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St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School

St Thomas More
Catholic Secondary School

Year 7 

Curriculum Intention:

By the end of year 7 we want pupils to be inspired by developing their sense of awe and wonder at the beauty and diversity of our global world. To this end we start off the year by learning about tectonic hazards, with a focus on earthquakes and volcanoes. The diversity of the continent of Africa is studied in the spring term, and coasts and map skills in the summer term.

At the end of year 7 pupils will have a secure base of geographical knowledge and understanding from which to build on at GCSE. They should be able to have a knowledge and an understanding of key geographical concepts. For instance, the SOW helps pupils understand how processes are key to explaining what the Earth is like and why it is changing. In the first term pupils are taught the structure of the earth, earth processes and the dynamic nature of physical landforms. They learn to appreciate the interrelationship between people and physical processes such as how volcanic eruptions and earthquakes affect both people and the physical landscape. They are encouraged to recognise and understand that there are numerous natural and human patterns found on Earth and these are not random. For example, they can describe the pattern of where earthquakes are found globally and provide explanations for this pattern.

This is consolidated further in the spring term when pupils study how the physical geography of Africa, with a further study of Ghana, has created both challenges and opportunities for the continent, and how the history of colonialism had further exacerbated the challenges. In the summer term the pupils gain an understanding of the interrelationship between coastal processes, coastal landforms and the livelihoods of people who live along the coast.

Opportunities for the pupils to develop their evaluation skills are embedded through decision-making activities throughout the SOW. For instance, in the Africa unit, the pupils decide how the Nile waters should be shared amongst the countries it flows through. In the coastal unit, the pupils work in groups to decide how best to spend a limited budget on coastal defences. The pupils are encouraged to interpret and evaluate the information given to them to make judgements that they then need to justify. They are encouraged to appreciate that it is important to understand that a range of perspectives exist on an issue to be able to find the most appropriate solution.

A vital skill for GCSE is understanding how to interpret and use OS maps. The final unit of work in the summer term is on OS map skills. Their understanding of maps and the confidence they’ve gained in this unit is shown through their design of a map challenge.

Curriculum Implementation:

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept 2nd - Oct 14th

Tectonic Hazards

Jan 6th – 10th Feb

Africa

20th April – 18th May

Coasts

Half term

Half term

Half term

Oct 28th – Dec 16th

Tectonic Hazards

24th Feb – 30th March

Africa

1st June – 13th July

Map Skills

Christmas Holidays

Easter Holidays

Summer Holidays

 

Outcomes:

Pupils’ progress in year 7 will be assessed and reported as either Exceeding (EXC), Expected (EXP), or Working Towards (WTS) against success criteria that have been set for specific tasks carried out in class. The tasks that are assessed cover key strands such as cartographic skills, graphical skills, knowledge and understanding of physical and human processes, and the ability to come to a conclusion.

Assessment of work will be carried out regularly by either peer or teacher and their progress reported once a term as either Exceeding (EXC), Expected (EXP), or Working Towards (WTS).  Clear guidelines on how to improve their work is given with dedicated time given to improve their work and attempt challenge tasks.

In the summer term, an End of Year Tracking test will be completed and will represent the opportunity for a detailed assessment on pupil’s ability to apply knowledge.

Employability skills:

The SOW encourages reasoning, evaluation of information and the appreciation of different stakeholder views.

Group work is encouraged to help the students work effectively as part of a team.

The SOW further challenges stereotype views in the Africa unit.

Year 8 

Curriculum Intention:

By the end of year 8 we want pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding of the complex and dynamically changing world of which they are part to allow them to make sense of the world in which they live. As a result of our curriculum, pupils will become global citizens willing to explore their own place in the world, their values and their responsibilities to other people and the environment.

To this end we start off the year by learning about weather and climate, with a focus on the UK to begin with and then extreme climates and weather hazards around the world. Development and globalisation is studied in the spring term, and Incredible India in the summer term.

At the end of year 8 pupils will build on the secure base of geographical knowledge and understanding from year 7 and from which to build on at GCSE. Knowledge and understanding of key geographical concepts are further developed. For instance, weather processes are studied with a detailed look at air pressure, types of rainfall and the reasons behind the UK’s unpredictable weather. This is consolidated in the India unit in which the formation of the monsoon is studied. This allows the students to make links between topics and appreciate that a good geographer does not only study topics in isolation but tries to make connections between them. This synopticity is further encouraged in the Development and Globalisation unit wherein pupils study both the human and physical factors causing disparities in development across the world. Concepts learnt in this unit, such as birth rate and death rate, are further consolidated in the India unit through the study of population pyramids and population control.

