Welcome to the Geography Department

Meet Our Staff

  • Miss L Graham (Head of Department)
  • Miss K Woods
  • Miss S Campbell
  • Mrs J Jessop (Teaching Assistant)

Our curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the best opportunities to be successful in their learning. Our principles focus on depth not just breadth by creating a mastery within the curriculum, which stretches learners and accelerates their progress over their 7 year learning journey at our college. In this section of the website you will find the subject intent, implementation and impact.

Alongside this, are our long and medium term plans which enable all stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the content, knowledge and skills taught within this curriculum area. The long term plan also outlines the cultural capital experiences and career opportunities learners have within the subject, as well as our tailored approach to supporting learners' metacognitive processes. Further to these documents, the discrete sequencing of lessons are in the College's bespoke schemes of work that can be accessed through departments.

'Only the best will do!'

What exactly do they learn?

Geography is a content heavy subject covering a board range of topics. We have developed a curriculum that is sequenced to develop and link student geography knowledge.Main concepts:

  • Locational knowledge on a variety of scales and a focus on Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
  • Physical geography e.g. Plate tectonics.
  • Human geography e.g. urbanisation.
  • Geographical skills e.g. map skills

To provide further reading opportunities we have set up google classrooms for students such as articles, programmes, etc to apply their geography to current issues. Students can study the following qualifications: AQA GCSE Geography and AQA A-level Geography.

How do you measure attainment and progress?

Students are assessed through two formal assessment periods throughout the year. Following assessment periods, student will have an opportunity to reflect and consolidate their knowledge. They are also assessed throughout lessons and given opportunities to respond on the feedback given and develop their understanding.  We measure student progress based on the following strands:

  1. Geographical knowledge
  2. Understanding of processes
  3. Evaluation and judgement
  4. Geographical Skills

What's the purpose of teaching your subject?

Our aim is for students to gain a fascination, love and understanding of the world around them, which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We want all students to gain 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. We have adapted lessons and SoW to ensure all students can access the curriculum.

What did they learn at primary?

As a department, we have collaborated with local primary schools to identify what is being taught in geography at KS2. We have used this to adjust our KS3 to build on prior knowledge and fill in any gaps in students’ geography knowledge, understanding of process, ability to evaluate and geographical skills. For example, the first term year 7’s cover geographical skills. To ensure students build on their prior KS2 learning, we do this by introducing students to new locations on the national curriculum e.g. Africa. This is an opportunity for students to apply their skills as well as develop understanding. We have then incorporated these skills into SoW throughout KS3 to consolidate recall students knowledge.

What order do you teach things in and why?

We have planned our curriculum across the key stages to ensure students’ knowledge in secure before moving on. We revisit topics, providing students an opportunity to consolidate and recall their knowledge in order to deepen their understanding. For example, in year 8 we teach global ecosystems, then study specific ecosystems in depth before moving on human interaction with these ecosystems. Additionally, we have planned our curriculum to ensure students have a variety of both human and physical geography. 

How do you know that you have a 'good' curriculum?

The geography department has had major changes over the past couple of years.  We now have three specialist staff with strong subject knowledge providing more effective teaching.In both summer 2018 and 2019, geography outcomes showed significant improvements at KS4 from 32% 9-4 2017, 45% 9-4 in 2018 and 52% 9-4 in 2019. Additionally, we have re-established teaching A-level geography at Archbishop Beck in Sept 2018 and have and increase in number of students studying geography at this level.

How do you enrich your subject outside the classroom?

At KS3, all students study two units based around fieldwork, in which student go out and collect data and apply their understanding to real world phenomena. At KS4 and KS5 fieldwork on both physical and human geography is a compulsory element to the course. We are aiming to give students an opportunity to look at potential careers in geography through a focus week in December.