate these through the exploration of geographical topics
- have the opportunity to explore and consider different opinions and how voices are heard
THE RULE OF LAW
in Geography we…
- follow rules in our classroom to protect the rights of all us to an education
- uphold whole-school policies with regards to homework, uniform
- have opportunities to explore and understand how governments have influenced and shaped nations through law G. MNCs in NICs
- explore the ways in which policy making at a local and global scale can influence both the physical and human landscape G. the National Parks Act – 1949; legally binding commitments of the Kyoto protocol
- explore and evaluate the outcomes of meetings of governments and policy makers G. Climate Change Conferences)
In Geography we…
- are able to have a freedom of expression whilst respecting others during contributions to class discussions
- are encouraged as much as possible to develop our independent learning skills to help us take control of our own learning .
- have opportunities to critically examine our own values and attitudes through debating issues, contributing in class
- have an opportunity to explore issues surrounding human rights G. migration
- have opportunities to be involved in extra-curricular activities G. Eco-club
- have freedom of choice of whether to continue our studies of Geography at GCSE
- have the opportunity to self-assess and peer-assess our work
- take ownership of our behaviour in lessons
- are encouraged to take pride in our own work in lessons
- are given opportunities to challenge ourselves and make progress with our learning – including having access to stretch and challenge tasks
In Geography we…
- understand the importance of identifying and combating discrimination including tackling stereotypes
- develop our understanding and respect for different cultures through our studies of place and people in both our classroom studies and through our extra-curricular experiences such as trips to local areas and over-seas residentials.
- learn to understand and respect the traditions of other cultures
- belong to many different faiths and respect the faiths of those around us – we draw on examples from across the world in our studies
- are taught to respect and understand diversity in life in other countries
- celebrate the cultural diversity of our school
In Geography we…
- are encouraged to debate, share and respect the opinions of others in our classroom discussions.
- have opportunities to understand our responsibilities to conserve resources and play our part in sustainable development. This includes our studies of climate change in Year 10 and our consideration of how we can reduce own carbon footprints.
- have the opportunity to be part of the Eco-club with responsibility for promoting environmentally practice across our department, school and wider community.
- are encouraged to act on our geographical knowledge about others in our global community.
- we are encouraged to play our part as global citizens G. through our studies of globalisation in Year 8 and Year 11.
- are taught to respect people’s lives and empathise with those affected by disasters and conflict G. Tectonics in Year 8.
- show respect for each other in our behaviour and manners.
We recognise the importance of creating a stimulating, yet calming learning environment that works for ALL pupils. As such, we have recently updated all geography classroom displays and the Humanities corridor to reflect this. We wanted to create a neutral and calm atmosphere that encourages high engagement and a positive learning environment.