At Cressex, we want all of our students to have an understanding and appreciation of the world around them. The geography curriculum aims to enhance student knowledge of global locations, build upon their understanding of place and sense of personal identity whilst making them curious about the world in which they live. Students will look at issues of the past, present and future, using case study exemplars to apply theories and concepts to real life situations. Students will study a broad range of physical and human geography topics, enabling them to understand the interactions between humans and the living world. Students are invited to attend a range of trips and fieldwork events to further enhance their understanding and application of the subject throughout both KS3 and KS4. The transferable skills learnt in geography enable students to consider questions about people, society, the environment and the planet. These qualities will aid success in any walk of life chosen after students leave Cressex.
Key Stage 3 Information
In KS3 we build upon the knowledge that students have gained at primary school. The main aim of year 7 geography is to build on students understanding of location and their sense of place. The first topic which yr 7 students study is skills. This ensures that all students’, no matter which primary school they have attended, all acquire the same base level map skills and locational knowledge to be successful across the entire KS3 curriculum. Following from this we study a unit of work on personal geography. Students will see lots of crossover with the citizenship course in this unit of work where we allow students to consider their links to locations, regionally, nationally and internationally. We also look at our own local area of High Wycombe and its physical and human geography. Throughout the remainder of year 7, students look at a variety of topics including weather and climate, ecosystems, hazards and a synoptic unit on Africa. In all of these units, students being looking at the local area and then build to national and international scale. The synoptic unit allows students to apply knowledge to a specific locational example.
In year 8 students aim to understand how the world is changing and how they can change the world. This overarching theme will follow them through all of their topics. They begin by studying population dynamics, considering how the world’s population is growing and how it is distributed.
They also look at urbanisation and the growing rate of megacities across the world, again thinking about the opportunities and challenges that this may create. Students then apply this understanding to another unit of work on fantastic places, this time a study of India, where they can see how the growing population is shaping the country.
The second half of year 8 is then spent thinking about the sustainability of our planet.
Students consider the global use of resources and how this can be made more sustainable. They apply this to their own lives, allowing them to take responsibility for their own actions and their impacts upon the world. They study the world’s oceans, and the impact that climate change is having on marine ecosystems and how this will effect coastal environments.
Finally, students will put into practice this learning and partake in a fieldwork exercise and campaign to empower them to make changes to their local community.
Key Stage 4 Information
At KS4 students follow the AQA GCSE geography specification. They will sit three exam papers at the end of year 11, which are divided up into three units.
In year 9, students focus on unit 1, which is the physical geography component of the final exam. The emphasis remains on the human interaction with the physical environment. The first topic students study is Natural Hazards both globally and within the UK. This topic covers many elements including Weather and Tectonics. Students apply this learning to case studies and investigate the effects, responses and impacts of two tectonic events. Students then focus on Ecosystems across the world including tropical rainforests and cold environments focusing on opportunities and challenges of these biomes. The final topic of study is the physical landscape of the UK, covering both river and coastal environments. At the end of year 9, students will undertake a piece of fieldwork relating to one of the topics that they studied in year 9.
Year 10 students focus on Unit 2, the human geography component of the exam. Students will examine how urban change has created opportunities and challenges in a developing part of the world as well as in the UK. They will also appreciate how economies around the world are changing, and how this has happened at different speeds in different areas. They will draw focus on Nigeria and how this country is undergoing such rapid economic development. They will then again, focus on economic change in the UK. Finally, Students will examine resource management and in particular studying the energy aspects of resource management. At the end of year 10, students will undertake their second fieldwork opportunity, collecting data in an urban environment, focusing on a particular topic that they have studied.
Year 11 focuses on preparing students for their examination, and unit 3, geographical applications. Students will recap on all of the topics that they have studied in year 9 and 10 in structured revision lessons. They will practice applying their knowledge to exam questions and improve their exam technique. Students will also be able to access the pre-release booklet 12 weeks before their paper 3 exam. Once this is released from the exam board, students thoroughly analyse the booklet, which relates to an issue evaluation of one topic studied over the course, and will again practice exam questions relating to this booklet.