“Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?”
- Michael Palin. Actor, writer and television presenter. -
The purpose of the geography curriculum at Barnsley Academy is to inspire curiosity in pupils, and a fascination about the world and its people. Geography provides pupils with knowledge of diverse places, people, resources, and natural and human environments, with a deep understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. The geography curriculum prepares pupils for each stage of their academic journey but also the world beyond the classroom by ensuring that young people can think like geographers and use their geographical knowledge to make sense of the world around them.
Barnsley Academy’s geography curriculum meets and exceeds the requirements of the National Curriculum. It ensures that pupils develop a secure knowledge of a range of places, natural and human environments, with a deep understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. Our geography curriculum ensures that all pupils understand the world in which they live, regardless of their starting point in Year 7 or whether they take the subject onto GCSE.
The curriculum takes a thematic approach, where knowledge is acquired, developed over time, and finally applied to places via in-depth case studies. Regional units allow the content covered throughout a year to be revisited, therefore securing the knowledge gained over the course of a year in the context of a particular place/ region.
Prior knowledge is regularly revisited throughout our curriculum where it is built upon and applied to new contexts. For example, in year 7 students learn about development and how we categories countries development based on a range of information. At this point students apply their understanding to a range of different countries and contexts including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali, two countries found within the continent of Africa. This then supports their understanding when they move into year 8 when they start to learn about population and can apply their understanding when looking at population pyramids for Uganda.
A diverse range of places, people and environments are explored within the curriculum which helps pupils to develop a broad and balanced view of the world. Our curriculum ensures a fair representation of the places studied to avoid a single story and to broaden pupil understanding of different people, places, and environments. This in turn aids students to become informed global citizens who can have geographical conversations in the future regardless of whether they chose to continue studying geography on to GCSE.
Education with character:
The curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to share, reflect and learn about the different lived experiences for people at a local, national, and global scale. It also engages pupils with the big geographical debates of today and the future. This develops a fascination with place studies and allows pupils to take part in informed geographical conversations beyond the classroom/ curriculum.
At Barnsley academy our geography curriculum has been carefully sequenced to introduce pupils to a variety of places, geographical concepts, processes, and issues. The thematic approach ensures that knowledge is acquired, developed over time, then applied via in-depth case studies. As pupils’ knowledge and understanding develop within a unit, there are opportunities to apply this understanding via decision-making activities and geographical enquiries. This approach ensures that pupils are given every opportunity to apply their understanding and think like geographers.