The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on pupils’ own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.
At the Phoenix Academy pupils’ study a range of topics at key stage 3, aimed at creating a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Opportunities for outside learning and fieldwork are incorporated for each year group where relevant and appropriate
Topics studied include:
- It’s your planet! – This chapter starts at the very beginning with how the Earth was formed, and how life developed. This starting point introduces several topics which will be returned to later. These include volcanic activity, human migration and how human and physical processes are changing the Earth.
- Maps and mapping – In this chapter pupils will learn how to interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, globes and aerial photographs. Pupils will learn to communicate geographical information through maps and interpret Ordnance Survey maps including using 4 and 6 figure grid references, scale and photographs.
- About the UK - In this topic the pupils will learn to identify the United Kingdom, British Isles and Great Britain. Pupils will consolidate and extend their knowledge of the UK and its human (population density) and physical features (weather, relief and natural features).
- Rivers - This topic will allow pupils to understand how geographical processes interact to create distinctive human and physical landforms which change over time. Pupils will also learn how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems through a study of hydrology.
- Africa - This topic will allow the pupils to extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s counties, using maps of the world to focus on Africa, its history, its environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities.
- Population – This topic will allow the pupils to develop their knowledge of globally significant places, including Ethiopia and China. Pupils will learn how population change interacts to influence and change environments, the weather and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems. Pupils will examine population distribution across the globe and the various reasons for global differences as well as looking at the impact the population has on resources, other species and the environment.
- Coasts – Throughout this topic pupils will understand, through detailed place based exemplars, the key processes relating to coastal landforms and human use of coastal areas. Pupils will look at the causes and effects of the storm surge of winter 2013/14 and the specific case of Happisburrgh, to introduce sea defences that can be used and the factors which are involved in decided which places to defend.
- Weather and Climate – This unit will allow the pupils to understand the key processes involved in weather and climate. Pupils will learn what weather is, what causes it and various key terms. Pupils will study key features of the UK weather by studying weather maps and symbols. The difference between weather and climate and the factors influencing climate will be explored. The unit will be finalised by looking at different climates around the world.
- Our warming planet – Pupils will understand the processes that give rise to global warming, and how they bring spatial variation and change over time. Pupils will learn how human processes influence and change environments and the climate, and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems.
- Asia – Pupils will develop their knowledge of Asia, and its physical and human characteristics. Pupils will reinforce their knowledge of continents before moving on to focus on Asia’s countries and regions. Pupils will learn how to communicate geographical information, including writing at increasing lengths.
- China – Pupils will continue to develop their knowledge of the world’s countries, and a region within Asia. Pupils will learn and understand the processes that give rise to development in Southwest China, and how these bring change over time. Pupils will also lean how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes and environments.
From rock to soil – This topic will allow pupils to study the key processes in:
- Physical geography relating to: rocks, weathering, soils and geographical timescales.
- Human geography relating to: the uses of natural resources.
This unit also includes the travels of the British Isles over the last 550 million years and introduces the idea of plates and plate movements which will be revisited in term 4.
Earning a living – This topic will allow pupils to extend their knowledge and deepen spatial awareness of the world’s countries. Pupils will understand through the use of detailed place exemplars at a variety of scales (Doncaster to Bangladesh)…human relating to economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors, and the use of natural resources.
International development – Pupils will understand through the use of detailed place exemplars (Malawi and Singapore) at a variety of scales, human geography relating to international development. Pupils will develop a greater competence in using geographical knowledge, approaches and concepts in analysing and interpreting data sources.
Our restless planet – Pupils will understand through the use of detailed place exemplars at a variety of scales, the key processes in physical geography relating to plate tectonics. Pupils will extend their locational knowledge and deepen spatial awareness of the world’s countries. Pupils will focus on Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis. Their knowledge will be reinforced through case studies on the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake and the 2004 Tsunami.
Russia – This topic will allow the pupils to extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s counties, using maps of the world to focus on Russia, its history (break up from the Soviet Union), its environmental regions (sub-arctic and tundra regions), key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities.
Middle East – This topic will allow the pupils to extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s counties, using maps of the world to focus on the Middle East, its environmental regions, its conflicts, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities.