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Geography Intent Statement

Our aspiration for the geography curriculum and resultant geographers at The Skipton Academy is to develop resilient, global citizens who understand their own roles and responsibilities in society on a local, national and global scale. Our curriculum also offers students an understanding of the complexities which exist in the world and develops their sense of wonder and interest in places.

Geography at The Skipton Academy is underpinned by powerful knowledge in our broad and balanced curriculum. Each key stage has been carefully considered so that there is clear progression in the understanding of key concepts, including people and place, scale, sustainability and development. Whilst embedding these concepts, we have carefully designed the curriculum to encourage students to build complex schemata relating to each concept enabling maximum student progress. The curriculum has a combination of conceptual and regional-based schemes of work to consider the interdependence which exist between topics and concepts whilst also developing locational knowledge.

We achieve this by delivering a challenging and knowledge rich curriculum throughout both KS3 and KS4. In addition to this, we pride ourselves on our ambitious use of vocabulary throughout all key stages. We encourage students to partake in wider reading around the topics of study which provides a springboard for students studying geography at KS4 and beyond. We encourage students to develop their cultural capital through a range of varied experiences within the classroom and beyond. It is our passion and enthusiasm for the subject which drives the success of the department.

Key Stage Three

Our inclusive and carefully sequenced three-year KS3 programme, exceeds the National Curriculum, building on the varied prior experiences of students in Key Stage Two. In Year 7, students develop an understanding of a range of key concepts and knowledge to ensure they have secure foundations for future studies. This is achieved through the teaching of a range of topics with ‘fertile questions’ where students have to develop schema throughout the topic to enable them to answer and discuss the question towards the end of the topic. For example, students study a scheme of work entitled “What skills do I need to be a successful geographer?” which allows students to develop schema relating to geographical skills which are then entwined in their learning throughout the rest of the curriculum. At the end of this topic, students use their knowledge to design their own ‘successful geographer’.

As student’s progress through the key stage, they are faced with a broader range of regional-based studies where the expectation is that students apply their conceptual knowledge which they have acquired throughout the key stage and apply their knowledge of interdependence to these topics.

Key Stage Four

At Key Stage Four, we follow the AQA GCSE specification which builds upon the knowledge students secured in KS3. Specifically, students are provided with opportunities to develop knowledge relating to key concepts studied throughout the Key Stage 3 curriculum. Such as when studying the topic ‘Urban issues and challenges’ students investigate how urban life differs in two contrasting parts of the world, Leeds (UK) and Lagos (Nigeria), developing their understanding of development.

During their study of KS4 geography students are also able to learn about some of the main issues which face society, including growing inequalities in urban regions around the world, how TNCs are exploiting host countries to benefit those living in HICs and how natural hazards are having an increasing impact as the world becomes more developed. These all offer students the opportunity to develop their cultural capital by studying and comprehending the different lives and challenges which people face around the world.

Within their study of GCSE Geography, students have opportunities to attend fieldwork experiences where they are able to apply the skills and knowledge they learn in lesson. Students are also offered a range of ‘virtual fieldwork’ opportunities, taking advantage of digital alternatives to fieldwork wherever possible.

Whilst teaching KS4 geography, we maintain our aspiration of developing resilient, global citizens who are prepared to leave The Skipton Academy with a strong knowledge of a range of issues to equip them in their future studies. As such, we aim to provide students with a knowledge of the world which surrounds them and the challenges and opportunities which exist in it.

Learning journey - Geography

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