The flow of learning at JMHS has been based around demonstrating the dynamism and interdependency of our world; beginning in year 7 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 key stage to show the inter relationships between humans and their environments.

Students begin in Year 7 with an introduction into the importance of studying geography, with a focus on both human and physical concepts, atlas and map skills in the first term (How can we study the geography of Ledbury?). These skills and key building blocks are built upon throughout key stage 3, 4 and 5. Students then begin to develop geographical enquiry and decision-making skills by investigating the interchanging relationship between population growth and resources.

Students then move on to study how the changing climate is impacting our local space and comparing these impacts to wider world examples including India and Tuvalu. The summer term provides continuation with a focus on the increasing risk of river and coastal flooding due to climate change and human activity. Year 7 is channelled through a local lens so that students can relate geographical concepts to personal experiences.

In Year 8 student address common geographical misconceptions which provide them with the skills to ‘think like a geographer’. These skills are then applied to key geographical processes such as development and tectonics.

Students explore several global biomes and the impact of human activity, culminating in a decision-making activity whereby students decide if Antarctica should be preserved or exploited for human use. The end of year 8 offers students the chance to apply geographical concepts and skills to a country-based study (Philippines) with the aim of creating synoptic links between different strands of geography explored throughout key stage 3.

Throughout, key countries and regions are used as case studies which display the processes occurring; these include Philippines, Indonesia, India, Tuvalu, Antarctica, Brazil, Nigeria, Ethiopia, USA and the UK. Enquiry led learning is used to encourage student’s 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 map, graphs and photograph interpretations. KS4 introduces the concept of magnitude and frequency of changes explored in KS3. 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 eg using magnitude vs frequency concepts for coastal erosion planning and preparedness.
  • Examining a variety of values and attitudes towards a range of current issues eg 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 eg recycling and environmental groups.

Aims of the geography curriculum

  1. Students 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 are exposed to geographical enquiry, allowing them to deepen their conceptual understanding through reasoning, interpreting and analysing 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 show balance in their arguments and appreciate a diverse range of stakeholder views.
  6. Students develop a deeper understanding of the wider world.
  7. Students have an out of the classroom fieldwork experience.
  8. Students are able to locate places at a range of scales (local, national, global).


The curriculum at a glance

The building blocks in year 7 give an insight into the Earth’s wide ranging human and physical processes. Within each topic key vocabulary, numeracy and graphical skills are extended, building complexity from year 7 to year 11. From year 8 the introduction of complex linkages between processes and possible solutions are introduced. 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.

The Key Stage 4 curriculum pathway consists of three years (9-11) which allows time to develop mastery and embed skills through repetition. This three year pathway provides opportunities to explore current events and highlight the importance of Geography within a wider world.


Yr 7: 2 hrs pw

Yr 8:  2 hrs pw

Yr 9:  3 hrs pw 

Yr 10:  2hrs pw

Yr 11: 3 hrs pw

Autumn (1) How can I become a successful geographer?  Why is our understanding of the world wrong? Why is the UK’s human landscape changing? Why are some tectonic hazards more deadly than others? Making Geographical decisions

People and the Biosphere

Autumn (2) Can the planet support all of us? Why are some places more developed than others? Why is London changing? Why are some tectonic hazards more deadly than others? What threats do global forests face?
Spring (1) How are glacial landscapes formed? Why are the continents moving? How have past processes shaped the landscape?

 Why are coastal settlements at risk?

Who has the regeneration in Worcester benefitted? How and why is energy use changing?

Unseen fieldwork

Spring (2) Why is the planet changing? Why save the rainforests? How does a river change as it travels towards the sea? What challenges do cities face? Review and revision
Summer (1) Why does Worcester flood? Should we preserve Antarctica? Why is there economic inequality in the world? Is the world becoming more dangerous? Climate change and tropical storms. Review and revision
Summer (2) Should we protect the Norfolk Coast? Why is the Philippines multi-hazardous? How and why is India changing? 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 feedback on what went well and how the work could be even better 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.


