Curriculum Overview


Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Sixth Form

Term 1: Introduction to Geography and Map Skills

Students develop map skills through the use of maps on a wide range of scales from different sources including Ordnance Survey and Google. Students learn to identify and use key features such as symbols and grid references.

Picture Assessment - literacy

OS Mapskills test - grid references, symbols, scale,

Grid reference
A map reference indicating a location in terms of a series of vertical and horizontal grid lines identified by numbers or letters.

A character, letter, or similar graphic representation used on a map to indicate some object, characteristic, and so on.

A map indicating hills and valleys by shading rather than by contour lines alone.

Contour lines
A line on a map joining points of equal elevation above a given level, usually mean sea level.

A spatial pattern is a noticeable structure, placement, or arrangement of objects on Earth. It also includes the space in between those objects. Patterns may be recognized because of their arrangement; maybe in a line or by a clustering of points.

Physical Geography
The branch of geography dealing with natural features.

Human Geography
The branch of geography dealing with how human activity affects or is influenced by the earth's surface.

Map Skills
The skills needed to read maps.

To represent something in graphic form.

How tall an object is.

Map scale refers to the relationship (or ratio) between distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground. For example, on a 1:100000 scale map, 1cm on the map equals 1km on the ground.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students gain an understanding of how to navigate the world, including their place in it.

Create a supportive community:
Students work together to find solutions.

Term 2: Where do we live?

Students learn about settlements, how they are ordered and how and why they grow. Organisation, land use, redevelopment and sustainable development are explored, before students design their city of the future.

Decision making activity - Brownfield/Greenfield sites.

Settlement geography is a branch of geography that investigates the earth's surface's part settled by humans. According to the United Nations 'Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements (1976), "human settlements means the totality of the human community

Ordering people, objects or things into categories that make sense to people.

To develop something for a second time (or more) in order to improve it.

Meeting the needs of today with out compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Travel through an area in order to discover it; consider new information.

A plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is made.

Time to come.

Arranged something in a methodical way.

All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal.

Relating to the countryside rather than the town.

A system in which things are ranked according to relative status or authority.

Arranged along a straight line.

Inner City
The area near the centre of a city, especially when associated with social and economic problems.

An area of ground on which a town, building, or monument is constructed.

The location and surroundings of a place.

A small settlement, generally one smaller than a village, and strictly (in Britain) one without a church.

A group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town, situated in a rural area.

A built-up area that is larger than a village and generally smaller than a city.

An extended urban area, typically consisting of several towns merging with the suburbs of a central city.

When located around a central area.

Distribute or spread over a wide area.

Land Use
The type of activity the land is being used for. For example, residential, commercial or transport.

Central Business District (CBD)
The commercial, office, retail, transportation, and cultural center of the city.

Land use which is used for people to live in.

Rural-urban fringe
The area found at the edge of a town, where it meets the countryside.

A built-up area.

Greenfield site
Undeveloped areas of green land found in cities and the countryside.

Brownfield site
Previously developed land which is not currently in use.

The act of updating and re-developing an area to make it suitable for modern use.

The process where an increased proportion of a population live in cities.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students are asked to consider current problems of unsustainable lifestyles and try to design a future living space and city.

Create a supportive community:

Term 3: Welcome to the UK

Students receive an introduction to physical and human geography. Students explore their own country and learn about key geographical concepts in relation to the UK, reinforcing their understanding of their local areas, regions, cities and major tourist attractions. Students will locate and explore some of the major features of the British Isles, look at the jobs people in the UK do, and how our society is made up of many different races, religions and cultures.

Welcome to the UK test - physical geography in UK, migration and impact of migration in the UK. Focus on Windrush generation.

United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Great Britain
Great Britain is not a country; it’s a landmass. It is known as ‘Great’ because it is the largest island in the British Isles, and houses the countries of England, Scotland and Wales within its shores.

British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the north-western coast of continental Europe that consist of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles.

A population is a summation of all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding.

In geography, regions are areas broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental geography).

The state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time as regards heat, cloudiness, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.

Economic Activity
The production, distribution, and consumption of goods.

A person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.

Population Density
The number of people in certain spaces and land mass areas.

Economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories.

A built-up area.

A large natural stream of water flowing in a channel to the sea, a lake, or another river.

An area of high or hilly lands.

A large settlement.

A smaller division of land within a country.

The movement of people from one place to another.

Push factor
A reason to leave a certain place.

Pull factor
A positive thing about a certain place that causes people to move there.

A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster, and who has been granted permission to live in a country.

Asylum seeker
A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster, but whom has not been granted permission to live in a country.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 4: Rivers

Students will examine river processes, landforms and problems of living near rivers. They will consider the problems of flood management and decision making that governments are faced with.

Exam covering key processes and landforms. A decision-making activity that looks at a case-study and the options available for flood protection.

River Processes
How a river shapes and changes the landscape. River processes are erosion, deposition and transportation.

River landforms
A feature that is made by a river e.g. a waterfall, an ox-bow lake, a meander, v-shaped valleys

Taking away or wearing down of land.

When material carried by a river is dropped or put somewhere.

The movement of material (sand, soil, rocks) by a river.

A river landform created by erosion. Hard rock lies on top of soft rock.

A bend in a river caused by erosion on the outside and deposition on the inside of the bend.

When the capacity of a river is exceeded and water flows of the river bank.

Flood defences
Hard-engineering and soft-engineering approaches to managing floods.

The beginning of a river.

Water found in the ground.

An area of flat land found either side of a river that is likely to flood if the river bursts its banks.

The point where a tributary joins a river.

A stream or river that joins another river.

