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Geography Curriculum Intent


“Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?" Michael Palin, Ex-president of the Royal Geographical Society


At Preston Manor, Geography inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The Curriculum equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge should help them to deepen their understanding of the world and their place in it. Geography at Preston Manor instills a love of learning because it is dynamic, contemporary and relevant.


  • We expose our pupils to issues and environments outside of their everyday experience through providing opportunities for fieldwork and investigations, which allows them to consider our changing world, and their role within it.


  • Our students consider the importance of Geography in contemporary life; for example, relating it to the consequences of China’s rise as a superpower, the implications of megacities on how we live and work, and the moral dilemma posed by migration. Alongside, the exploitation of natural resources, coping with extreme weather and the environmental cost of globalisation and how they will continue to shape our world. They aspire to affect change in line with the values that they develop.


  • Students develop challenging and specialised skills which equip them to pursue aspirational careers.  For instance, the ability to navigate Geographical Information Systems, using it to analyse spatial data from the real world, looking at its application in disaster management, defence, urban planning and environmental monitoring.


KS3 - Geographical Foundation (Years 7, 8 & 9)


The KS3 curriculum at Preston Manor is designed to ensure that pupils are engaged and inspired, while gaining a wealth of knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes in geography. This is achieved by leading pupils through a spiral curriculum that exposes them to a broad range of places, landscapes and perspectives, as it revisits our key concepts each year. For instance, our students study how the hydrological cycle influences the landscape and human activity through Rivers in year 7; Coasts and Oceans in year 8 and Glaciation in year 9. Through this breadth of topics and places we aim for pupils to have an engaged geographical perspective on current affairs that demonstrates the ability to think synoptically about issues and environments outside of their everyday experience.


In addition to knowledge, pupils will gain and practise challenging skills through fieldwork, GIS, graphicacy and data investigations, which enable them to analyse and consider our changing world, and their role within it. Through their study of Geography, pupils will develop and practise essential critical thinking skills including relational thinking, classification and decision making, as well as quantitative and graphical skills such as statistical tests, map reading, interpreting graphs and diagrams.


At Preston Manor our Geography curriculum explores the world through the following key concepts, these are mapped to our Spiral Curriculum plan for key stage 3 and prepare students for further study.


Change - a crucial driver within both physical geography as seen in processes such as coastal erosion and human geography, as seen in issues such as urban redevelopment, or population growth. Managing change is a key aspect of geography - we learn from past changes and predict and manage future ones through risk assessments and decision making.


Interaction & Interdependence - Geographers explore the links between people, places and processes, how one aspect affects another as an impact, hindrance, dependence or response. In human geography, it is not enough just to establish how and why people or countries are interlinked; we also want to know about the power relationships involved (Massey 2005).


Perception & representation -  relates to how our pupils, and other people, think about the world, how it is communicated and constructed - forming their imagined geographies. This helps to explore sense of place, issues of identity, the success of movements for change (e.g. sustainability), tourism and development. How people experience the world, both directly and through the media, affects their actions within it, which affects the lives of others/everything else.


Patterns and Distribution - relates to our focus on a complex and varied world - places and environments are diverse between and within themselves, distributed systematically or in networks, at various scales. We explore this from the diverse perspective of our school environment to see how patterns and distribution of resources, power or wealth lead to inequality and even conflict.


Place and Landscape - there is no question for us that a strong geographical education includes thorough exploration of a wide variety of places, landscapes, cultures and places. We will expose pupils to as much as we can (every continent, environment, idea), to generate wonder and broaden their horizons. Exploration can be through ideas, media, data, fieldwork and visits.


KS4 - GCSE (Years 10 & 11)


The GCSE course is engaging and relevant to today’s geographers – a qualification that enables our students to explore the world, the issues it faces and their own place in it, and to help to prepare them to succeed in their chosen pathway. Geography enables young people to become globally and environmentally informed and thoughtful, enquiring citizens. Students will gain a unique insight into different cultures and how they interact with the environment. Students will develop their ability to explain the effect that different human and physical processes can have on the environment and evaluate the sustainability of how humans are using different environments around the world.


Students will apply geographical knowledge, understanding, and skills creatively to real-world contexts, including fieldwork, and to contemporary situations and issues; and develop well-evidenced arguments.

As part of their learning, students will develop integrated geographical skills, including mathematics and graphicacy, in order to explore challenging geographical questions and issues. This gives students the opportunity to lay a foundation of knowledge and understanding that can be further developed at A Level and beyond.