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Curriculum Intent for Geography

Geography explores the dynamic relationship between the natural and human world. We are building more socially and environmentally sensitively and aiming to nurture responsible global citizens of the future. Geography is the study of the environment and humans’ interactions within in. Our aim is to enrich students’ knowledge and understanding of the world they live in by allowing students to: explore the complex relationships between the different components and elements that make up our earth; to probe the dynamic relationship between the natural and human world; to assess how past, current and future events have shaped or may shape places for both human beings and nature and to build more socially and environmentally sensitively, and therefore nurture responsible global citizens

Click below to download the Curriculum map that shows a student’s learning journey throughout this subject at Finham Park School.

Geography Learning Journey

Our Vision

For all students to acquire a sound knowledge of both human and physical Geography.  To develop an analytical and evaluative understanding of the world by exploring case studies and topical events through regular debate and written responses.


Key Stage 3

At Finham Park School the Geography curriculum intends to enable our young people to develop a critical understanding of their world and how they interact with it.  We endeavour to equip our young people with the ability to analyse their changing environments. We aim to broaden their world view by providing access to a variety of diverse global cultures.

Students are encouraged to consider how the world and its physical and human relationships shape our environments. This will be done through 4 key concepts which are outlined in the Key Stage 3 national curriculum for Geography:

The study of Geography in Key Stage 3 takes students on a two-year journey where they study topics across 5 key geographical themes:


Year 7

Students are introduced to Geography by exploring a range of Fantastic Places across all global continents. This topic has been designed to develop Key Stage 1 and 2 learning whilst supporting the transition into Key Stage 3. This sequence continues by studying geographical topics such as; Settlement and Map Skills, Earths Resources, Water (Rivers and Coasts) and Exploring Africa. Lesson content utilises case studies from around the world, focusing in depth on Africa, but also using local examples where suitable. This ensures that students locational and place knowledge is developed whilst instilling a sense personal responsibility for their world.

Students will complete school-based fieldwork in order to explore themes within these topics to practise and develop their geographical Skills.

Year 8

Students continue their learning journey by beginning Year 8 exploring the topic of Tectonic Hazards. Students’ progress to study Globalisation and Global issues, Weather and Climate, Exploring Asia and Glaciation across the academic year. Students’ continue to investigate a range of global case studies, focusing in depth on Asia and using local examples where possible. Learning is sequenced to allow students to build on prior knowledge and understanding. This develops analytical and evaluative understandings of the world and encourages students to become responsible global citizens. Students will complete school-based fieldwork where they will explore themes evident in these topics.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 units are carefully selected so that the aim of our intent remains both visible and viable. Our GCSE course aims to nurture and develop prior learning of content, concepts or skills wherever possible.

Year 9, 10, 11

At the beginning of Year 9 students study the topic of Jamaica which allows them to practise and embed a range of geographical skills and knowledge before beginning their GCSE course content.

Students study AQA A GCSE geography. This is a 3-year course which begins in Year 9. The course has 3 exam papers which are all examined at the end of year 11:

  1. ‘Living with the Physical Environment’
  2. ‘Challenges in the Human Environment’
  3. ‘Geographical Applications’

The topics included in ‘Living with the Physical Environment’ are Physical Landscapes in the UK (Rivers and Coasts), The Living World (Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests and Deserts) and The Challenge of Natural Hazards (Tectonic Hazards, Weather Hazards and Climate Hazards).

The topics included in the ‘Challenges in the Human Environment’ are The Changing Economic World (Nigeria and the UK), Urban Issues and Challenges (Rio and London) and The Challenge of Resource Management (Focusing on the challenges of water, food and energy resources globally and in the UK).

‘Geographical Applications’ – students will complete two fieldwork investigations; one for Human Geography and one for Physical Geography. Fieldwork includes walking a transect within Coventry to explore Quality of Life, Urban Issues and exploring a river profile at Carding Mill Valley.
Students are required to examine a pre-release resource booklet and use decision making skills to explore and evaluate this.

Year 12

In Year 12 students will study the OCR A level Geography course. This course is a 2-year course and is divided into 3 papers which are all assessed at the end of the 2-year course:

  1. ‘Physical Systems’
  2. ‘Human Interactions’
  3. ‘Geographical Debates’

In Year 12 students study Changing Spaces; Making Places, Landscape System (Coastal Landscapes), Global Connections (Power and Borders), and The Earth’s Life Support Systems. Throughout these topics a range of geographical processes, skills and global case studies are investigated. Towards the end of Year 12 students will also start their 3,000-4,000-word Non-Examined Assessment (NEA).

Year 13

As they progress into Year 13 they will continue to study The Earth’s Life Support Systems, Global Connections (Global Migration), Hazardous Earth and Climate Change. Students continue to investigate a range of geographical processes, skills and case study examples throughout these topics. Students will also finalise their 3,000 to 4,000-word Non-Examined Assessment (NEA).

Fieldwork is an integral part of our course and opportunities are embedded into each year group. Data presentation of fieldwork investigations will also involve GIS which enables students to develop these skills. Graph and numeracy skills are also practiced throughout all topics.

Almost daily, geographical topics are in the news and discussed in the media. We encourage all our students to take an interest in current geographical affairs. A few excellent websites include; The BBC, National Geographic and Global Eye. These resources are specifically geared towards Key Stage 4 and are an excellent source for case studies. We encourage students to undertake wider reading throughout their study of Geography. Reading lists and our school library provide a wealth of resources to support this.

Throughout the academic year, upon the occurrence of major geographical events, these will sensitively be investigated with students (for example the Haiti earthquake of 2021).  This is a vital part of our curriculum and therefore occasionally students may move away from the intended curriculum path, to further develop geographical skills through the study of current world events.

Department Staff

Head of Department Ms L Beioley
Ms R Jheeta
Mr A Smith