Curriculum Vision


Knowing our place in the world, physically, morally and culturally, underpinned by our Christian ethos, allows us to understand ourselves, others and empathise with the situations others are in. Understanding how and why places vary so much is achieved through exploring how our planet works and the risks they pose to people. Combating the issues of rising populations and the exploitation of resources sustainably will allow all people to make informed and ethical choices about how we interact with our environment.

The overarching concepts for Geography at St Michaels Church of England High School are:

  • Location – spatial awareness of different countries’ locations and the locations of major physical and human features
  • Place – similarities and differences between different areas
  • Biodiversity – life exists in all environments, how life adapts to it and how we interact with those environments
  • Hazards – physical and human hazards affect people in different ways in different locations.
  • Interdependence – how countries and areas are linked through the flow of goods, resources and ideas
  • Resource management – how to use our planet’s resources sustainably and equally
  • Sustainability – using the resources of our planet without negatively affecting our planet or future generations
  • Fieldwork – how we can observe, measure and analyse geographical processes for ourselves, outside of the classroom
  • Analytical skills – using mathematical and cartographic skills to describe, interpret and analyse our world via the use of MathsWatch


Learning is embedded through the development of knowledge and skills over time and through overlapping concepts within a blended curriculum based on fertile questions.  Assessments combine stand-alone and cumulative assessments in order to assess what has been learnt in the year.  Formal Assessments cover all subject matter covered to that point.  Progression is mapped coherently against school-based targets.  This progression allows for effective differentiation, marking and feedback and to stretch the more-able pupils via STAR challenges.  Pupils have access to vocabulary and the practice of maths skills.  Regular extended writing allows pupils to develop their language and vocabulary. Pupils have access to study outside the classroom in order to use their skills and knowledge in a practical setting through fieldwork in contrasting localities.


By the end of Key Stage 3, pupils will be able to describe the key physical and human features of a key number of countries, including the United Kingdom and their locations within the World. They will be able to explain how our hydrological environments change over time and are affected by human activity. They will be able to use maps and photographs to both navigate, describe and compare areas across the UK and the world. They will use fieldwork skills to investigate processes and issues and draw conclusions from data. They will make informed choices about how we can power our country and planet sustainably. They will understand how volatile our planet can be through ongoing tectonic and climatic processes, within the UK and across the world, and evaluate the best ways to protect ourselves from these. They will have explored key areas of the world and will debate current issues affecting these areas. They will be able to make informed decisions about how they use resources through exploring extraction, usage and waste created by our actions. They will empathise with people suffering across the planet due to inequality of resource, opportunity and wealth, assess the causes of this imbalance and explain how to reduce the gap. As pupils move through the course, they will become familiar with jobs and roles within the geographical, geological and meteorological industries.

By the end of Key Stage 4, pupils will demonstrate a deeper understanding of aerial, sub-aerial and subterranean processes across our planet, evaluate the impact of these on people and assess the best ways for us to interact with these processes. They will build on skills that allow them to study these processes in the field and use the data they collect to draw conclusions about the conditions of the areas studied and evaluate their own skills. They will analyse the distribution of our key resources, assess the impact on quality of life and explain how we can use these resources sustainably for a growing population. They will demonstrate an understanding of how our population is changing through growth and migration and the impact this has on rural and urban areas across the world.

Curriculum Journey

Click image to link to subject curriculum journey.

Curriculum SMSC & British Values


in geography we…

  • have respect for democracy and the right of all our fellow students to have their voices heard
  • encourage everyone to feel confident in expressing  their ideas and opinions in class discussions
  • treat others how we would want to be treated
  • are involved in decision making through feedback to our teachers
  • are involved in discussions regarding our learning
  • have opportunities to experience the importance of decision making via DME
  • are encouraged to set our own targets for improvement
  • have opportunities to undertake self-assessment
  • have the opportunity to explore and discuss injustices and inequalities (perceived or real) and challenge and debate these through the exploration of geographical topics
  • have the opportunity to explore and consider different opinions and how voices are heard

Rule of Law

in geography we…

  • follow rules in our classroom to protect the rights of all us to an education
  • uphold whole-school policies with regards to homework, uniform etc.
  • have opportunities to explore and understand how different governments have influenced and shaped nations through law
  • explore the ways in which policy making at a local and global scale can influence both the physical and human landscape
  • have the opportunity to explore and understand geography of conflict at global and local scales
  • explore and evaluate the outcomes of meetings of governments and policy makers (e.g. Kyoto Agreement

