Welcome to Geography

Rebecca Nash Director of Humanities
Steven May  
Charlotte Grocott  
Chelsey Hardwick                 
Ben Wilson  
Alex Fisher  
Amy Tweddle


Purpose and Aims of the geography curriculum at Barnsley Academy


KS3: (Year 7,8,9)

We want students to think like a ‘geographer’. A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils with 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.

As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

Competence and confidence in using and applying geographical skills is an essential part of the purpose of the geography curriculum. These include the ability to: 1. Collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes. 2. interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). 3. Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.


KS3 TOPIC summary:

Broad topic overview   

Year 1 2 3 4
Year 7 Geographical skills World Development* Rivers* The Economy
Year 8 Coasts* Population* Tectonics*


Year 9 Climate Change* Life in an emerging economy*

Issues of Urbanisation in the UK



NB: Compulsory KS3 topics (assessed in the end of year UL exam are *).


How do command skills develop through the Key Stages?

The geography curriculum has been developed using these 3 progression strands (see Figure 1a). The progression framework of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), plan strategically for pupil progress across these three aspects. There are normally four KPIs per topic, which ensures ample coverage of each skill across the three-year curriculum.  The evaluate skill is introduced in year 7, but not as a main characteristic of assessment. Students are exposed to success criteria from the start of year 7 and throughout the curriculum lessons, they are given the chance to mark pre-written responses and self/ per mark their own, with the focus on the command skills. This therefore links into the KS4 curriculum where KPIs are replaced with AOs.

Figure 1a – The skills map for KS3. It is expected that the identified skill will be heavily modelled and practiced within that year, with less teacher support for each skill (progression throughout the Key stage).

AO1-4 skills constitute all GCSE geography specifications. Figure 1a indicates how they complement the skills built throughout KS3. There is a direct link between KPIs at KS3 and AOs at KS4 (whichever specification is being followed). Mastering the skills in KS3, will ensure students are ‘GCSE’ ready.

NB: In KS3 lessons, these skills are practiced (often modelled by the teacher then applied by students independently). It is expected that the describe skill will be embedded by the end of year 7 (teacher modelling/ practice) and that by year 8 students will have mastered this skill. Likewise, in year 8, the essence of the KPIs and weighting in the criteria focuses on the development of the ‘explain skill’. This will be the focus for teacher modelling and chunking throughout the year.  All skills will be practiced throughout KS3 and this will continue into KS4 (where they will be built upon, with the breadth of the curriculum widening further).

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