Curriculum Overview


Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Sixth Form

Term 1: Globalisation

This unit focuses on the interconnections and inter-relationships that link teenage consumers living in the UK with societies and environments overseas (where the clothes and other goods they purchase are made). Students consider how these connections work – and why they have come into being. The unit introduces students to some of the moral issues that are associated with the global trade in consumer goods (including child labour and food miles).

GCSE exam questions based on the unit

The process by which businesses or other organisations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale.

TNC (Transitional Corporation)
Large and powerful businesses that have factories that make products and offices that sell products in different countries.

High Income Country. Those defines as have a GNI per capital of US$12, 735 or more.

Middle income country. Those defined as having a GNI per capita between US$1,036 and $12,615.

Low income country. Countries with economies defined as those with a GNI per capita of US$1045 or less.

Newly Emerging Economy. A term used to describe a country whose level of economic development ranks between the LIC's and the HICs. These countries have moved away from an agriculture based economy and into a more industrialised, urban economy.

A factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions.

Relocating corporate activities overseas.

Moving company functions from internal departments to external firms.

The linking of things in a web.

Technological advance
The improvement of technology.

Global village
The term used to refer to the way the world is becoming increasingly 'smaller' and more connected.

Race to the bottom
Businesses moving their operations to developing countries where labour is cheaper.

Things mutually relying on each other. In geographical terms, countries are increasingly linked with each other.

Global supply chain
A worldwide network where businesses source their resources from a variety of places.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 2: Natural Hazards 2

Students will build on their knowledge, skills and understanding from the unit studied in Year 7. They will consider tectonics in greater depth looking at Tsunamis and a case-study of an avalanche. Additional hazards will also be considered looking at tornadoes, fire tornadoes and sinkholes.

Exam questions based around the key topics of this unit - development, access to services, conflict and tourism.

The place in the earth that an earthquakes energy is released.

The place on the earth's surface, above the focus, that an earthquake hits.

Richter scale
A logarithmic scale that measures the magnitude of an earthquake.

The machine that measures earthquakes.

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

Destructive plate margin
Occurs when oceanic and continental plates move together, where earthquakes occur.

A mass of snow, ice, and rocks falling rapidly down a mountainside.

A cavity in the ground, especially in a limestone formation, caused by water erosion and providing a route for surface water to disappear underground.

Fire tornado
A fire whirl, also commonly known as a fire devil, or, (in many cases erroneously) as a fire tornado, firenado, fire swirl, or fire twister, is a whirlwind induced by a fire and often (at least partially) composed of flame or ash.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 3: Middle East

The Middle East is a very interesting place to study as it has historical, geographical and religious issues to discuss. This topic will take a holistic view of this region and consider the complexity of this area.

Written explanation of the issues in the Middle East. In the style of a 9 mark GCSE question.

Massive crescent shaped sand dunes that are formed by winds blowing over the desert. These dunes can be several hundred metres high and several kilometres long.

An equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is a highly organised group of ‘Jihadi’s’ who want to create a new country in the Middle East: The Islamic State. They are doing so violently

A person who wages war in the name of religion.

Meeting the needs of the people of today without compromising the needs of the people of the future.

Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries - is an international organization whose mission is to coordinate the oil-production policies of its members in order to secure a steady income for them all.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 4: China

Students will consider the growth of China in an economic sense but also consider the environmental and social impacts. Students will learn about the rapid industrialisation of this country and the future impact of this country.

The end of year examination is a formal test sat in exam conditions. It will consist of 3 or 4 questions from each unit studied over the course of Year 9 and will include questions where students are required to use Geographical/Scientific skills. The paper will last for 50 mins and will consist of 50 marks.

The introduction of harmful materials into the environment.

A marked effect or influence.

Newly Emerging Economy

Communism is a type of government as well as an economic system (a way of creating and sharing wealth). In a Communist system, individual people do not own land, factories, or machinery. Instead, the government or the whole community owns these things.

The process of an increased proportion of the population living in cities and towns.

The spread of something.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 5: Living World - Ecosystems Part 1

The first section of this GCSE unit. This topic covers ecosystems, food webs, inter-relationships, the impact of humans on ecosystems, local UK ecosystem and a world biome - tropical rainforests.

GCSE exam questions including 6 and 9 mark questions.

Non-living components of an ecosystem.

Living components of an ecosystem.

A creature that eats animals and/or plant matter.

An organism such as a bacterium or fungus, that breaks down dead tissue, which is then recycled to the environment.

A community of plants and animals that interact with each other and their physical environment.

Food chain
The connections between different organisms (plants and animals) that rely on one another as their source of food.

Food web
A complex hierarchy of plants and animals relying on each other for food.

Nutrient cycling
A set of processes whereby organisms extract minerals necessary for growth from soil or water, before passing them on through the food chain - and ultimately back to the soil and water.

Global ecosystem
Very large ecological areas on the earth’s surface (or biomes), with fauna and flora (animals and plants) adapting to their environment. Examples include tropical rainforest and hot desert.

An organism or plant that is able to absorb energy from the sun through photosynthesis.

The variety of life in the world or a particular habitat.

Commercial farming
Farming to sell produce for a profit to retailers or food processing companies.

The chopping down and removal of trees to clear an area of forest.

Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the wellbeing of the local people, and may involve education. It is usually carried out in small groups and has minimal impact on the local ecosystem.

The business of cutting down trees and transporting the logs to sawmills.

Mineral extraction
The removal of solid mineral resources from the earth. These resources include ores, which contain commercially valuable amounts of metals, such as iron and aluminium; precious stones, such as diamonds; building stones, such as granite.

Selective logging
The cutting out of trees which are mature or inferior, to encourage the growth of the remaining trees in a forest or wood.

Soil erosion
Removal of topsoil faster than it can be replaced, due to natural (water and wind action), animal, and human activity. Topsoil is the top layer of soil and is the most fertile because it contains the most organic, nutrient-rich materials.

Subsistence farming
A type of agriculture producing food and materials for the benefit only of the farmer and his family.

Actions and forms of progress that meet the needs of the present without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community:

Term 6: Living World - Ecosystems Part 2

Students study a case study of a cold environment (Alaska). They explore the characteristics of this environment, its commercial uses and the sustainable management of the area.

GCSE Exam questions including 6 and 9 mark questions. Extended writing and discussion of issues in the cold environment.

Appropriate technology
Technology that is suited to the needs, skills, knowledge and wealth of local people in the environment in which they live. It usually combines simple ideas with cheap and readily available materials, especially for use in poorer countries.

Fragile environment
An environment that is both easily disturbed and difficult to restore if disturbed. Plant communities in fragile areas have evolved in highly specialised ways to deal with challenging conditions. As a result, they cannot tolerate environmental changes.

The basic equipment and structures (such as roads, utilities, water supply and sewage) that are needed for a country or region to function properly.

Permanently frozen ground, found in polar and tundra regions.

The regions of Earth surrounding the North and South Poles. These regions are dominated by Earth's polar ice caps, the northern resting on the Arctic Ocean and the southern on the continent of Antarctica.

The flat, treeless Arctic regions of Europe, Asia and North America, where the ground is permanently frozen. Lichen, moss, grasses and dwarf shrubs can grow here.

Wilderness area
A natural environment that has not been significantly modified by human activity. Wilderness areas are the most intact, undisturbed areas left on Earth – places that humans do not control and have not developed.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural

Develop the individual:

Create a supportive community: