Learning in Geography

Geography can inspire students to develop a curiosity and fascination about the world that will last a lifetime. Geography will equip students with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources within both natural and human environments.

As students increase their knowledge about the world, they will be supported in deepening their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes. An important aspect of geography is to put practical enquiry and investigation skills into practice outside the classroom.

Geography has may cross-curricular links and builds upon these skills and develops them through application. Examples of cross-curricular links include literacy skills through reading for understanding, extended writing, scientific enquiry skills, mathematical graph and statistical interpretation and historical links that have influenced locations.

Curriculum Intent

The Geography department aim to inspire all students to have the ambition and excitement to investigate and understand the world in which we live. To build local, national and global knowledge and understanding. To be able to work effectively, independently and collaboratively: to communicate with clarity and precision about how the world works and the interactions that exist between the human and physical environment. Through geography, students will become confident thinkers and problem solvers who persist and strive for excellence. Students will endeavour to be both creative and imaginative in their approach to world issues in the 21st Century, enabling geography students at the Goodwin Academy to become responsible and proactive citizens making positive contributions to the local community and wider society.

KS3, Years 7, 8 & 9 Geography

In Years 7, 8 & 9, students will begin by develop key skills that will equip students to be successful geographers.

Throughout Key Stage Three the skills learnt will be integrated into all topic areas giving students the ability to embed their skills and develop to become experts. We investigate different locations from local, national and global scales in terms of physical, human and environmental geographical content.

Think like a geographer. Speak like a geographer.

Integral to understanding place is the ability to develop thinking skills. We actively encourage students to question the things they see within geography and develop a curiosity about the world, why and how things have happened and what the impact or implications might be in the future.

Thinking like a geographer is key and there are many different opportunities for students to develop, apply and demonstrate their thinking. We regularly use thinking keys to encourage thinking in different ways. Thinking maps help geographers organise their thoughts and identify key facts and figures, developing context when applying the frame of reference to new concepts.

Students are assessed termly across the year to enable students’ progress to be closely monitored and identify areas of success and areas to be developed. To support their study, students can revise through the Seneca Learning website where they can use the learning modules to enhance their understanding. Students are encouraged to think about geography in current times through the news and current situations in the world. Teaching staff often meet to discuss and share teaching strategies to further enhance the educational experience that is offered to all students.

Geography at Key Stage Three not only prepares students to take the subject further into GCSE but develops lifelong skills that are useful across other subjects and beyond education.

Year 7 Knowledge Bank

KS4, Year 10 & 11 GCSE Geography

Geography helps make sense of the world around us. It is hands on, relevant and fun.

GCSE Geography offers a good mix of topics such as urban issues, world development, extreme environments, rivers and hazards – to name but a few. The course offers the opportunity to get to grips with some of the big questions which affect our world, and understand the social, economic and physical forces and processes which shape and change our landscape.

The GCSE Geography curriculum follows the AQA specification. Students will be further introduced to key physical and human geographical issues on a global scale. There is a focus on the UK across physical and human topics, fieldwork is integrated to enable students to learn outside the classroom. Students will have opportunities to develop enquiry skills and investigate local, national and global places in depth through case studies.

Throughout the course, students will be closely monitored to assess their progress and ensure that they are moving towards fulfilling, and exceeding their potential. Where necessary, additional support will be offered in a format that is most suited to the individual to assist in realising this potential. The course is well resourced and delivered through a range of teaching styles to enable students to develop their location knowledge and deepen their understanding of place as well as providing opportunities to enquire and investigate a wide variety of concepts and places.


Paper 1: Living with the physical environment (35% of GCSE)

What’s assessed:

  • Section A: The challenge of natural hazards
  • Section B: The living world
  • Section C: Physical landscapes in the UK

How it’s assessed: Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes. 88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology).

  • Section A: answer all questions (33 marks)
  • Section B: answer any two from questions 2, 3 and 4 (30 marks)
  • Section C: answer question 6 and 7 (25 marks)

Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment (35% of GCSE)

What’s assessed:

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

How it’s assessed: Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes. 88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology).

  • Section A: answer all questions (33 marks)
  • Section B: answer all questions (30 marks)
  • Section C: answer question 3 and 1 from questions 4, 5 or 6 (25 marks)

Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose.

Paper 3: Geographical applications (30% of GCSE)

What’s assessed:

  • Section A: Issue evaluation
  • Section B: Fieldwork

How it’s assessed: Written exam: 1 hour. 76 marks (including 6 marks for Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar and Specialist Technology).

Pre-release resources made available from in March for the year of the exam

  • Section A: answer all questions (37 marks)
  • Section B: answer all questions (39 marks)

Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose



Geography is a broad academic subject which will open up options in the future. Employers and universities see geography as a robust academic subject, providing students with a wealth of skills and knowledge. As a subject linking the Arts and the Sciences, it is highly flexible in terms of what you can combine it with, both at GCSE and A Level. If you choose to take geography on to university, there are hundreds of courses to choose from. The range of career opportunities geography can offer is extensive.

  • Army, navy-related jobs
  • Animals and environment, including conservation
  • Environment agency
  • Estate agent
  • Farming, forestry, gardening
  • Landscape planning
  • Marine biology
  • Mapping technology – Geographical information systems
  • Teaching
  • Travel agent
  • Urban planner – town planning



Fundamental British Values

Through studying geography, students will be given the opportunity to understand why Britain is the way it is for them. Throughout our curriculum, we look explicitly at all of the Fundamental British Values.

  • Democracy – Taking the views and opinions of others into account, particularly when comparing countries, cultures and listening to others’ opinions.
  • Rule of Law – Understanding different government policies in different locations across the world – for example looking at population policies.
  • Tolerance of different Cultures and Religions – examining geographical patterns, comparing countries and unique places and discussing emotive topics in relation to population and migration.
  • Mutual Respect – Working as a team during practical work, discussing different opinions and points of view. Considering individual actions on the environment and the sustainable use of resources.
  • Individual Liberty – Being able to make individual choices when planning an investigation, but also being informed before making individual choices, making evaluations from available information to form conclusions.