The Curriculum Purpose
Geography is a subject that will inspire a lifelong interest and curiosity about our world. In an age where our world is shrinking and becoming a single global society, understanding both our physical and human geography and the growing interconnectedness of the two is now more important than ever before. Geography is an essential ingredient in the development of our students as global citizens, providing them with the knowledge and skills to ensure that they feel empowered as agents of change, able to critically evaluate the world around them and strive to make a difference to protect our planet for generations to come.
Our spiralled curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure that concepts are revisited overtime with students broadening and deepening their understanding as they progress across the years. It uses a range of diverse case studies to exemplify how geographical processes are experienced across the world, with opportunities for fieldwork built in so that students can participate in their own geographical investigations to draw their own informed conclusions. As a result, knowledge and skills are firmly embedded in students long term memory and they can make synoptic links to recognise how different concepts and processes are linked together.
Key Concepts that underpin Geography
- Spatial awareness
- A sense of place
- Geographical scales (local, regional, national, global)
- Physical and human processes
- The environment and sustainability
- Cultural understanding and diversity
- Geographical skills
Key Features of Learning
Our department consists of 7 full-time Geography teachers who are highly committed to ensuring that all of our students make excellent progress and become lifelong learners. Through the dedication of staff and students in the Geography department, students leave with the transferable skills they need to be successful in all aspects of life. We ensure that geographical skills and fieldwork opportunities are embedded throughout our curriculum and students are encouraged to develop their knowledge outside of the classroom with teachers regularly recommending books, documentaries and online resources that students can access.
Our students are independent, reflective, team players and have a deep understanding of the world around them. Geography is a very popular subject at The Compton School, with a large number of students choosing to study it at GCSE, A-Level and our results far exceed the national average. We also have a number of students choosing to study Geography beyond A-Level, showing the success of their Geography journey at The Compton School.
What will you see in Geography Lessons?
We have high expectations for all our students and will encourage them to unlock their true potential through the use of adaptive and responsive teaching strategies. We use the latest pedagogy and research to ensure that knowledge is up-to-date and embedded effectively. We provide regular opportunities for students to articulate their ideas verbally and improve their oracy and ability to ‘speak and think like a geographer’ and strive to ensure that every student has contributed verbally by the end of each lesson. We have fostered a supportive and positive environment where students feel comfortable and equipped to discuss and debate different geographical issues. Think-pair-share is used to facilitate collaborative learning and to encourage students to consider different perspectives.
What will you see in Geography books?
- A curriculum that builds on prior knowledge
- All students follow the same curriculum
- Responsive and adaptive teaching
- Challenge for all
- The use of a diverse range of case studies and examples to exemplify geographical concepts
- Targeted feedback to help move the learning forward
- Opportunities to think critically and consider challenges and opportunities
- Extended writing and exam practice
- Use of high level geographical vocabulary
What formative assessment will you see in Geography?
Questioning is firmly embedded in our practice and teachers use probing questions to assess students depth of understanding and encourage students to consider different perspectives and stakeholders. Low stakes quizzing, retrieval practice, mini whiteboards, cold-calling, hands-down questioning, hinge questions and exit tickets are just some of the strategies used throughout our lessons. Students also regularly complete exam practice questions and we use a combination of self-assessment and peer assessment as well as feedback from the teacher to assess understanding.
At the end of each topic, students complete a summative assessment that is marked by the teacher and feedback is given. Lesson time is then dedicated to responding to this feedback to ensure that students have an opportunity to improve their work and any misconceptions can be addressed.
What extra curricular is available in Geography?
We run trips for every year group to support theoretical content being studied in lessons. At KS4 students visit both a local ecosystem to assess how humans impact the local environment and they participate in a day trip to the London Docklands to evaluate the impacts of urban regeneration. At KS5, students complete a 4-day residential trip to Devon to complete their own independent investigation looking at a variety of topics from coastal processes shaping the beach at Slapton Sands to the formation of a sense of identity in Totnes.
We also run a regular programme of international trips to places such as the Azores, Iceland, and Sicily so that students can witness first-hand the content they have explored in the classroom.
Alongside trips, we also offer other extra-curricular opportunities. KS3 students can join our Global Citizens Club which runs every Thursday, exploring remote places and understanding the different geographical processes that affect them. At KS4, students are invited to attend our weekly Breakfast Club where we revisit content and complete exam practice questions so that they feel confident and prepared for their upcoming examinations. A-Level students also have the opportunity to attend lectures and talks at various local Geographical Institutions such as The Royal Geographical Society.