Geography

Vision / Intent:

The geography department gives the opportunity for students to investigate issues affecting a diverse range of places and people, now and in the future, to appreciate the world and understand how physical and human landscapes are interdependent and interconnected. Students are encouraged to investigate the world through increasingly complex geographical enquiry and challenge bias when thinking critically about different viewpoints. The aim of geography at New Line Learning is to equip students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to fully participate in a changing world. 

The Department:

The geography department consists of two experienced teachers:

Miss J. Stubbs – Lead Teacher of Geography

Mrs R. Champion – Head of Humanities

The department is fully equipped with up-to-date tailor-made resources, contemporary textbooks and fieldwork equipment to allow students to carry out coastal, weather, river and urban investigations.

The Curriculum:

KS3

At KS3, students are encouraged to consider what places are like and how the past helps to explain the present and predict the future. The curriculum aims to expand their world knowledge of places and locations, designed for them to enjoy their lessons, fully engaging them in their learning about a rich and diverse world. 

The KS3 curriculum is specially designed to equip and prepare students for the rigorous demands of the new Geography GCSE from as early as year 7. Everything taught in year 7 to year 9 is relevant, includes preparing students with the necessary geographical skills, and builds firm foundations of knowledge and understanding of key geographical processes, concepts and issues. The curriculum takes a thematic approach but focus on issues and challenges (current and future) within each topic. Lessons are taught on an enquiry-basis, where possible. This will allow students to develop more difficult to master skills such as interpretation, analysis and evaluation. The curriculum is designed for all students to access, each topic is driven by a key questions which allow students to be appropriately challenged and get them used to enquiry strands.

KS3 Topic Overview and Assessment

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Term 1 What is geography and how do you become a good geographer?  How and why do we live on a restless planet? How do geographical issues affect me?
Term 2 Where is our place in the world and what is it like? What is an economy (local to global) and how do you earn a living?  How important is Russia and the Middle East?
Term 3 Why are rivers important? Why are our environmental regions at risk?  
Term 4 How are populations changing? What happens when land meets sea?  
Term 5 What does for the future hold for Africa? How is Asia being transformed?  
Term 6 What is weather and climate? How does ice change the world?  

Students complete an end of topic assessment each term. Progress is also assessed routinely in lessons, classwork and homework. Students have opportunities to close the gap in their understanding and can track their own progress by using a topic ‘success criteria’ in their class books. End of year KS3 exams are held each year too to assess their overall progress made.

KS4

Students will be completing the AQA GCSE Geography course from term 3 in year 9, this will allow them enough time to thoroughly work through each unit in depth and understand the exam requirements confidently.

The GCSE course is based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography. It allows students to investigate the link between the two themes, and approach and examine the battles between the man-made and natural worlds.

 

KS4 Topic Overview and Assessment

Unit 1Living with the physical environment

A. The challenge of natural hazards (Tectonic hazards, Weather hazards and Climate Change)

B. The living world (Ecosystems, tropical rainforests, hot deserts)

C. Physical landscapes in the UK (Coastal and river landscapes)

 

Unit 2 - Challenges in the human environment

A. Urban issues and challenges (The urban world, Urban change in the UK, Sustainable urban development).

B. The changing economic world (The development gap, Nigeria: a NEE, The changing UK economy).

C. The challenge of resource management (Resource management, Food, Water and Energy management.

 

Unit 3: Geographical application and skills

A. Issue evaluation

B. Fieldwork
Investigating coastal processes and management
Investigating variations in urban and quality of life

C. Geographical Skills

Students complete an end of topic assessment each term. Progress is also assessed routinely in lessons, classwork and homework. Students have opportunities to close the gap in their understanding and can track their own progress by using a key performance indicator for each topic. Mock examinations for year 11s takes place twice a year and year 10s will complete an end of year mock examination paper.                 

Opportunities:

Why should you study geography? To make robust, appropriate progression into higher education and employment beyond, pupils need to learn to research opportunities, set targets, make choices, evidence their suitability and evaluate their progress for themselves, geography allows for these opportunities.

There simply isn’t a list of geography jobs instead there are many great jobs that geographer can do! So while there is no prescribed geographical career path, there are vast opportunities available to geography students going on to the world of work.

Enrichment

The Geography department values enrichment activities, which includes inviting outside speakers to the school such as the Environment Agency, local government and pressure groups such as Cool Earth.

Students will be participating in fieldwork investigations as early as year 7 and 8 to inform river and coastal enquiries. Students will also carry out a microclimate enquiry within the school grounds.

For KS4 students, the compulsory fieldwork elements of their GCSE course are carried out; students will be going to Reculver on the North Kent coast to complete a coastal investigation and Canterbury to complete an urban investigation. In addition, students will be visiting Dungeness power station and a solar farm during their study of resource management. Students will also get the opportunity to visit the Crystal exhibition at the London Docklands to see how cities have changed and continue to do so as well as the London Thames Barrier and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Weekly intervention sessions are held for both KS3 and KS4 students. These are delivered according to the needs / requirements of the students in attendance.

