Statement of Intent
The Geography curriculum for Year 7-13 students at St Gregory’s Catholic School gives all students the chance to understand the world and their place in it.
Students will spark their curiosity by studying diverse places on Earth from two major perspectives.
Firstly, the physical - or natural - perspective. How do Earth’s systems determine our climate; how are landscapes changed by rivers, coasts and sheets of ice; and how do these all affect humans and other living organisms on Earth?
And secondly, the human perspective. How many of us are there; where do we live; how and why do we move; how do we interact; and how have human systems – such as economies, technology, and politics – changed our lives over time and space?
The Geography curriculum is split into four themes; two physical (A and B) and two human (C and D). Students learn this knowledge, highlighting links within and between themes. This curriculum teaches real skills such as empathy, giving students the confidence to tackle interesting problems, asking and answering inquisitive, searching questions. Students thoroughly practice their communication (written and spoken), and develop their skills of graphical presentation, analysis, judgement, and evaluation. This all supports students towards becoming articulate, informed and critical citizens capable of participating - and leading - in their lives beyond school.
The St Gregory’s Geography curriculum gives students knowledge and skills they can helpfully apply to other subject areas, all of which are used to promote the Catholic Social Teachings.
Our curriculum from Year 7-13 is structured around four headline themes:
- Will we ever know enough about nature to survive and thrive?
- How are landscapes shaped by wind, water and weather?
- How is humankind populating the planet?
- How do money, power and disease affect our lives?
Students visit these themes each year, securing and then deepening their knowledge until they reach a point of mastery where knowledge is embedded and can be applied in a variety of contexts, using different geographical skills.
Theme A: Will we ever know enough about nature to survive and thrive?
Students begin Year 7 exploring the UK climate and the processes in the atmosphere that drive our weather. They use this knowledge to identify potential hazards arising from changing climate patterns and the different ecosystems created by global climates. Throughout Year 8 and Year 9 students can explain the formation and evaluate the consequences caused by atmospheric hazards including tropical storms and drought. Students will explore the processes involved in shaping the earth through tectonics and the link between the structure of the earth and tectonic hazards. As students’ progress into Year 9, they build upon their previous knowledge of the structure of the earth to study the landforms found at plate margins and the movements from within the earth that create such landforms. They explore the landforms by applying case studies from both high income and low income countries and compare the responses, using their knowledge from Theme D to evaluate responses to these hazards. Knowledge from Years 7-9 lays the foundation for the GCSE topic of ‘The Challenges of Natural Hazards’ (AQA).
Theme B: How are landscapes shaped by wind, water and weather?
Students will understand the challenges associated with our changing landscape. By studying rivers, glaciers and coasts students will understand how our landscapes are dynamic and how they impact humans both socially and economically. The study of physical landscapes builds students’ knowledge so they are able to apply their knowledge and skills to the GCSE topic of ‘Physical Landscapes in the UK’ (AQA).
Theme C: How is humankind populating the planet?
As our population continues to grow, students will appreciate how the human population changes and the challenges these changes can bring. Students will begin by focusing on patterns of worldwide growth, factors affecting population change at a local to international scale and the growing importance of and drivers of large-scale human migration. As students progress into Year 9, they will explore policies that are involved in managing populations and evaluate their impacts on specific populations. They will discover how population policies have changed over time and the potential consequences of these in the future. They will plot these changes over time onto the Demographic Transition Model and develop an understanding of how a population changes over time and how these changes can cause problems in Newly Emerging Economies (NEE) and Low Income Countries. By studying relevant human issues in geography, students become global citizens who have an understanding of how history and geopolitics frame the societies in which we live. This transitions students smoothly towards GCSE and the topic of ‘Urban issues and challenges’ (AQA).
Theme D: How do money, power and disease affect our lives?
Students will study the complexity of economic development around the world and the factors that have led to these different levels of development, such as wealth, power and health. They will explore why every country in the world is at a different stage of development and the variation in quality of life this can bring. They will continue to explore the concept of globalisation and the impact this has on development with particular reference to a Transnational Corporation (TNC) in an NEE. They will assess the Sustainable Development Goals and discuss the likely success of these goals in the future. Development is multifaceted and an understanding of complex issues develops students’ knowledge ready for the GCSE topics ‘Changing Economic World’ and ‘Resource management’. Their skills of problem-solving will be developed; a crucial skill at both GCSE and A Level.