Curriculum Intent for Geography

Our purpose is to encourage a genuine passion for Geography as well as a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with students for the rest of their lives. Through engaging and creative lessons, our curriculum equips students with a strong knowledge about diverse places, people, resources, natural environments and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. We aim to inspire students to actively discover the world around them and to appreciate the interconnectedness of this world and the people who live in it.
Alongside their knowledge and passion, students will develop their core geographical skills such as using maps, atlases, compasses, globes and geographic data.
Additionally, we seek to develop their strength of character and cross-curricular skills, preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of later life; as individuals, geographers, key-stage 4 students, and beyond.

We have a spiral curriculum for Geography where physical and human geography, along with the necessary geographical skills, are introduced on a basic level and then gradually built upon by revisiting them. Topics are organised thematically, collecting together different aspects of both physical and human geography. These different strands of geography are balanced throughout each year and culminate in continental and then country specific case studies where geographical knowledge, understanding of geographic processes, and geographic skills can be put into practice with increasing levels of depth.

We begin every lesson with a planned memory retrieval starter that is adapted to address known misconceptions, using different forms of self-quizzing. Several homework tasks are also retrieval-practice based. This is based on research from cognitive science and pedagogical understanding that suggests retrieval practice coupled with clear metacognitive approaches can have a large impact on students ability to remember and recall.  This ensures that students are building resilience in their learning through ‘healthy struggle’ and ‘desirable difficulties’. This also gives them understanding of the topics and concepts they have not fully mastered and allows for reflection on what is needed to ensure these knowledge gaps are addressed. Teachers will allow students time to self-correct when completing retrieval activities and this allows students to be responsive in terms of checking understanding with their teacher and clarifying misconceptions. 

National curriculum coverage

The National curriculum underpins the Geography curriculum at Meopham School. We aim to ensure all pupils:

  • extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s countries using maps of the world to focus on Africa, Russia, Asia (including China and India), and the Middle East, focusing on their environmental regions, including polar and hot deserts, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities

  • understand geographical similarities, differences and links between places through the study of human and physical geography of a region within Africa, and of a region within Asia

  • understand, through the use of detailed place-based exemplars at a variety of scales, the key processes in:

  • physical geography relating to: geological timescales and plate tectonics; rocks, weathering and soils; weather and climate, including the change in climate from the Ice Age to the present; and glaciation, hydrology and coasts

  • ♣ human geography relating to: population and urbanisation; international development; economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors; and the use of natural resources

  • understand how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems

  • build on their knowledge of globes, maps and atlases and apply and develop this knowledge routinely in the classroom and in the field

  • interpret Ordnance Survey maps in the classroom and the field, including using grid references and scale, topographical and other thematic mapping, and aerial and satellite photographs

  • use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to view, analyse and interpret places and data

  • use fieldwork in contrasting locations to collect, analyse and draw conclusions from geographical data, using multiple sources of increasingly complex information.

Our Geography curriculum at Meopham Schools is centred around an ambitious ethos for excellence and supporting all students, regardless of their barriers to learning, to challenge themselves and achieve their full potential.

The Geography department implements this through the use of the Meopham School House Style. We use RAG (Red, Amber, Green) cards to challenge students and encourage student-led differentiation, as well as assessing the learning in the room. In addition to this, we operate random questioning which ensures that all students are included.