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We study geography at Coopers to encourage a deeper understanding of place, culture and world issues. Pupils will look to the wider world for education and employment but have the ability to contribute to their own community and economy on a competitive scale. They will be equipped with the transferrable skills employers look for and have the opportunity to be part of the solution to world issues and actively seek challenge and debate. Being an active citizen, they will uphold the idea of British values and have a respect for others and their traditions and culture, readying them for interactions on a social and educational level.  

The curriculum is designed to ensure pupils develop mastery of the basics of Geography, including continents, countries, capitals, oceans along with map and data skills. This mastery allows for pupils to then look at the most important issues facing the world today. Year 7 study Geography of the UK, ecosystems and development with an in-depth focus on Africa in the Summer term. Year 8 study rivers, population, tectonics and a case study on Asia. Year 9 study natural resources, climate change, coasts and finally the Middle East. Pupils are exposed to the local, national, international and physical and human concepts throughout their curriculum journey.

The five-year curriculum prioritises the building blocks of Geography, before introducing key themes that are built upon in following years – physical processes including their impact on people, development, urbanisation, and resource management. These are taught through case studies at each stage, which become more advanced and complicated as pupils move through the school. Fieldwork is also used throughout the five years as it is a key Geographic skill that further supports the building of Geographic knowledge. 

big ideas final e21c geography.pdf


 In Geography we develop trust by:

  • A lifelong love of Geography and the world they live in
  • A belief that they can implement the change they want to see 

 In Geography we develop respect by:

  • Empathy, sensitivity, understanding and openness to global cultures and traditions
  • An understanding of Geography’s role in shaping individuals, culture and communities 

 In Geography we develop resilience by:

  • Resilience to learn and apply knowledge, as well as take feedback and reflect effectively
  • Enabling pupils to demonstrate confidence, collaboration and leadership skills in our lessons  


In Geography we ensure our curriculum is inclusive by:

  • Scaffold by personalising the learning based on individual pupil need
  • Ensuring that pupils learn about local, national and international contexts


In Geography we identify powerful knowledge and that having a good understanding of it is a prerequisite for understanding other related content. 

By clearly identifying the powerful knowledge in each unit, teachers can ensure that their teaching and assessment is focused on the content that makes the biggest difference. 

We share this with pupils and their families using Knowledge Organisers. These are valuable tools for revision and retrieval practice


In Geography we sequence our curriculum using spaced practice. This means large areas of knowledge are broken into smaller chunks, with intervals of time between them, to improve pupil learning and recall.


In Geography we ensure our curriculum is coherent by the use of 5 Big Ideas that underpin all the learning in our subject. Each lesson is linked to a Big Idea, shared with the pupils at the start of the lesson, so they can call on prior learning and understand where each lesson fits within our curriculum. 

 Our Big Ideas are: 

  • Sustainability – the practice of using natural resources responsibly today, so they are available for future generations tomorrow. 
  • Location - location is the place where a particular point or object exists. Location is an important term in geography and is usually considered more precise than "place." A locality is a human settlement: city, town, village, or even archaeological site. 
  • Physical Processes -  the study of the earth's interaction with the sun, seasons, the composition of the atmosphere, atmospheric pressure and wind, storms and climatic disturbances, climate zones, microclimates, the hydrologic cycle, soils, rivers and streams, flora and fauna, weathering, erosion, natural hazards, deserts, glaciers and ice sheets, coastal terrain, ecosystems, geologic systems, and so much more. 
  • Human Processes - the study of the many cultural aspects found throughout the world and how they relate to the spaces and places where they originate and the spaces and places they then travel to, as people continually move across various areas. 
  • Development and inequalities -   the branch of geography which refers to the standard of living and its quality of life of its human inhabitants. In this context, development is a process of change that affects peoples' lives. It may involve an improvement in the quality of life as perceived by the people undergoing change.


AQA GCSE Geography is split into 3 Papers:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment 

Paper 3: Geographical applications 

What's assessed 

3.1.1 The challenge of natural hazards

3.1.2 The living world

3.1.3 Physical landscapes in the UK

3.4 Geographical skills 

What's assessed 

3.2.1 Urban issues and challenges

3.2.2 The changing economic world

3.2.3 The challenge of resource management

3.4 Geographical skills 

What's assessed 

3.3.1 Issue evaluation

3.3.2 Fieldwork

3.4 Geographical skills 

How it's assessed 

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes 

88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology (SPaG))

How it's assessed 

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes 

88 marks (including 3 marks for SPaG) 

How it's assessed 

Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes 

76 marks (including 6 marks for  SPaG) 

Pre-release resources booklet made available 12 weeks before Paper 3 exam

35% of GCSE 

35% of GCSE 

30% of GCSE 




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