Strategies to support disadvantaged and SEND students to achieve curriculum goals

Routines for learning

  • Seating plans provide a suitable partner to work with and easy access for teacher and TA to assist
  • SEND and DA books marked first with clear formative feedback and encouragement; assessments have clear criteria to assist peer, self and teacher assessment.
  • Consistent acronyms used to assist long term memory used explicitly in teaching eg PEEC, GSE. Memory sometimes supported with symbols and actions
  • Use of displays in classrooms when possible.
  • Use of cloze exercises, images, True and False and multiple choice to build confidence and contribute to short term wins
  • Revision: Explain and demonstrate strategies for learning content and vocabulary – association, visuals, creating cards; activities used to promote long term memory recall such as retrieval tasks in starters, use of homework with challenge, use of vocabulary in bold on slides.
  • Providing all year 10 and 11 students with a GCSE Revision workbook and revision guide free of charge.
  • All disadvantaged students and SEND students are invited to after school support sessions at key stage 4.

Strategies for literacy

  • Teachers lead the reading to enable all students to build confidence.
  • Understanding is frequently checked through achievable quizzes and questions.
  • Reading strategies used e.g. 3,2,1, rule and comprehension.
  • Hemmingway editor is used to identify the readability of longer reading texts and complex key words are defined in brackets.
  • Teaching vocabulary explicitly.
  • Key support materials are displayed upon walls of classrooms.
  • Use clear strategies for writing e.g. scaffolding using sentence starters; vocabulary and key word banks.
  • Modelling of some writing tasks prior to writing; use of me, we, you.
  • Worked examples encouraging students to spot strengths and weaknesses in written answers.

Strategies for numeracy

  • Where applicable students’ individuals are provided with support resources to help build and secure understanding.
  • Ensuring students have access to required resources (i.e. calculators, rulers).
  • Independent work set within lessons is differentiated to support students when they are finding a topic easier to master and challenge.
  • Key support materials are displayed upon walls of classrooms.
  • Low stake quizzes used to help students identify gaps in numeracy and allow the teacher to provide extra support.
  • Communicate with the maths department so that methods are used consistently across departments.
  • Communicate with the maths department so that teachers are aware of the ability of SEND and disadvantaged students.

Strategies for geographical skills and fieldwork

  • Low stake quizzes to identify gaps in geographical location knowledge and associated skills.
  • Ensuring all students are exposed to a range of maps and mapping techniques for example having laminated desk maps in geography classrooms in order to build cultural capital.
  • Key support materials are displayed upon walls of classrooms.

Strategies for disadvantaged students

  • Ensure that all disadvantaged students have access to epraise and the internet, and ensure that resources are printed off if necessary.
  • Pupil premium funding is used to ensure all students can participate in fieldwork.
  • Ensure disadvantages students are seated in an accessible place within the classroom, next to a suitable student.
  • Ensure that teachers are able to identify disadvantaged students and tailor learning to suit their needs.
  • Direct students to weekly homework clubs if needed.
  • Provide opportunities for students to participate in extra curricular activities at lunch time such as the HEAL club.
  • Reinforce positive praise to all students through house points and praise postcards.
  • Ensuring students have access to required resources (i.e. calculators, rulers).

Strategies to encourage stretch and challenge of students to exceed curriculum goals

  • Make available and suggest wider reading for all key stages. Key stage 3 reading is a mixture of both fiction and non-fiction texts and key stage 4 is non-fiction based.
  • Encourage students to consider the ethics of topics such as development, globalisation, energy and culture through class discussion.
  • Encourage students to make synoptic links between topics, using current affairs such as news articles in lessons to support this.
  • When completing extended writing answers, encourage students to add complexity to their answers by the use of different perspectives.
  • Consider the roles of different stakeholders and how power plays an influence in decision making at all levels.


Key Stage 3 National Curriculum Audit for Geography