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Close up image of a map

Geography staff

Mr C Figures, Subject Lead
Mrs M Norman
Ms G Steers


“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.”

– Barack Obama

Curriculum intent

Our Geography curriculum is designed to develop student’s curiosity and fascination about the world, its people and the relationship between them. We aim to teach students powerful geographical knowledge and skills in order to enable them to become responsible global citizens. In Key Stage 3 we focus on developing student’s ability to “think like a geographer”. 

What does progress through Key Stage 3 look like for a student in Geography?

Through high quality teaching we develop the following characteristics of students:

  •  A good knowledge of where studied places are and what they are like
  • Demonstrate greater fluency with world knowledge by drawing on increasing breadth and depth of content, contexts and concepts (place, space, scale, interdependence, human and physical processes, environmental impact, cultural diversity, sustainable development and cultural awareness)
  • Extending from the familiar and concrete to the unfamiliar and abstract
  •  Making greater sense of the world by organising and connecting information and ideas about people, places, processes and environments
  • Working with more complex information about the world, including the relevance of people’s attitudes, values and beliefs
  •  Increasing the range and accuracy of pupils’ investigative skills and advancing their ability to select and apply these with increasing independence to geographical enquiry.
What do students learn in Year 7?

In Year 7 we start with local geography and investigate our local area asking: What is my place in the world? We build on skills developed in Key Stage 2 about using photographs and maps as geographical evidence and how to conduct a geographical enquiry. We expand on important local geography and introduce physical geography by learning about rivers, asking: How do rivers shape landscape and lives? This builds on map skills and local knowledge developed in the first topic. After looking at how humans use rivers, we examine more globally how humans use earth systems, asking: Is the world running out of natural resources? We extend this knowledge in our next topic by investigating population growth and change, asking: Can we control population growth? After looking at growth through changing birth rates and death rates we look at growth of cities and examine the consequences of urbanisation by asking: Is India becoming more Urban?

What do students learn in Year 8?

Building on the human geography introduced at the end of Year 7 we look at the economic dimension with “What is an economy?” This is linked to why protecting certain areas of the coast is important in our following topic “Where do we protect on the Holderness Coastline?” We link the idea of balancing social, economic and environmental issues into “What is weather from small scale to large scale?”, when we examine the impact of the monsoon climate, revisiting India from previous study. We look at countries around the world in “How has uneven development led to inequality?” before focusing on one world region in “How is the Sahel region overcoming challenges?”

What do students learn in Year 9?

After looking at one place in detail we look at what natural hazards can teach us about places in “Is there such a thing as a natural hazard?” We examine a region in “Why is the Middle East an important world region?”, which draws together many themes from earlier in the course in addition to dealing with more complex themes of geographies of conflict. We build on concepts of geopolitics and superpower in “Why did Russia plant a flag on the Arctic Seafloor?” We build on physical geography and the shaping of Russia as a continent in “How has Ice shaped the land?” As our last large topic, we pull together everything we have learnt so far to examine climate change. We ask the question “Is Cop26 going to be effective at stopping climate change?” As an issue evaluation similar to the end of the GCSE course we finally ask the question “What is the future of our food supply?”

What do students learn in Year 10 & 11?

We follow AQA geography specification and we interleave paper 1 and 2 working between physical and human geography making links between the two types. Y10-Natural Hazards/Urban issues. Y11 – UK Physical Landscape + Challenge of Resources Management.

What do students learn in Year 11?

 At the end of the year, we look at the issue evaluation for Paper 3, pre-released in March.

Knowledge Organisers

Knowledge organisers for students in Key Stage 4 at Millthorpe School can be found here. All the key facts and essential knowledge you’ll need, right at your fingertips!

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