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At King Ecgbert School, we aim to create excellent geographers through promoting curiosity, by providing them with the core knowledge and skills to be able to engage with world issues for the rest of their lives. Students should gain a knowledge of the diversity of the world, our interaction with the natural environment for our survival, alongside a deep understanding of the physical and human processes.

Students study a mix of human, physical and environmental geography. Students are given the opportunity to study at a range of different scales – local, regional, national and global. 

We aim to inspire an interest in places and engage students in current issues around the world, to create a sense of awe and wonder about the world we live in.

Each year 5 or 6 topics are completed, each one lasting half a term. Students are assessed mid-topic, through an extended piece of writing regarding a geographical issue and at the end of each topic through GCSE style knowledge check.


At KS3 students are taught 2 x one hour periods a week each year. In Year 8 Geography is taught in 3 x 1 hour periods per fortnight. Homework is set at least once per topic, and can include anything from extended research, to learning key terms from the topic. We strongly advise students keep up to date with current geographical events through accessing news articles and stories. There is also the opportunity for fieldwork in each year of KS3.


GCSE Geography is an option available to all students. The course is taught in 3 x 1 hour periods per week in Y10 and 2 x 1 hour periods per week in Y11, or the other way around for some classes. Fieldwork plays an important and compulsory part of the course.

Students then complete three exams at the end of the two year course. Paper 1: Physical Geography, Paper 2: Human Geography, Paper 3: Geographical enquiry and skills

Course: Geography AQA Specification A


At KS5 we offer AS and A2 geography. In Year 12 and Year 13 students receive 5 x one hour periods a week. Fieldwork is an important part of the course and is essential for exam success. Students must complete an individual piece of coursework which amounts to 20% of the final grade. 

The main fieldwork in Year 12 is a 1 night, 2  day stay at the East Coast when the topics studied include coastal processes and the study of the changes in a local town. 

The course is divided into physical and human geography and is taught by 2 members of staff. 

Course: Geography AQA is the exam board offered for AS and A2 level.

Learning Sequences

Key Stage 3

Please see below for our order of topics in years 7, 8 and 9.



Command words: EXPLAIN, DESCRIBE


Command words: JUSTIFY,


Command word: ASSESS THE EXTENT EVALUATE (plus all others from previous years)

Sep – Oct term

Baseline assessment
What is a geographer?

  1. Welcome to geography. What do we already know about the world around us?
  2. Baseline Assessment (summative, not to be given back to students)
  3. What is geography?
  4. Continents and Oceans (with a closer look at Europe) Difference between country and a continent
  5. Where do we live? Continent, country etc.
  6. How can we locate places on a world map? Compass, hemisphere, long and lat
  7. How do we use OS Maps? (scale and distance)
  8. How can we identify features on a OS map? (symbols, grid references)
  9. How can we see height on an OS map?
  10. What can you find out about Sheffield from an OS map? Independent
  11. Knowledge overview
  12. End of topic knowledge/skills test


Where has the best climate?

  1. What is the difference between weather and climate? Intro to the climate of the UK (pg76)
  2. How does the atmosphere affect our weather? – water cycle. – Simple intro to the global atmospheric model?
  3. Do clouds mean it’s going to rain?
  4. Why is Sheffield so wet?
  5. Does Sheffield have the worst weather in the world?
  6. Justify if Sheffield has the worst weather (mid topic)
  7. Why is London warmer and drier than Sheffield? Factors affecting climate
  8. Where would you rather go on holiday? Comparison of climates (pg78)
  9. Where would you rather go on holiday? Comparison of climates.
    1. Where is the best site in school for a new outdoor activity area? How to conduct an enquiry. Microclimate investigation

 Is globalisation a force for good?

  1. What is an economy? From local to global
  2. What is globalisation? Causes?
  3.  What countries manufacture the products we buy? Patterns of globalisation
  4. Why is Apple Inc so successful? Intro to TNCs and globalised products
  5. How is Asia developing into the most important global economic region?
  6. Is everyone benefitting from globalisation? Winners and losers
  7. To what extent… globalisation assessment.
  8.  Why do people move to different countries?
  9. How can international trade result in conflict? Trade wars
  10. What environmental issues does globalisation cause?
  11. How can we solve issues on a global scale? Intro to the UN
  12. End of topic knowledge/skills test

Oct – Dec term

Has the Earth always been this way?

The importance of the lithosphere.

  1. How was the earth created?
  2. Why can’t we go live on mars? (Intro to the 4 spheres) perfect environment.
  3. Why do the continents look like a jigsaw? – continental drift link to geological timescale (pg204)
  4. What is happening beneath our feet? Plate tectonics
  5. Why is Everest so tall?
  6. Explain… assessment (fold mountains)
  7. How do people use mountains? (lesson on system) Independent
  8. How do volcanoes change the Earth’s landscape? Destruction vs creation (EXAMPLES)
  9. How do earthquakes show Earth is still changing? (page212)
  10. Why do people still live near volcanoes and earthquakes?
  11. Knowledge overview
  12. End of topic knowledge/skills test

What causes our landscape to change?

  1. What is our landscape made of? Recap of the rock cycle – introduction to the processes of weathering, bring in geology.
  2. How does Ice change the world? Intro to Ice Age, Glaciers (how form and move)
  3. How do glaciers change the landscape? Corries and U-Shaped Valleys
  4. How does water flow into rivers? Recap of water cycle, river profile (pg105)
  5. How do rivers shape the land? Waterfalls and meanders
  6. ….?
  7. Why do coastlines all look different?
  8. How do waves shape the coastline?
  9. Why is the Holderness coast eroding so rapidly?
  10. How do rivers, glaciers and waves move material?
  11. What is deposition? Why do river, waves and glaciers drop what they are carrying?
  12. End of topic knowledge/skills test.

