Geography at King James not only encourages students to develop a sense of wonder about the world but also aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to make sense of the world around them; whether that is understanding how landscapes are formed, making sense of the news or understanding how their decisions impact upon people and the environment locally, nationally and globally.
Through the study of physical, human and environmental geography from Year 7 to Year 11, students learn to think like Geographers and examine the physical and human world through key concepts such as inequality, globalisation, interdependence and sustainability that underpin the content of all of the units we teach. The spiral nature of our curriculum ensures that key concepts and skills are revisited and built upon throughout the key stages.
At KS3 we aim to develop and apply key geographical skills and concepts through the study of a variety of physical and human geography topics. Teaching students to think like geographers for example identifying positive and negative impacts of events, and then further classifying them as economic, social and environmental.
In Year 7 Geographers began their KS3 Geography course by examining the issues of plastic pollution in 'Our Plastic Oceans' before moving on to the physical geography topics of Weather & Climate and Rivers. We will then move on to focus on Russia asking ‘Is the geography of Russia a benefit or a curse?’ In Year 8 ‘Living with Tectonic Hazards’ we examine why the effects of hazards are greater in some countries than others; students will learn about factors affecting population in ‘Population Issues’ and also reflect on the importance of facts rather than misconceptions in ‘Factfulness’ In the summer term of Year 8 we study Coasts. In Year 9 Geographers begin by studying ‘Africa is not a country’ where we look at the physical and human geography of Africa, how Africa’s past has shaped its present and the opportunities and challenges facing African countries. We then look at Glaciation asking ‘How does ice shape the world?’ In the Spring term, we consider the winners and losers of globalisation when we look at how mobile phones connect us to other places in ‘Global citizen’. We then turn our attention to Asia asking ‘How is Asia being transformed?’
To view a copy of the Geography KS2-3 Learning Journey click here.
At GCSE we study OCR B: ‘Geography for Enquiring Minds’ where we build upon the concepts and skills studied in KS3. In KS4 students should be more confident in ‘thinking like a Geographer’ - when looking at case studies they should be able to consider impacts on people/economy/environment as well as being able to think more holistically and make connections between different units of work. Students will learn to look for links between all of these geographical topics and see the ‘bigger picture’ of how all of the topics they study are interconnected. For example, in just one GCSE unit ‘Dynamic Development’ they will draw on prior learning and develop the ideas of why some countries lag behind others in their development through issues such as vulnerability to natural hazards; climate change; resources and resource exploitation; colonisation; globalisation and so on. Students will also gain fieldwork experience.
To view a copy of the OCR Geography curriculum click here.
Assessment in Geography
Students progress is assessed in a variety of ways from questioning and discussions in lessons to extended writing and summative assessments at the end of each topic. Each KS3 unit (see below) is assessed with a knowledge test and a piece of writing. A copy of examplar exam papers for KS4 can be viewed at the OCR link given above.
We aim to incorporate current events into our curriculum by updating units to reflect contemporary issues such as problems of plastic pollution in our oceans, climate change, what being a global citizen means. We also update case studies to ensure students are able to not only see the links between current global events and their studies, but also to understand the causes, effects and responses to those events.