Faculty Leader: Mr M Hawkins Subject Leader: Dr N Curtis

Curriculum Intent

‘The main purpose of Geography and geographers is to see and understand patterns in our world. Geography itself is the study of place and space. Some questions that geographers answer are where things are on the Earth, why, how places are different from one another and how do humans affect the environment.’ 

The Geography curriculum at Madeley School is intended to be one that is broad and balanced, in order to provide a geographical education for all learners, whatever their ability or background. At Key Stage 3 (3 hours per fortnight per Year Group), there is an initial focus on the teaching of geographical skills in Year 7, which underpins the whole KS3 & KS4 curriculum. Skills are further introduced or revisited at various stages of the curriculum where appropriate. Using the National Curriculum as a basis, as pupils progress through Key Stage 3 both Physical and Human Geography is taught thematically, with the topics being Rivers, Weather & Climate, Coasts, Limestone Landscapes, Plate Tectonics, Rainforest Ecosystems and Brazil, Development and Population, China and Japan. Much of the Key Stage 3 curriculum underpins the Key Stage 4 Geography course, as topics are revisited, albeit in more detail, in Year 10 and 11, for those that choose Geography as an option. The AQA GCSE (1-9) Course is followed due to its balanced curriculum which includes Physical and Human Geography, Skills, Fieldwork Enquiry and Decision-Making. The GCSE course is taught over 5-6 hours a fortnight and is presented in the order that the curriculum is written: Skills underpin the whole course and are introduced when appropriate, Year 10 - Physical Geography Topics and Fieldwork, Year 11 - Human Geography Topics.

Our curriculum presents many fieldwork opportunities and we are proud that the Geography Department has been able to provide curriculum enhancement in each Year Group throughout Key Stage 3 & 4, by way of fieldwork excursions to the following: Year 7 - The River Dane/3 Shire Heads; Year 7 – Microclimate experiments on the School Grounds; Year 8 – Limestone landscape in the Peak District, Year 8 – Coastal Management at Llanfairfechan, North Wales; Year 9 Overseas trip – Volcanic/Glacial/Fluvial environments in Iceland; Year 10 – Beach profiles/Tourism Land Use in Llandudno North Wales; Year 11 – Urban Environments in Liverpool.

Geography is fundamentally multi-disciplinary, and opportunities to teach cross curricular themes, to enhance pupil understanding and experience are taken throughout the Geography curriculum at Madeley, with those of specific note being: Mathematics, Science, History, ICT, citizenship and CEIAG.

Geography Curriculum Plans

Updated: 24/10/2023 304 KB
Updated: 24/10/2023 125 KB

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

What will students study?

In the Key Stage 3 programme of study, students will study a broad range of geographical themes:

Physical geography themes:       - 

  • earthquakes and volcanic activity
  • rivers and floods
  • weather and climate
  • ecosystems
  • limestone
  • coasts                               

Human geography themes:                     

  • population
  • settlement
  • economic activities
  • development
  • tourism

Environmental geography:                        - 

  • how can we manage our environment and resources in a sustainable way
  • climate change

Geographical Skills                                      - 

  • maps, graphical, interpretative, statistical
  • decision making

Students will study a range of places in detail including: U.K., Japan, China, Brazil, Russia and Kenya.  The course will also build on skills developed in Key Stage 2 including the use of maps, photographs, diagrams, ICT and fieldwork techniques and graphical skills.

We hope to provide the students with a variety of learning opportunities. Students will be encouraged to develop their individual and collaborative learning skills. An enquiry approach is adopted for classroom activities and work outside the classroom is undertaken when appropriate.

Key Stage 3 Units of study:

Year 7

  • Making Connections - What is Geography?
  • Geographical Skills
  • Volcanoes & Earthquakes
  • Weather & Climate                             
  • Rivers & Flooding.                                                                  

Year 8  

  • Coastal Environments
  • Geology of Britain
  • Limestone Landscapes
  • Geographical Skills
  • Brazil - Rainforest Ecosystems, Management of Rainforests, Brazilian Cities.

Year 9  

  • Geographical Skills
  • Development – NICs, HICs and NEEs.
  • Population
  • Japan
  • A study of the B.R.I.C.s – China/Russia
  • Tourism                                                                                          

Throughout the Key Stage, students will increasingly:

  • broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of places and themes;
  • make use of a wide and precise geographical vocabulary;
  • analyse, rather than describe, geographical patterns, processes and change;
  • appreciate the interactions within and between physical and human processes that operate in any environment
  • appreciate the interdependence of places
  • become proficient at conducting and comparing studies at a widening range of scales and in contrasting places and environments
  • apply their geographical knowledge and understanding to unfamiliar contexts
  • select and make effective use of skills and techniques to support their geographical investigations
  • appreciate the limitations of geographical evidence and the tentative and incomplete nature of some explanations.

How will students be assessed?

Assessment of students work is of the following types:

  1. Ongoing through observation, interaction between teacher and student
  2. Student self-review and peer review
  3. Assessment of homework/class work
  4. End of unit assessment 

Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)

Updated: 07/02/2024 146 KB

Teacher in Charge: Dr N Curtis 

What course do students follow?

AQA GCSE Geography
Specification code: 8035

What will students study?

Details of assessment 

The course has been developed to be exciting, relevant and interesting. The issues it deals with are the most important challenges facing the world today. It will give you inside information on the causes of these different challenges, the impact they have on us and our environment and what we can do to help overcome the problems we face to build a more sustainable future nationally and globally. The content of this course is divided into different themes. In today’s rapidly changing world, never has Geography been a more relevant and popular subject to study

The Fieldwork:

In Geography, fieldwork must take place outside the classroom and school grounds on at least two occasions.  Students must carry out two geographical enquiries in contrasting environments and show an understanding of both physical and human geography. In at least one of the enquiries students are expected to show an understanding about the interaction between physical and human geography. The most likely location for the Geography fieldtrip will be the North Wales coast, in and around Llandudno. Here, issues of coastal management and tourism will be studied.

Subject content:

Living with the physical environment

  • The challenge of natural hazards – Earthquakes, Tropical Storms, UK Weather Hazards
  • The living world – Ecosystems
  • Physical landscapes in the UK – Coasts and Rivers

Challenges in the human environment

  • 3.2.1 Section A: Urban issues and challenges
  • 3.2.2 Section B: The changing economic world
  • 3.2.3 Section C: The challenge of resource management

The course is examined over 3 final exam papers: one Physical Geography paper, one Human Geography paper, these test the 'taught content’, and a final paper which is 1) An Issue evaluation (based on pre-release booklet) and 2) A Fieldwork Paper based on 2 pieces of fieldwork which will be carried out by the students. 

Where can I find more information?

More information about the course can be found using the link below. 


Assessment resources

Assessment resources can be found using the link below. 


Careers information

Careers information can be found using the links below.