Ox-bow lake
A lake created when a meander is cut off from the main river.

The place where a river meets the sea.

An area at the mouth of the river when the river meets the sea and small islands are created as the water slows down and deposits material.

Hydraulic action
The force of the river against the banks can cause air to be trapped in cracks and crevices. The pressure weakens the banks and gradually wears it away.

The process by which rocks that are carried along by the river wear down the river bed and banks.

The process whereby the rocks being carried by the river smash together and break into smaller, smoother and rounder particles.

The process where soluble particles are dissolved into the river.

The process of a river carrying materials and sediment.

The transport process where minerals are dissolved into the water and carried along in solution.

The transportation process whereby fine, light material is carried along in the water.

The transportation process by which small pebbles and stones are bounced along the river bed.

The transportation process by which large boulders and rocks are rolled along the river bed.

A flood defense strategy that involves planting trees to take up excess water.

A flood defense strategy where earth is put alongside a river to protect the land around it. This increases the height of the river and lowers the chance of flooding.

A flood defense strategy whereby a large wall is put across the river to control water flow.

River straightening
A river defense strategy when a new channel is made so that the water can flow faster.

Water cycle
The cycle of processes by which water circulates between the earth's oceans, atmosphere, and land, involving precipitation as rain and snow, drainage in streams and rivers, and return to the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration.

When water is stopped from reaching the main river channel by leaves, branches of plants and the forest floor.

The process by which water leaves plants.

The process where water turns from liquid to gas.

The process by which water turns from a gas to a liquid.

A low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it.

When material and sediment is left behind.

The speed of something that has direction.

The mouth of a river, where the sea tide meets the stream.

The material carried by a river (rocks, sand, stones).

V-shaped valley
A steep sided valley formed by the erosion of a river, named because of its V shape.

A fast-flowing and turbulent part of the course of a river.

A narrow valley between hills or mountains, typically with steep rocky walls, formed as a waterfall retreats upstream.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Considering others and the problems some people face with the geography of where they live.

Create a supportive community:

Term 5: Natural Hazards 1 (Volcanoes)

Students will study the hazards created by tectonic activity; volcanoes and earthquakes. Students will learn about the structure of the earth, plate tectonics and hazards associated with living in these hazard zones. They will consider how a country might predict, plan and prepare for these hazards.

A case-study investigated and presented using a choice of methods e.g. models, newspaper articles, radio broadcast, interviews, television report.

The Earth's surface is broken into large pieces, like a cracked eggshell; the pieces are called plates.

Active volcano
A volcano that has erupted recently and is likely to do so again

Convection current
A current of warmer material; when air or water or soft rock is heated from below, the warmer materials rises in convection currents.

Dormant volcano
A 'sleeping' volcano; it has not erupted for years, but may emit gas now and then.

The shaking of the Earth's crust caused by rock movement.

Melted rock that erupts from a volcano.

Melted rock below the Earth's surface; when it reaches the Earth's surface it is called lava.

The middle layer of the Earth, between the crust and core.

Pyroclastic Flow
A flood of gas, dust, ash and lava rushing down the side of a volcano, after an eruption.

Ring of fire
The ring of volcanoes and earthquakes around the Pacific Ocean.

An instrument for recording the vibrations during an earthquake

Natural hazard
An event that happens naturally on Earth that poses a threat to human activity.

The Earth's hard, outer layer.

The part of the Earth between the core and the crust which is made up of magma and rock.

The central part of the Earth.

A super-continent that previously existed on the Earth, where all modern continents were joined as the same land mass.

Plate tectonics
The movement of large plates across the Earth's surface.

Conservative plate margin
Occurs where plates slide past each other in opposite directions, or in the same direction but at different speeds.

Collision plate margin
Where two plates are moving towards each other.

Destructive plate margin
Where two plates are moving towards each other and one plate sinks under the other.

Constructive plate margin
Where two plates are moving away from each other and new crust is being formed.

The place in the Earth where an earthquake originates.

The place immediately above the focus of an earthquake on the Earth's surface.

Richter scale
A logarithmic scale used to measure earthquakes.

A sudden, violent shaking of the ground as a result of movements within the Earth.

Plate margin
The edge of large tectonic plates, often where earthquakes occur and volcanoes are located.

"Large wave" in Japanese: a long, high sea wave caused by an earthquake or other disturbance.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students will consider the problems faced around the world in tectonic zones. They will understand the problems faced in LICs and HICs.

Create a supportive community:

Term 6: Energy and sustainable living

Students will learn about renewable and non-renewable energy sources. They will consider how electrical energy is generated and stored and will study the sustainability of these sources.

Exam based around the key aspects of this unit. Renewable and non-renewable energy. Different viewpoints about energy sources and the controversy that is often linked to different methods.

Fossil fuels
Coal, oil and natural gas; called fossil fuels because they are the remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago.

Something we use to provide energy; we usually have to burn a fuel to release its energy (except for nuclear fuel).

Global Warming
The way temperatures around the world are rising

Greenhouse gases
Gases like carbon dioxide and methane that trap heat around the Earth, giving global warming.

Electricity generated when a river spins a turbine

National Grid
The network of power stations and cables that supply our electricity.

Nuclear Fuel
A substance with unstable atoms that break down, giving out a large amount of energy.

Solar Power
Power we get by using sunlight as a fuel.

Can be carried on without doing any harm.

Something that can be used again and again.

Something that can only be used once.

Wind Energy
Energy generated by the power of the wind, for example wind turbines.

When there is only a certain amount of something.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:
Students will appreciate the problems of both types of energy sources and understand the difficulties of decision making on controversial projects.

Create a supportive community: