“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. -

Curriculum Vision 

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. 

Curriculum Sequencing 

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. 

University and Careers


The geography curriculum prepares pupils for the knowledge and skills needed at university – especially topics taught at A-level. If pupils decide to study a course focused on physical geography then topics such as Water and Carbon Cycles, Hazards and Coasts will give pupils the foundation they need to degree-level learning. If pupils choose a course focused on human geography then parts of topics such as Global Systems and Governance, Population and the Environment and Changing Places are seen in many geography degree courses.


The geography curriculum prepares pupils for careers whether decide to go into the field of geography or not. Most industries require people to have knowledge of the contemporary issues studied in geography such as climate change or globalisation. Whether you work in an investment bank, waste management consultancy or estate agency you are likely to need to knowledge taught in geography. Furthermore, the skills learned in geography are highly sought after by employers. This includes the ability to analyse data, gather evidence to make decisions, carry out research (fieldwork), consider several arguments before making a judgement and applying maths to the real world. 

Some geography specific jobs include: 

  • Cartographer 
  • Commercial/residential surveyor 
  • Environmental consultant 
  • Geographical information systems officer
  • Planning and development surveyor
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Social researcher
  • Town planner 
Career Pathways for Geography

Below are some of the careers you can pursue with qualifications in Geography:

  • Transport planner
  • Urban town planner
  • Air pollution analyst
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Environmental consultant
  • Climate change analyst
  • Landscape architect
  • Meteorologist
  • GIS officer
  • Coastal engineer
  • Environmental lawyer
  • Disaster and emergency planner
Examples of apprenticeships that relate to geography:

The Geography Team

The Geography Department at Barnsley Academy is made up of a dynamic team of teachers who inspire students to achieve highly. Students are encouraged to ask probing questions and debate issues that arise from the literature studied, facilitated with skill and passion by their teachers

  • Ms Charlotte Grocott - Head of Department
  • Mr Steven May - Teacher of Geography
  • Ms Alice Hughes – Teacher of Geography
  • Mr Fergus Bailey - Teacher of Geography
  • Mrs Rachel Wimlett - Teacher of Geography and Teacher of PE

More Information

For more information on our curriculum please contact:

Ms Charlotte Grocott
Head of Geography