Our Intent, Implementation and Impact

Intent: Our purpose and ambition

Inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

What is the curriculum aim / vision for Geography?

  • Successful learners- students will enjoy learning and will have high aspirations in order to achieve well.  Students will develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of geographical issues in the modern world.
  • Responsible citizens- students will develop an understanding of interactions and interrelationships between people and the environment and appreciate the need for sustainability.
  • Resilient, confident learners- to develop transferable skills for the future.

What do we expect students to get from Geography?

  • Students will gain an understanding of world and geographical issues. 
  • They will be able to construct sustained and convincing arguments to draw well evidenced conclusions on geographical issues.
  • Students will use and evaluate a wide range of geographical skills and techniques which are transferable skills for the future.

Implementation: Design, Pedagogy and Assessment

How does learning develop over the five years?

Year 7:

The curriculum is themed around ‘My Geography’ and Year 7 students start the year by completing a baseline enquiry that covers topics and local issues that they may have completed at primary school so that they can be’ secondary ready’. Students are provided with feedback and targets to work on over their first few weeks. Many Year 7 students will have also received a ‘Geography Passport’ over the summer holidays to complete through the departments work with local primary schools. The passport is full of exciting activities and quizzes where students can reflect on their own personal geography again to help students make the best possible progress at Gateacre when they start in September.

Students in year 7 also complete units such as ‘What Is Geography?’ which focuses on introducing them to the different types of Geography. Students will learn about ‘place’ through Physical, Human and Environmental Geography.  They will study the major features of UK Geography and the major oceans, continents, rivers and mountain ranges of the world in order to build their knowledge. This unit is designed to stimulate interest, enjoyment and a sense of wonder about the world’s places and environments but also provide them with a firm grounding for their future studies.
Another unit which students complete is ‘Geographical skills, where students look at the essential elements of map reading.  The skills in this unit will provide students with the knowledge that they need to successfully interpret a variety of maps which will be used across in future units and Key Stages.  Students will learn how to work out distances and use scale, interpret map symbols and contours and use 4 and 6 grid references as well as practice their orienteering skills.

Students also study a further unit on hydrology, which introduces them to key processes, & landforms with the chance to complete some 3D river models and consider the role of their local river the Mersey.

The year ends with investigating economic activity, utilising the local area where student’s complete fieldwork investigating shopping habits and land use at Belle Vale shopping Centre.


Year 8:

Year 8 is a great year in Geography. The curriculum is themed around “Our Geography,” beginning to explore the wider world. Students start off the year by reflecting on their geography in Year 7 to allow them to build on their knowledge and understanding. Students then complete a mini unit entitled ‘Geography in the news’ where they review the geographical news that has hit the headlines over the summer holidays considering the scale of events. This is followed by on ‘Rocks & landscapes’ where students revisit processes which have formed the Earth and its landforms. There are cross curricular links with Science,  including groups and types of rocks,  geological timescales and plate tectonics.  Students have a close encounter with rainforest animals when the department is visited by the ‘Rainforest Roadshow’ where students have the chance to handle some rainforest animals whilst completing their ‘Extreme Environments’ unit. Students also investigate temperature and wind differences around the school grounds when completing a microclimate study in the ‘Weather and Climate’ unit.


Year 9:

Year 9 is another exciting year with the Curriculum building on ‘Our Geography’ and introducing “Changing Geography. Students go on to look at several contemporary issues in their other units that help to bring geography to life. Students complete units on urbanisation and development, coastal landscapes, learn about glaciation, climate change and discover Russia again building on their learning established in Year 7 and 8.

Year 9 students are also offered the opportunity to take part in a fieldtrip visiting the world famous White Scar Cave and Malham located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Year 9 is also an important year as students must choose their GCSE options.


Year 10 and 11 

What principles have guided our decision making in developing this curriculum? What is distinctive about our curriculum?

  • Changes to the specifications at GCSE and A-level have been key factors in developing the geography curriculum.
  • The geography curriculum is distinctive as students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring:
  • Current case studies in the United Kingdom (focusing on the local changes within the city of Liverpool);
  • Investigate emerging countries (such as India, Mexico) and developed countries (such as UK & USA) and developing countries (such as Ethiopia).
  • 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

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

  • Fieldwork allows students to apply their knowledge and understanding to interpret, analyse and evaluate information and issues related to geographical enquiry. Additionally, students use a variety of skills and techniques to investigate questions and issues and communicate findings in relation to geographical enquiry.
  • The department has developed strong links with the universities and employers to enrich learning.
  • The department uses current affairs to support the learning of geographical issues.

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop…?

  • Cultural diversity and identity: various cultures and communities are studied within ‘Population’
  • Physically and mentally healthy lifestyles: field trips involve healthy exercise
  • Community participation: the department has developed links with universities and employers
  • Careers and enterprise:  the department has developed links with universities and employers
  • Technology and the media: students are encouraged to develop their research skills using the geographical websites and students understand the importance of the technology and the media within the ‘Globalisation’ module
  • Creativity and critical thinking: Decision making activities and project based activities encourage students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.


IMPACT: Attainment, Progress, Knowledge, Skills and Destinations

What forms do assessments take? What is the purpose of assessment?

Formative assessments include:

  • class based self and peer assessments
  • exam assessments – including 3 formal assessment points (APs) and termly shorter Teacher Assessment points (TAs)
  • resource based assessments

The purpose of the assessments is to assess student progress, inform parents and to make effective judgements on grades and setting.

How do we know if we have a successful curriculum?

  • Student Voice will provide information on the success of the curriculum
  • Assessment data will provide information on progression.