In our ever-changing world, the ability to understand the processes and events happening around us is a useful skill to possess. Geography enables students to make sense of how our planet affects us but also the positive and negative impacts that we have on it in return. With elements of both the arts and the sciences, Geography is a subject explores many of the key themes are constantly in the news. In a time of climate change, fights for natural resources and the challenges around developing renewable energy, Geography has never been so relevant nor had such an important part to play in enabling the next generation to cope with these pressures.
Our KS3 curriculum is designed to give students an insight into the core knowledge and skills required to succeed in Geography whilst featuring both human and physical geography elements. Students will study units about local geography and UK geography, followed by units called ‘Global People’, ‘Amazing Africa, ‘Ecosystems’, ‘Weather and Climate’ and ‘Natural Hazards Facing our Planet.’ As part of these units, students will undertake a mixture of individual, paired and group work tasks and include activities such as debates, modelling, GIS and group presentations. Students will undertake 3 investigations or pieces of fieldwork in years 7 and 8.
At William Perkin, we follow the Edexcel A Specification. Students will study physical geography (including rivers, coasts, ecosystems, weather hazards and climate change), human geography (resource management, global development and changing cities, and contemporary geographical issues in the UK, as well as undertaking two pieces of fieldwork. There are three examinations, one covering the physical geography topics, another covering the human geography topics and a third which covers the fieldwork and investigation aspects of the course.
Students are formally assessed throughout the year. Typically students will complete one piece of assessed homework during the unit and one exam at the end of each unit. Assessed homework may take the form of an essay, newspaper report or presentation. A grade, a praise comment and a focused target will be provided by the teacher and will be recorded on a progress tracker in students’ books, so they are always clear about their next steps for improvement.
Lesson Prep & Homework
Every lesson, students will have a piece of prep which will take a maximum of 15 minutes, for example making a flashcard to summarise that days learning, learning some key words, reading an article, answering a few short questions or completing a quiz online. Prep is a vital instrument in improving time management skills and getting students to engage with events happening in the world around them. Homework is a longer piece of work that should take students an hour to complete—there is one homework per unit. Pieces of work are marked using a mixture of formal assessment, peer, self and teacher feedback.
The Geography Films & Documentaries extended elective fortnightly at lunchtime, showing geography-related films and documentaries. We also have a ‘Worldwise Quiz’ team which competes with other Geography students in the Trust. Every two years during ‘Geography Week’ students take part in workshops and a wide range of exciting activities and competitions are held at break and lunch. The Geography department runs a number of trips to allow students to experience ‘Geography in Action’ including trips to Kew Gardens and hiking at Ruislip Lido. Every two years, we run a trip to Edinburgh for KS3 students, to explore the city’s human and physical geography, such as Arthur’s Seat (an extinct volcano), the Dynamic Earth museum and learning about how Edinburgh has developed as a settlement.