Building Geographical thinking


  1. Students will develop an appreciation of interdependency and dynamism between people and the environment.
  2. Students show confidence with key geographical literacy of human, physical and environmental processes e.g. tectonics, river processes and globalisation and climate change.
  3. Students use, interpret and analyse data.
  4. Students develop a mutual respect for all which is evidenced in thoughtful and engaging debates and a positive class ethos that develops critical thinking.
  5. Students will show balance in their arguments and appreciate a diverse range of stakeholder views
  6. Students are aware of key local, national and global issues.
  7. Students will have an out of the classroom fieldwork experience in each Key Stage.
  8. Students will be able to locate places at a range of scales (local, national, global).

Curriculum overview 

The flow of learning at JMHS has been based around demonstrating the dynamism and interdependency of our world; beginning with how change has impacted our local space and moving within and between each topic to wider world examples. We examine both physical and human aspects within each stage to show the inter relationships between humans and their environments. Learning begins in Yr 7 with topics that examine how local change has occurred both physical and human changes by global processes operating; developing conceptual theories (e.g supply and demand, the demographic transition model) and introduces a  range of stakeholder viewpoints (social, economic and environmental) of the changes occurring locally, nationally and globally. In year 8 the focus moves to how local actions can create global impacts; showing how we impact both natural and human processes. We develop decision making skills and evaluative skills; considering the dynamism of our world and impacts of our actions as global citizens and caretakers.

Throughout, key countries and regions are used as case studies which display the processes occurring; these include Brazil, Nigeria, New Zealand, Asia, and the UK. Enquiry led learning is used to trigger students decision making and develop comprehension and data handling skills. By the end of KS3 students should be able to use specific Geographical language to explain key processes of change and the impacts confidently. Progression into KS4 develops complexity of processes operating at a variety of scales and with multi-faceted impacts. It allows students to examine international remedies and collaborations between stakeholders and evaluate factors to produce evidenced judgements. KS4 builds on the range of data sources introduced at KS3 and continues to embed key skills of map, graphicacy and photograph interpretations. KS4 introduces the concept of magnitude and frequency of changes and evaluates the notion of importance of high magnitude, low frequency events over longer term, but lower magnitude processes, in terms of mitigation strategies and planning for events. KS5 progressives further to examine the synoptic issues facing an ever changing world; particularly hazards and landscape change, population and development, trade, energy and water. KS5 emphasises the use of evidence based discussions to justify the extent to which stakeholders are able to influence the world around them.

This programme meets the NC criteria and also surpasses it by including:

  • Mitigation planning debates on rates of change e.g using magnitude vs frequency concepts for coastal erosion planning and preparedness.
  • Examining a variety of values and attitudes towards a range of current issues e.g sustainability
  • Extended and qualitative discussions and writing for a variety of audiences and stakeholder opinions.
  • Applying wider global movements and concepts to Ledbury and the surrounding area.
  • Extending learning through a range of wider reading and participation in school and local events e.g recycling and environmental groups.

The curriculum at a glance

The building blocks in year 7 give an insight in the Earth’s wide ranging human and physical processes operating. Within each topic key vocabulary, numeracy and graphicacy is extended, building in complexity from year 7 to year 11. Differing values and attitudes are deepened in year 8 onwards and the introduction of complex linkages between processes and possible solutions are developed. The building blocks are then revisited throughout the programme of study with decision making, debating, and evaluation skills being developed to enable students to interpret the world around them using a social, economic and environmental lens. Focus is given to ‘geography in the news’ and students are encouraged in wider reading and to interpret a wide range of data, photographic and thematic mapping resources.

 Time  Yr 7
 2 hrs per week
 Yr 8
 1 hr per week
 Yr 9       
 2/3 hrs per week
Yr 10
 2hrs per week
Yr 11
3 hrs per week
Autumn  Why are the   continents   moving?


 Should this town   be abandoned?   (North Norfolk   coastline)  Hazardous Earth:   Tectonics  The UK evolving   human landscape  Making   Geographical   decisions
People and the   Biosphere
 Why are some   places more   developed than   others?  Development   Dynamics  Fieldwork:   Birmingham study  Forests under   threat
Spring  How are   landscapes   made?  Why save the   rainforests?  The UK evolving   physical   landscape:
Coasts and   Geology
 Consuming Energy
 How have cities   changed around   the world
Fieldwork –   Ledbury urban   transect
 Hazardous Earth:   Climate change  River processes  Review and revision
Summer  Why is my   planet’s climate   changing?
Fieldwork: Rain   gauge and   infiltration   study
 Can the planet   support all of us?   Fieldwork:   Malvern Hills walk
(map reading,   tourism study)
 Challenges of the   urbanising world  Review and   revision
 Review and   revision  Review and   revision  Review and
 Fieldwork: River   Swilgate,   Tewkesbury  


Assessment structure

½ term Formative assessment
This is completed within class as a piece of extended writing, numeracy task, or graphicacy task.

End of term Summative assessment
These will consist of 3 sections:

  1. Vocabulary and multiple choice
  2. Resource based data handling
  3. Extended writing

All assessments are moderated to ensure consistency and WWW and EBI are used to inform students of progress and next steps to improve. This is recorded on the assessment tracker on the front page of books. These are interpreted by students using the ‘JMHS Geography ladder’ at the back of their books.

Key Stage 3 National Curriculum Audit for Geography