Carrying on from year 7, pupils learn to appreciate the interrelationship between people and the environment. For instance, they learn how people survive in extreme climates in the autumn term; in the spring term, they learn about Guatemala and how both physical and human factors have led to its weak economy; and in the summer term, they learn about how economic development has meant that the Ganges is severely polluted.

Building on from year 7, opportunities for the pupils to develop their evaluation skills are embedded through decision-making activities throughout the SOW. For instance, in the weather and climate unit, the pupils decide to what extent extreme climate provide opportunities for people; in the Development and Globalisation unit, the pupils work in groups to decide where to locate a factory in the UK; and in the India unit, the pupils complete a slum improvement plan using a limited budget.

A vital skill for GCSE is developing an enquiry question and collecting data to either prove or disprove a hypothesis. In the weather and climate unit, the pupils are introduced to the process of carrying out a geographical investigation and developing the skills of collecting, presenting and analysing data.

Curriculum Implementation:

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept 2nd - Oct 14th

Weather and climate

Jan 6th – 10th Feb

Development and Globalisation

20th April – 18th May

India

Half term

Half term

Half term

Oct 28th – Dec 16th

Weather and climate

24th Feb – 30th March

Development and Globalisation

1st June – 13th July

India

Christmas Holidays

Easter Holidays

Summer Holidays

 

Outcomes:

Pupils’ progress in year 7 will be assessed and reported as either Exceeding (EXC), Expected (EXP), or Working Towards (WTS) against success criteria that have been set for specific tasks carried out in class. The tasks that are assessed cover key strands such as cartographic skills, graphical skills, knowledge and understanding of physical and human processes, the ability to come to a conclusion and synopticity.

Assessment of work will be carried out regularly by either peer or teacher and their progress reported once a term as either Exceeding (EXC), Expected (EXP), or Working Towards (WTS).  Clear guidelines on how to improve their work is given with dedicated time given to improve their work and attempt challenge tasks.

In the summer term, an End of Year Tracking test will be completed and will represent the opportunity for a detailed assessment on pupil’s ability to apply knowledge.

Employability skills:

The SOW encourages reasoning, evaluation of information and making decisions that need to be justified.

The weather fieldwork introduces the pupils to careful planning and analysing of numerical data.

Group work is encouraged to help the students work effectively as part of a team.

Year 9 

Curriculum Intention:

In year 9 the pupils further develop their growing knowledge about the world by deepening their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes. The key skills embedded in the years 7 and 8 schemes of work (such as cartographic skills, graphical skills, knowledge and understanding of physical and human processes, the ability to come to a conclusion and synopticity) are further developed throughout year 9 in preparation for GCSE.

In the autumn term pupils learn about volcanic hazards, disease dilemmas, and the Deepwater horizon disaster in 2010. The topics taught in this first term are relevant and modern in today’s ever-changing world. For instance, pupils are encouraged to understand the effects of economic development on consumption patterns (and obesity) and the thirst for fossil fuels. The study of malaria in the disease topic links concepts such as development, natural disasters and both physical and human factors linked to the spread of diseases. The volcano unit allows pupils to assess how varying levels of wealth sometimes determine the severity of a natural hazard.

The examination offered in KS4 is the AQA Geography GCSE. In the spring and summer terms, the pupils start the GCSE topics of Resource Management and the Living World respectively.

Curriculum Implementation:

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept 2nd - Oct 14th

Volcanoes and Disease

Jan 6th – 10th Feb

Resource Management

20th April – 18th May

Living World

Half term

Half term

Half term

Oct 28th – Dec 16th

Disease and Deep-Water Horizon

24th Feb – 30th March

Resource Management

1st June – 13th July

Living World

Christmas Holidays

Easter Holidays

Summer Holidays

 

Outcomes:

In year 9 pupil progress is assessed and recorded as 9-1 in line with the GCSE grading. Feedback is given to pupils when knowledge, understanding and evaluation are being applied in examination questions. To this end, peer marking, self-marking, checklists, RAG sheets as well as teacher marking are used to assess progress.

GCSE exam-style questions will be used to assess progress and to equip the pupils with the confidence to tackle the varying types of questions in the GCSE exam.

Tracking tests will be completed once a term and represent the opportunity for detailed feedback on pupil’s ability to apply knowledge and understanding.  Feedback on shorter questions (multiple choice) can be completed by self/peers as a whole class.  Longer mark questions are marked by the teacher and feedback given on a question by question basis.  Pupils are given the opportunity to respond to the marking at this point to show ability to close gaps when applying knowledge. The correct use of geographical terminology will also be assessed.

