Head of Department

Mr A Burniston

Powerful Knowledge

Powerful Knowledge in Geography is the understanding of the links between people and place, so that you can appreciate the contrasts and how these change over time.

Curriculum Intent

Our high quality geography curriculum is designed specifically for our students to engage their interest, capture their imagination and stimulate enthusiasm for them to shape their world.

At Key Stage 3 we have selected a blend of human and physical topics which will engage our students but also allow us to deliver a range of GCSE skills which have been cascaded down in order to progress students with appropriate levels of challenge.  This exposure to these themes, processes and skills will improve access to the more complex and searching concepts encountered later as part of the GCSE curriculum. The intent here is to ensure that the skills components of the lessons are substantial and balanced with subject knowledge.

In Year 7, students will learn about Biomes and Rainforests / UK Settlements with mapskills / Energy and resources / Rivers and Coastal Landscapes where they will develop transferable skills including graphicacy, statistics, photo interpretation as well as geographical literacy and numeracy.  Into Year 8, we build on these themes with a more global dimension where the opportunities and challenges of the developing world are explored through the study of development, urbanisation and natural hazards. Year 9 is an important transition where we expose all our students to some aspects of the GCSE curriculum, which serves to provide an increasing level of challenge but also provides students with informed knowledge of the AQA course in order to support them with making an informed choice during the options process.

The AQA GCSE curriculum then drives the students learning through a diverse sequence of l which broadens their understanding and knowledge of contrasting places. By drawing on a solid foundation from KS3, students are well placed to access the curriculum and make good progress.

Throughout our five year of curriculum, students experience  of a broad range of cultural capital to enrich and support our students in making informed decisions as global citizens.

Year 7

The Geography course followed by Year 7 students entering The Kingsway School will endeavour to build upon skills, themes and places covered in the Primary Sector and will be tailored to the requirements of the National Curriculum.

Topic 1 - Biomes and rainforests (Term 1a and 1b)

To develop a sound knowledge of the world we study of the continents, oceans, countries and places that make up the global world. An exploration of the Amazon Rainforest as an example of a diverse ecosystem. The issues of management and sustainability are debated

Topic 2 - Settlement and Mapskills (Term 1b and 2a)

Living in cities offers different opportunities and problems to the people living there. Students explore how urban areas grow and change. Contrasts and similarities between different areas of Manchester are examined.

Developing skills which allow students to understand, use and create maps. Increased confidence with their own mapwork skills and understanding how these might be applied to everyday life will help to equip the students with one of the most important geographical tools.

Topic 3 - UK Resource Management (Term 2a and 2b)

Engaging the students in a balanced debate about our future energy use, food and water consumption. Explore the possible consequences of decisions made by people around the world to climate change.

Investigating local weather changes and how extreme weather events can create problems for people around the world will engage the students with a strong sense of wonder about the power of the atmosphere.

Term 3a

Revision and end of year examination

Topic 4 - Rivers and Coasts (Term 3b)

A key building block of physical geography is the understanding of the processes which combine to create our stunning natural landscapes.  Students explore this through the study of both river and coastal landforms and how these change over time.

In addition, they will also study how humans interact with these landscapes creating both opportunities and challenges.

Year 8

This year builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding learnt in Year 7 with a view to developing the critical thinking of the students into local, national and global issues which affect them both directly and indirectly.

Topic 1 - The Development Gap (Term 1a and 1b)

Throughout this topic we explore inequality across the world, it’s origins, how it is measured and what options are available for improving the quality of life.  We relate the topic to the student’s own lives to develop empathy and understanding.

Topic 2 - Population (Term 1b and 2a)

The world’s population growth and the different methods adopted to manage it are investigated in contrasting countries. Demographic Issues are raised and perceptions challenged in helping students appreciate the challenge facing our global community.

Topic 3 - Nigeria (Term 2a and 2b)

The Urban World of newly emerging economies- The students explore how people in the developing world are seeking a better quality of life. We study locations like Lagos in Nigeria and how the city is coping with rapid population growth.

Term 3a 

Revision and end of year examination

Topic 4 - Natural Hazards (Term 3a and 3b)

Living in a relatively safe part of the world creates a sense of remoteness from the world’s hazards. So we aim to bring the students closer to the reality of living with the risk of earthquakes, volcanoes on tropical storms. Students gain an appreciation of the science behind hazard and look at how humans respond, reduce risk and even benefit from them.

GCSE (Year 9, 10 and 11)

Curriculum Content

The department decided that the new GCSE curriculum of 2016 was to be delivered as a three-year course.  The rationale behind this was that we wanted to create time for students to receive feedback and respond to action points so that formative milestones would aid progress. In addition, the new specification was substantial and students needed time to acquire the requisite knowledge understanding and skills.

To aid this transition we have selected the physical geography topics to be delivered through year 9 and 10 which students tend to find more accessible.  Then through Year 10 and into Year 11 the human topics which benefit from wider life experience, maturity and empathy.

Our specification enables a variety of teaching and learning approaches. This exciting and relevant course studies geography in a balanced framework of physical and human themes and investigates the link between them.

Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs).

Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.

Upon completion of this three year course, students will have the skills and experience to progress onto A-level and beyond.

There are a wide range of geographical themes within this subject:

Physical Geography Themes

Year 9 

Term 1a to 2a

  • Living World (Global Climate, Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests, Hot Deserts)

Term 2a to 2b

  • Physical Landscapes Rivers (Water cycle, flooding, river/coastal landforms, processes and management)

Term 2b to 3b

  • Physical Landscapes Coasts (Landforms, processes and management)

Year 10

Term 1a to 2a

  • Natural Hazards (Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Tropical storms and Climate Change)

Human Geography Themes

Year 10

Term 2a to 2b

  • Urban Issues and Challenges (Cities and services around the world),

Term 3a to 3b

  • Revision and PPE1 Year 10 examination
  • Fieldwork trips

Year 11

Term 1a

  • Fieldwork write up

Term 1b to 2a

  • The Changing Economic World (Development, employment, economic activities and environment. Case studies of India and the UK)

Term 2b

  • Resource Management (Food, Water, Energy)

Term 3a

  • Issue Evaluation for ‘Geographical Applications’ examination
  • Revision and exam preparation


There is no examination tier of entry

  • Paper 1 May Year 11 (35%) - Physical Geography
  • Paper 2 June Year 11 (35%) - Human Geography
  • Paper 3 June Year 11 (30%) - Geographical Skills (Decision making and Fieldwork)


The collection of primary physical and human data and the production of a short report. Data collection on a two separate days field visit to Salford Quays and the Peak District.

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