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KS3 Geography


“The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.”

Barack Obama, former President of the United States of America


KS3 Intent

Why do we teach this?

Geography is a crucial foundation subject within the school curriculum that enables students to develop a curiosity and fascination of the world around them that empowers students to question and act. It is an essential subject to equip students as responsible global citizens with the right knowledge, understanding and skills fit for the modern world to better understand the past, present and possible future. It also acts as a bridging subject connecting both to the arts and sciences with many of the topics covered having significant cross-curricular links and enriches the cultural capital within students.

Students are able to gain meaningful knowledge about diverse people, places, natural and human environments along with a deep understanding of the impacts of key physical and human processes that exist around us. Geography covers features and processes operating at and across a variety of scales, which is why students begin by focusing on local geography before then broadening their learning to consider national and international themes and case studies. The curriculum has been designed so that it helps students to understand their place in the world and understand current and past social, cultural, economic and environmental events along with helping students to address the big global challenges that the world faces in the 21st Century.

Lessons have a strong focus on reading and writing along with emphasising key terminology to develop scientific and social literacy. All students at Key Stage 3 receive a free Humanities literacy guide. As students progress at Key Stage 3, there is an expectation students should be able to write in more depth and with greater fluency and accuracy using more complicated, specialist technical language to reflect greater mastery of the subject. Competent geographers also need proficiency in a range of geographical skills from map-reading to interpreting graphical information, to interpreting a range of sources of geographical information to data presentation, which is built into planning. The curriculum is delivered in a way that develops important geographical skills every step of the way along with expanding the scale of study along with the breadth and depth of content.


KS3 Implementation

What do we teach? What does this look like?

Our curriculum is influenced by our school mission statement, which aspires to personal excellence and aims to enable all children, regardless of background or ability, to flourish. Students at Gartree High School receive two 50-minute lessons of Geography a week. The curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum and is supported by clear skills development and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all students. Learning opportunities outside of the classroom are factored into the curriculum to enable students to experience geography in action with a residential trip to Iceland and local fieldwork opportunities provided at Bradgate Park and on the school grounds, which enhance the students’ understanding of the world. Students are encouraged to participate in the Humanities Explorer initiative to visit local historic, geographical and cultural landmarks to attain a gold, silver or bronze award. Students are also further supported to continue their learning through the Humanities Challenge booklet to conduct further research and independent study of the topics learnt about in lessons.

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KS3 Impact

What will this look like?


By the time students leave Gartree High School they will:

  • Have an excellent knowledge of significant places at a range of scales.

  • Have an excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.

  • Have an extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary that can be used accurately.

  • Be fluent in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills.

  • Have the ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.

  • Have significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.

  • Be highly developed in geographical skills and techniques of description, explanation, data presentation, interpretation, analysis, evaluation, map-reading, problem-solving and fieldwork.

  • Developed the students’ written skills along with clear graphical, cartographical techniques so that they are literate and numerate in their communication of geography.

  • Have an enthusiasm for the subject and a curiosity and interest in global matters affecting the world today.

  • Have the ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment


The Humanities Department measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • Assessing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills through modular tests and extended pieces of writing.

  • Termly data snap shots of student attainment are carried out.

  • Student discussions and verbal feedback about student learning.

  • Questioning of students in lessons to ascertain level of competence and grasp of the key concepts and ideas.

  • Interviewing the students about their learning and experience in lessons (Student Voice).

  • Exercise book scrutinies/inspections by the Head of Department to check the standard of classwork produced.

  • Learning walks and lesson observations are regularly taken by the Head of Department and senior leadership of the school to gauge the climate of learning and quality of teaching and learning.

  • Moderation staff meetings are held where student’s exercise books and assessments are scrutinised and there is the opportunity for a dialogue between teachers to understand their class’s work.

  • Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum.

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