Employability skills:

The SOW encourages reasoning, evaluation of information and making decisions that need to be justified.

Independent study of units and revision of a content-heavy curriculum builds important skills such as time management, development of responsibility and coping with uncertainty.

Year 10 

Curriculum Intention:

In Year 10 the pupils continue to study the AQA GCSE specification (8035).

The qualification covers a mixture of both physical and human geography as well as an enquiry. The course covers many exciting and engaging topics that are relevant to the modern age such extreme weather events in the UK, tectonic hazards and tropical storms, the importance of cities like London and Rio de Janeiro, and the growing economic importance of countries like Nigeria. The specification has a particular focus on the UK in terms of its physical landscape; the cultural and economic importance of its cities; and the social and economic inequalities within cities and across the UK. The pupils complete the course with a deeper understanding of the geography of the UK and its global and regional importance.

The parts of the specification that are covered in year 10 are those highlighted in bold below:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment 

  • Section A - The challenge of natural hazards – Tectonic Hazards, Weather Hazards and Climate Change. (Summer term)
  • Section B - The Living World – Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests and Hot Deserts (Year 9) 
  • Section C - UK Physical Landscapes, Coasts and Rivers (Autumn term)

Paper 2: Living with the human environment 

  • Section A - Urban Issues and Challenges – The Urban World (Rio de Janeiro), Urban change in the UK (London), Sustainable urban development (London) (Autumn and Spring term)
  • Section B - The Changing Economic World – The Development Gap, Nigeria (NEE), The changing UK economy. 
  • Section C - The challenge of resource management – Energy, food and water management (Year 9)

Paper 3: Geographical Applications and Skills 

  • Issue evaluation and fieldwork (Summer term)
  • Physical Geography fieldwork: River Kym (Summer term)
  • Human Geography fieldwork: Bedford study (Summer term)

Curriculum Implementation:

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept 2nd - Oct 14th

UK Physical Landscapes

Jan 6th – 10th Feb

Urban

20th April – 18th May

Urban and Hazards

Half term

Half term

Half term

Oct 28th – Dec 16th

UK Physical Landscapes and Urban

24th Feb – 30th March

Urban

1st June – 13th July

Fieldwork and Hazards

Christmas Holidays

Easter Holidays

Summer Holidays

 

Outcomes:

In year 10 pupil progress is assessed and recorded as 9-1 in line with the GCSE grading. Feedback is given to pupils when knowledge, understanding and evaluation are being applied in examination questions. To this end, peer marking, self-marking, checklists, RAG sheets as well as teacher marking are used to assess progress.

GCSE exam-style questions will be used to assess progress and to equip the pupils with the confidence to tackle the varying types of questions in the GCSE exam.

Tracking tests will be completed once a term and represent the opportunity for detailed feedback on pupil’s ability to apply knowledge and understanding.  Feedback on shorter questions (multiple choice) can be completed by self/peers as a whole class.  Longer mark questions are marked by the teacher and feedback given on a question by question basis.  Pupils are given the opportunity to respond to the marking at this point to show ability to close gaps when applying knowledge. The correct use of geographical terminology will also be assessed.

Employability skills:

Independent study of units and revision of a content-heavy curriculum builds important skills such as time management, development of responsibility and coping with uncertainty.

Transferable skills such as teamwork when carrying out the compulsory fieldwork.

Analytical skills from analysing and interpreting fieldwork data

Intellectual skills from evaluating and making justified judgements.

Year 11 

Curriculum Intention:

In Year 11 the pupils continue to study the AQA GCSE specification (8035). The parts of the specification that are covered in year 11 are those highlighted in bold below:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment 

  • Section A - The challenge of natural hazards – Tectonic Hazards, Weather Hazards and Climate Change. (Autumn term)
  • Section B - The Living World – Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests and Hot Deserts (Year 9) 
  • Section C - UK Physical Landscapes, Coasts and Rivers (Year 10)

Paper 2: Living with the human environment 

  • Section A - Urban Issues and Challenges – The Urban World (Rio de Janeiro), Urban change in the UK (London), Sustainable urban development (London) (Year 10)
  • Section B - The Changing Economic World – The Development Gap, Nigeria (NEE), The changing UK economy (Autumn/Spring term)
  • Section C - The challenge of resource management – Energy, food and water management (Year 9)

Paper 3: Geographical Applications and Skills 

  • Issue evaluation and fieldwork (Summer term)
  • Physical Geography fieldwork: River Kym (Year 10)
  • Human Geography fieldwork: Bedford study (Year 10)

Curriculum Implementation:

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept 2nd - Oct 14th

Hazards

Jan 6th – 10th Feb

Economic World

20th April – 18th May

Issue Evaluation and Revision

Half term

Half term

Half term

Oct 28th – Dec 16th

Hazards and Economic World

24th Feb – 30th March Revision

1st June – 13th July

Christmas Holidays

Easter Holidays

Summer Holidays

 

Outcomes:

In year 11 pupil progress is assessed and recorded as 9-1 in line with the GCSE grading. Feedback is given to pupils when knowledge, understanding and evaluation are being applied in examination questions. To this end, peer marking, self-marking, checklists, RAG sheets as well as teacher marking are used to assess progress.

