Curriculum rationale:

 In Geography we aim to foster a deep understanding of the world around us, to encourage students to reflect on and consider how to care for the future of it.  We offer a broad and balanced curriculum covering physical and human geography.  Students gain an awareness that geography is not just about countries and rivers, but builds a solid foundation of understanding of broader concepts.

Our Geography curriculum has been designed and developed around the two strands: physical and human.  Additional geographical skills, knowledge and concepts are delivered through both classroom and field work opportunities.  Students study their local environment throughout KS3 and KS4 building respect for their home area.  A wider understanding of global issues, including: sustainability, global warming, climate change and the enhanced greenhouse effect enables our students to become global citizens and to reflect on the impact of their actions on a wider scale.

Our curriculum is constantly reviewed and updated with new case studies and topics to ensure the curriculum is current, engaging and fit for purpose reflecting the changing environment our students are living in.  Recent additions include the impact of issues raised in programmes such as the Blue Planet and the 7 Continents which covered key topics and concepts including environmental change, biomes and eco systems. We encourage students to independently research global issues and engage in discussion surrounding current events, e.g. the 2020 Australian bushfires.

Curriculum Design:

We ensure that our students are challenged throughout their five years by providing a well sequenced, challenged and balanced curriculum. When designing at geography curriculum at SJNC we looked at the requirements of the GCSE syllabus, and from this, implemented topics to act as stepping stones to this at KS3. This will ensure smooth progression between the key stages. For example, our knowledge organisers always contain key skills as well as key words and concepts.  As students move through their geography journey, topics are looked at in more depth such as when Milankovitch cycles are introduced in Year 7 and further expanded on in KS4, thus building on the prior learning.  We aim to foster their love of learning geography and the world around them. This will help to create responsible young citizens who will be able to embrace our changing planet and its challenges.

Curriculum Plan:


Geography year curriculum plan

Half term

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11


Passport to Geography

Water world


Natural Hazards

Sustaining Ecosystems


Leicester and beyond

Africa and Development

Arctic and Antarctica

Dynamic Development

Changing Climate


Saving Planet Earth

Weather hazards

Future of Planet Earth

Urban Futures

UK in the 21st century


Asia and the Middle East

Crime and GIS

Trade, Aid and Debt

Distinctive Landscapes

Resource Reliance


Weather and Climate

Urbanisation and population

Global resources


Exam preparation








Curriculum Assessment:

Years 7, 8 and 9 will have regular, low stakes diagnostic tests to check understanding and allow teachers to address misconceptions. They will also have four synoptic tests in the year to allow teachers and students to identify areas of strengths and areas to improve.

Years 10 and 11 will complete assessments at the end of each topic (roughly every half term) to check their understanding.

After an assessment students will get class feedback (as well as individual teacher feedback). Students to make corrections in green pen and complete their Records of Achievement. Students will also be set homework to check understanding post-test.


Extra-curricular opportunities:

Fieldwork is an important and essential part that underpins the theory of the geography curriculum.  Every year group has an opportunity to participate in a practical field work activity outside of the classroom. Year 7 students visit Conkers as part of their Saving Planet Earth scheme of work whilst Year 8 visit Carsington reservoir when studying water. In Year 9 we run a visit to Poole’s Cavern in the Peak District which fits in with their topic on tourism. At GCSE level students carry out two pieces of fieldwork: an urban day in Leicester and a physical rivers visit to Edale in the Peak District.

The Geography department also runs a very successful Eco Club which is open to all students.