Individual Liberty

in geography we…

  • are able to have a freedom of expression whilst respecting others during contributions to class discussions
  • are encouraged as much as possible to develop our independent learning skills including those on fieldwork
  • have opportunities to critically examine our own values and attitudes (in debating issues, contributing in class etc.)
  • have an opportunity to explore issues surrounding human rights (e.g. migration, refugee crisis, fairtrade etc.)
  • have freedom of choice of whether to continue our studies of Geography at GCSE
  • have the opportunity to self-assess and peer-assess our work
  • take ownership of our behaviour in lessons
  • are encouraged to take pride in our own work in lessons
  • are given opportunities to challenge ourselves and make progress with our learning (including having access to STAR tasks)


in geography we…

  • understand the importance of identifying and combating discrimination including tackling stereotypes
  • develop our understanding and respect for different cultures through our studies of place and people in our classroom studies
  • learn to understand and respect the traditions of other cultures
  • belong to many different faiths and respect the faiths of those around us
  • are taught to respect and understand diversity in life in other countries
  • celebrate the cultural diversity of our school (through our learning environment)

Mutual Respect

in geography we…

  • are encouraged to debate, share and respect the opinions of others in our classroom discussions
  • have opportunities to understand our responsibilities to conserve resources and play our part in sustainable development
  • are encouraged to act on our geographical knowledge about others in our global community
  • we are encouraged to play our part as global citizens
  • explore how places, peoples, cultures and economies are interrelated
  • are taught to respect people’s lives and empathise with those affected by disasters and conflict
  • show respect for each other in our behaviour and manners

Options Information

Qualification Name Geography GCSE
Type (e.g. GCSE/BTEC Certificate) GCSE
Level (1,2 or both)  
GLH (Guided Learning Hours) 200
Course Content Outline

(What Will I study?)


“Now, more than ever before, in many ways, it’s the story of us, the story of our planet, the politics, the people, the landscape. It’s who we are and why we are like that”


Simon Reeve (Adventurer & Author)












Component 1

Theme 1: Landscapes & Physical Processes – pupils will cover distinctive landscapes of the UK, river and coastal environments

Theme 2: Rural-Urban Links – pupils will study the urban and rural areas of the UK, population change in the UK and how urban living is different in two global cities

Theme 3: Tectonic Landscapes & Hazards – pupils will study earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis and how people are vulnerable to these hazards and how this can be reduced in different parts of the world.


Component 2

Theme 5: Weather & Climate – pupils will study climate change, weather patterns and processes, ecosystems and the human impact on ecosystems

Theme 6: Development and Resource Issues – pupils will study how global inequality is measured, what the causes and consequences are of this inequality and how access to water resources differs.

Theme 8: Environmental Challenges – pupils will study consumerism and its impact on the environment and the management of unique global ecosystems


Component 3: Applied Fieldwork Enquiry – pupils will undertake 2 compulsory fieldwork enquiries in two contrasting localities – Cardingmill Valley, Shropshire, and Birmingham city centre.

Typical Lesson/Homework Activities

(How will I study?)

Lessons will cover the specified content and will use a wide range of teaching strategies and resources. Regular homework tasks will be set which will focus on typical exam questions and the use of case studies to illustrate course content. Lessons will also focus on revision strategies, as this will be of huge importance to students studying geography.
Success Criteria

(How will I be assessed?)

GCSE Geography will be 100% linear assessment. Students will regularly be assessed including end of theme tests and mock exams. They will be given the opportunity to attempt and become familiar with typical exam questions throughout the course and use Google Quizzes to check knowledge.
Succession Paths Post-16

(What can I do with this qualification?)

Did you know there are more accountants who have Geography Degrees than Maths Degrees? Geographers offer a wide range of skills that employers need and want especially in the employment market at the moment. Whether you choose to go to work or go onto further study, geographers are in great demand.


Here are just some of the careers:


·        Armed Services

·        Teaching

·        Surveying

·        Architecture

·        Civil Service

·        Leisure and Tourism Industry

·        Estate Agency

·        Planning

·        Transport

·        Communications


AS A Level Geography

Geography Degree – either BA or BSc

Exam Specification

Geography GCSE Exam Specification