Who is having greatest impact on the world? Russia or China

  1. Where are Russia and China?
  2. How is there physical geography similar?
  3. How have fossil fuels influenced Russia?
  4. How developed is Russia?
  5. Why has China experienced rapid economic growth? (pg196) BRIC country
  6. ..
  7. What population challenges are facing Russia? Can Putin reverse the decline (pg148)
  8. How has China attempted to control its population?

9-10. What is Russia doing in the Arctic?

11. What is China doing in Africa? (pg238)

12. End of topic knowledge/skills test.

Jan – Feb term

Why are some countries richer than others?

  1. What is development? How do countries develop? Employment sectors?
  2. How is money spread around the world? Focus on GNI (good map in new atlas, pg 97)
  3. Is just looking at GNI a fair way to look at development?
  4. What is poverty and inequality? Global pattern – causes of poverty
  5. Is the UK an equal place? Inequality in the UK (Page 130) Patterns and reasons
  6. Describe and explain inequality in the UK
  7. Can we reduce inequality? Strategies used
  8. What are the sustainable development goals?

9-11. How can charity help? Students to design their own charity based on their learning from this unit.

12. End of topic knowledge test

Are we going to run out of resources?

  1. What is a natural resource? Rock, Water, Food, Fossil Fuels
  2. Surely we will never run out of water? (hydrosphere)
  3. Why are soils the root of life? (lithosphere)
  4. What happens if there is a scarcity of rainfall? (Impacts of lack of water and soil – desertification)
  5. Why are we so reliant on oil?
  6. How do we use our planet as a natural resource? (summary)
  7. ….
  8. Can we feed 9 billion by 2050?
  9. Can we provide enough energy by 2050? Solar power
  10. Can’t we just take water from the oceans to meet increasing demands?
  11. Can planet earth cope? Tragedy of the commons. Malthus vs Boserup
  12. End of topic knowledge test

Is our planet becoming more extreme?

  1. How are we changing the atmosphere? Climate change – causes and evidence
  2. How does climate change affect our weather?
  3. What happens when it gets too hot? (L1) Wildfire
  4. What happens when it gets too hot? (L2) melting of polar caps
  5. What happens when it gets too cold?
  6. Is the UK’s weather becoming more extreme?
  7. To what extent… mid topic
  8. What affects flooding in Asia?
  9. Why do droughts happen?
  10. Are we seeing more hurricanes?
  11. What makes a hurricane more severe? Strength vs development of the country
  12. End of topic knowledge test

Feb – April term

Are we running out of space?

  1. What is happening to global population?
  2. Where does everybody live? (pg144)
  3. What causes populations to change? Intro to Birth rate, death rate and migration. Play jellybaby game
  4. Why do so few people live in Australia? Intro to DTM – compare Australia with India (make clear links back to development)
  5. Are populations all the same? Look at structure. Population pyramids – compare two countries
  6. Where are people going? Global migration trends
  7. Explain….
  8. Why is everyone moving to the city? Urbanisation
  9. What is a megacity?
  10. Opportunities in Sao Paulo
  11. Challenges in Sao Paulo
  12. End of topic knowledge/skills test

Why are there no elephants in Sheffield?

  1. What is the biosphere and what are the main ecosystems?
  2. Are the Arctic and the Antarctic the same?
  3. Why does the Amazon have the highest levels of biodiversity? Diorama
  4. Why does the Amazon have the highest levels of biodiversity? Diorama
  5. Can anything survive in the desert? Climate, adaptations and the San tribe (Kalahari Desert)
  6. Where would you rather be stranded (Arctic, Kalahari, Amazon or Antarctica)? Justify
  7. What happened to all the animals? Endangered animals lesson
  8. How is our weekly shop endangering animals in the rainforest?
  9. Is plastic really that bad?
  10. Why does it matter if the Arctic reduces in size? Polar bears and Walruses
  11. Should we have zoos?
  12. End of topic knowledge test

 How important is the Middle East?

  1. What is the Middle East? Link back to Asia (and most important economic region)
  2. How does physical geography affect the region? Physical zones, tectonics and climate
  3. How does the physical geography affect the population of the Middle East?
  4. Why is the Middle East a major economic region of the world?
  5. How has the UAE developed?
  6. How has Dubai Changed?
  7. Is Dubai doomed to fail?
  8. Evaluate/assess the extent… Dubai
  9. Why is there ongoing conflict in the Middle East?
  10. Why is the war in Syria a global issue (lesson one) causes and international involvement
  11. Where have the people gone?
  12. End of topic knowledge test


April – May term

What makes our home unique?

  1. Where is Sheffield?

How important is the River Nile?

How places change along the Nile

How people rely on the hydrosphere

Recognition of how diverse Africa is (it is not all poor) . Population change and development

Impact of fashion in Uganda?

Sustainable living

June – July term

How does physical geography affect a place?                                                     

Castleton Rocks – Lithosphere

Why did ______  flood?

Investigation into the human and physical factors behind flooding

Key Stage 4

Year 10

GCSE Outline

Half term one

Changing Economic World (Nigeria and the UK)

Half term two

Changing Economic world (Nigeria and the UK) and Challenge of Natural Hazards

Half term three

Challenge of Natural Hazards

Half term four

Living world (ecosystems and rainforests)

Half term five

Living world (cold environments) and Rivers

Half term six

UK Physical Landscapes, Rivers and Rivers fieldwork

Year 11


Half term one

Urban issues and challenges (Mumbai and Sheffield) – including fieldwork to Sheffield city centre

Half term two

Challenge of resource management – focusing on issues around food resources.

Half term three

Coastal landscapes

Half term four

Issue Evaluation

Half term five


Half term six

Exam leave