 

Assessment & Key Performance Indicators 

Assessment:

Assessment at Key Stage 3:

Key Stage 3 students study six topics within an academic year. Year 7, 8 and 9 students complete a baseline test at the beginning of term one. The baseline assessment directly reflects each strand of the KPI (which is a mix between the national curriculum and generic GCSE Assessment Objectives). KS3 students complete an end of topic assessment at the end of or near to the end of every term. Teachers will give specific feedback of strengths and improvements needed using a ‘KS3 effective feedback’ sheet, students are then given time to improve aspects of their assessment.  Grades are plotted on a ‘path to progress’ tracker after each assessment and targets are set to give students a focus for the next topic. Progress is also tracked on their KPI.

In addition to the above, students have a topic based learning matrix that will be kept in their books and will track progress throughout the topic specifically. Teachers and students will use the learning matrix to show progress over time. It can inform teacher’s planning and aid further feedback in books.

Students are taught in mixed ability classes as well the grammar stream in year 7 and 8. Year 9 will start the GCSE in geography in term 3 of the academic year. 

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

Year 10 and 11 students complete a baseline test at the beginning of term one.

Throughout the GCSE course, students attempt exam questions, and improve them using mark schemes and writing frames. An end of unit assessments is completed by students. Teachers will give specific feedback of strengths and improvements needed using a ‘KS4 effective feedback’ sheet, students are then given time to improve aspects of their assessment.  Grades are plotted on a ‘path to progress’ tracker after each assessment and targets are set to give students a focus for the next topic. Progress is also tracked on their unit KPIs, these are done at least three times per unit. Students will engage with these KPIs (which are knowledge and skills based) and teachers will use these to inform planning and give effective feedback.

Mock Examinations are based on Sample Assessment Materials (SAMs) generated by the Exam Board and past papers from June 2018 this will also allow staff and students to monitor progress. 

How do staff and students within the department use KPIs?

KS3: Teachers will assess student progress on the KPI during the three cycles per year as per school policy. Students will then use these judgements to set targets after each cycle.

However, following on from each termly assessment students will track their grades on the ‘path to progress’ tracker that each geography student has on the back of their KPI. At this point student and teacher will consider what progress they have made and what goals they will set themselves for the following assessment – this will be verbal.

Students also have a ‘lesson tracker’ and ‘learning matrix’ in their book for each topic; this is directly related to the content of the main KPI in their folders. Students can therefore see the link and purpose of lesson and topic to the KPI.

KS4: Each student has a topic KPI (skills and knowledge) which is directly related to the AOs and is levelled/graded. Even though teachers will assess student progress against these trackers, they will be done at least three cycles per unit as opposed to three cycles per year. Students will be able to see what grade they are working on using the trackers.

They also have a ‘path to progress’ tracker in their assessment folder which allows them to track progress in each unit and set target specifically related to the KPI. This will help enormously when revising as weaker areas can be acknowledged faster than normal. 

Where are the KPIs located?

KPIs are located in the assessment folders. Both key stages. 

Where will assessed work be found?

Assessed work will be found in their assessment folders. Assessment folders will be with each student book and out on desks as a routine. Both Key stages. 

How often will students complete an assessed piece of work?

KS3: Once a term as close to the end of a topic as possible.

KS4: At the end of each unit students will have a formal assessment. Students will also have an assessed piece of work mid-term, this is more likely to be one high-tariff exam question (12 to 16 marks) this will allow deeper feedback for the more challenging exam questions that students won’t attempt. If they are tackled and allowed time within the unit to attempt one formally then students will become more resilient. Students will have access to the mark scheme after this to enable them to make improvements. This will however be kept in the assessment folder.  Year 11 students will also complete mock exams at different stages of the year. A walking talking mock to be taken in class if time allows. 

What measures does the department complete to ensure the assessment outcomes are accurate?

Moderation Monday, use of mark schemes and a new geography flight path has been produced. Grade boundaries have been published and KS3 grade boundaries have been produced to reflect this and fit in with the KS3 KPI.

Opportunities to work with Every Child Every Day and if permitted to attend training (CPD) to deliver high quality fieldwork – planning and assessing which is offered by Edexcel as well preparing students for the challenges of Paper 3. 

Rationale behind marking within your department.

KS3 & KS4: ‘Just review’ sessions in lessons have been embedded in the schemes of work to enable students to reflect on feedback teacher has given and ‘close the gap’ in their knowledge and understanding during a unit of work. It will also enables challenge that hasn’t been taken up in the classroom. This will be a routine in the lessons once started.

Assessment front sheets have been developed for both key stages to enable feedback to be effective. Students will complete these after each formal assessment.

It has been agreed within the department that deeper marking still needs to take place in books especially in KS4 not just in their assessment folders. At KS3 the learning matrices will help teachers mark and give specific feedback for students to act upon. 

Any department specific information regarding assessment.

KS3: The learning matrices that will be kept in students books for each topic will inform teachers and students of progress throughout the term not just three cycles a year, It is a working document between student and teacher and can inform marking and feedback. Will forward an example if required.

KS3 and KS4: Mark schemes will be provided after every assessment and students will be required to engage with these as much as possible in particular KS4. The use of WAGOLL will be used to support student during units of work and after each assessment again beginning with KS4. However, this is a long-term goal. 

Key Performance Indicators: