At Key Stage 3 geography lessons are based on the National Curriculum and delivered in the form of a combination of enquiries that explore key concepts, and answer an over-riding question at the end of the unit of work, as well as specific place topics. Geography is taught in mixed ability teaching groups. Students in Years 7 and 9 have two 100 minute lessons per fortnight, whilst students in Year 8 have three 100 minute lessons per fortnight.
The enquiries we undertake cover a wide range of topics, from more traditional units based around physical geography, such as rivers and flooding, and tectonics, to the exploration of human geography, such as development and globalisation, encompassing more dynamic topics such as food and crime. Underpinning many of the topics we study is the concept of sustainable development – "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." (Bruntland Report)
Students have many opportunities to develop their independence and creativity through projects such as ‘Fair trade meets the Dragon’s Den’ and ‘Make your city self-sufficient’; and to practise their team work and management skills through planning sustainable trips around the world, devising management plans and rebranding Felixstowe as the ultimate holiday destination! We also use role play and games to illustrate a number of key concepts – particular favourites are the Chocolate Game (Year 7 Fair trade); Jelly Babies Game (Year 8 Population) and the Trading Trainers Game (Year 9 Globalisation) – these reveal some of our most competitive students!
Students also have many opportunities to conduct fieldwork on and around the school site, for example designing eco-friendly and safe school environments, and evaluating their impact their journey to school has on the environment and local community.
All students will know their end of year target for Geography and will have a sheet in their book entitled ‘Become the ultimate geographer’ demonstrating the skills needed to progress through the levels at Key Stage 3. Each lesson will have a main differentiated task aiming to stretch those students at the top end of ability and support those who may need it. In addition to this each assessment has its own assessment grid/level ladder highlighting all of the things needed to achieve each specific level. Detailed feedback is given on a regular basis of what went well (WWW) and even better if? (EBI) – students are given time at the beginning of lessons to reflect upon and respond to this.
Each topic has an end of unit assessment. These have been designed to develop and test a variety of skills, these include extended projects going over several lessons and homeworks, creative writing pieces, decision-making essays, news reports, presentations, etc. Each assessment has its own assessment grid/level ladder highlighting all of the things needed to achieve each specific level, as well as an area to record the student’s current literacy target and their ‘feed forward’ target from the previous assessment (where they look at what they need to do better next time).
Homework is set once a week in years 7, 8 and 9 – occasionally there may be exceptions to this (for example if books are in for marking).
The Geography Department has a well-developed area on Froggle with lesson and homework resources, as well as links to other sources of useful information or relevant news stories. We also have a department Twitter account (@GeographyHHS) with which we post links, news stories, celebrate success, etc, and students can email teachers with any issues or questions they may have – email@example.com (subject leader), firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nothing specific – although usual stationary should be brought to all lessons.
In Year 7 students study the following units of work:
What is Geography? – a short introduction to what the subject involves and what will be studied throughout Key Stage 3. It also looks at how we are all connected to a variety of places.
What is Geography? Why is Geography important? What do we study in Geography? What types of Geography are there?
Mapping our places – a unit of work designed to explore the British Isles and develop map skills.
How are maps useful to us? What map skills should geographers develop? How do we divide the British Isles up? How do maps teach us about different areas?
The Geography of Sport – Is sport fair game?
What does sport mean to different people? Is the sport industry as fair as a match? Who relies on sport for an income? What impact does sport have on people and the environment?
Rivers and flooding – How do rivers shape the land and our lives?
What do rivers mean to different people? How does water travel through the drainage basin? How does a river change and develop both itself and the environment? What impacts do rivers and flooding have on people and the environment? How can we lessen this impact?
China – Is it the next global superpower?
Details to follow
Tectonics – Why does the Earth kill so many of us?
What causes volcanoes and earthquakes? Which areas are at risk from volcanic eruptions and earthquakes? What impact do they have – positively and negatively? How do countries respond differently to this risk?
Travel plan project – Are we as street-wise as we think?
How has travel to school changed over the last few decades? How does our journey to school have impact on the environment and local community? How can we improve our journey to school?
Fair trade – Are we paying a fair price for our food?
How is profit distributed amongst the food production chain? How does food production lead to poverty? What is fair trade and why is it so important?
In Year 8 students study the following units of work:
Extreme environments – How can we cope with extreme environments?
What makes somewhere an extreme environment? How do people use extreme environments? What challenges do extreme environments pose? What do we need to do to survive in these areas?
Amazon rainforest – Does it matter if we destroy the rainforest?
What makes the Amazon rainforest an extreme environment? How do people use the Amazon rainforest? What challenges does the Amazon rainforest pose? Why do we need to look after it?
Antarctica – The ultimate challenge?
What makes Antarctica a wilderness? Who does it belong to? What needs to be done to protect it? Why should we be worried about what is happening there?
Population and migration – Is Britain full?
How is the world’s population growing and why? What problems could result from this growth? How can population growth be controlled? Why do people risk their life to migrate? How do LEDCs cope with urbanisation? What problems does migration create for different regions? How do you judge which migrants to allow into the UK?
Energy – How can we be clean and green?
What are the types of energy? How and why should we save energy? How and why is energy production changing? What are the factors that influence the type of energy we choose to use?
Coasts – Are we waving goodbye to our coastline?
How does the sea shape our land? What landforms and features are found along our coastline? How does the process of erosion affect our lives? How can we protect our coastline? What conflicts occur at the coast?
Crime – Can geography beat the criminals?
Why is the environment so important to criminals? How can we use GIS to map/predict crime? How can we use the environment to prevent crime?
The USA – Is this truly the greatest country in the world?
What is the human geography of the USA? What is the economic geography of the USA? What is the key environmental geography of the USA? How do these factors interact within the USA? Are the USA and the rest of the world positively interdependent?
In Year 9 students study the following units of work: –
Weather and climate – Us or it – who has the biggest impact?
What is weather and how can it be measured? What causes weather? How are weather and climate different? What affects climate? What is extreme weather and how does it affect us? What are the causes of climate change? What are the potential effects of climate change? What can we do about it?
Development – Is 20 plenty?
What is development and how can it be measured? Why is development uneven across the world? What can be done to address the issue of development?
Globalisation – Does what we buy matter?
Where does our stuff come from and why? Why can people buy more stuff? How does our stuff affect people on the other side of the world? How does our stuff have an impact on the planet?
Feed the world – Do we need to change the way we eat?
Where does our food come from? How is our food production distributed? How is our food consumption distributed? How will food production have to change in the future? What impacts can food production have on people and the environment? How does food production cause poverty?
India – enquiry title to follow
Sustainable tourism – Is our love of travel a death sentence for the planet?
Why is tourism so important? What are the key elements of sustainable tourism? What are the consequences of unsustainable tourism?
The Middle East - enquiry title to follow