GCSE exam-style questions will be used to assess progress and to equip the pupils with the confidence to tackle the varying types of questions in the GCSE exam.

Tracking tests will be completed once a term and represent the opportunity for detailed feedback on pupil’s ability to apply knowledge and understanding.  Feedback on shorter questions (multiple choice) can be completed by self/peers as a whole class.  Longer mark questions are marked by the teacher and feedback given on a question by question basis.  Pupils are given the opportunity to respond to the marking at this point to show ability to close gaps when applying knowledge. The correct use of geographical terminology will also be assessed.

Employability skills:

Independent study of units and revision of a content-heavy curriculum builds important skills such as time management, development of responsibility and coping with uncertainty.

Transferable skills such as teamwork when carrying out the compulsory fieldwork.

Analytical skills from analysing and interpreting fieldwork data

Intellectual skills from evaluating and making justified judgements.

Year 12 

Curriculum Intention:

In Year 12 the pupils follow the OCR A-level specification (H481). The parts of the specification that are covered in year 12 are those highlighted in bold below:

Component 01: Physical systems

There are two topics:

  • Landscape systems
    Students will explore how the landscape can be viewed as a system, how landforms developed within their chosen landscape and the influences of both climate and human activity on this. Students develop an understanding of landscape systems by studying one of the following options:
    • Option A: Coastal landscapes (Year 12)
  • Earth's life support systems
    Students will explore how important water and carbon are to life on earth through their cycling, stores and processes. The influence of human activity is explored through the tropical rainforest and arctic tundra. Physical changes in these cycles occur over time at a range of scales as well as global management strategies to protect these cycles. (Years 12 and 13)

Component 02: Human interaction

Students develop a picture of how the world around them is shaped by humans, starting from the local and moving out to regional, national and international scales. There are two topics:

  • Changing spaces; making places. Students explore the relationships and connections between people, the economy, and society and how these contribute to creating places. (Years 12 and 13)
  • Global connections. Students explore the processes and flows that occur at a global level, and the ways in which these influence people, places and institutions. They must choose one option from global systems and one option from global governance.
    • Global systems
      • Option A: Trade in the contemporary world
      • Option B: Global migration (Year 12)
    • Global governance
      • Option C: Human rights
      • Option D: Power and borders (Year 12)

Through case studies students will build up a picture of how the world around them is shaped, the complexities associated within this and the resulting issues for people.

Component 03: Geographical debates

Students study two topics in-depth, gaining an understanding of the issues and reflecting critically on them. The topics are:

  • Disease dilemmas
  • Hazardous Earth

Component 04/05: Investigative geography (Year 12 – Summer term)

Students carry out an independent investigation into an area of particular interest to them, related to any aspect of the specification. They produce a written report of around 3000 to 4000 words. Through their investigation students develop the following valuable transferable skills:

  • The structure and enquiry process
  • Extended writing
  • Innovation in investigating and presenting data
  • Self-directed study
  • Research techniques
  • Making synoptic links between the real world, geographical theory, the learner’s own research and the specification.

Curriculum Implementation:

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept 2nd - Oct 14th

Coastal Landscapes

Global Migration

Powers and Borders

Jan 6th – 10th Feb

Earth Life Support System

Changing Spaces, Making Places

20th April – 18th May

Earth Life Support System

Changing Spaces, Making Places

NEA

Half term

Half term

Half term

Oct 28th – Dec 16th

Coastal Landscapes

Global Migration

Powers and Borders

24th Feb – 30th March

Earth Life Support System

Changing Spaces, Making Places

1st June – 13th July

Earth Life Support System

Changing Spaces, Making Places

NEA

Christmas Holidays

Easter Holidays

Summer Holidays

 

Outcomes:

In year 12 pupil progress is assessed and recorded as A-E in line with the grading at A’level

A’level exam-style questions will be used to assess progress at regular intervals.

Employability skills:

Lots of independent study of units and revision of a content-heavy curriculum builds important skills such as time management, development of responsibility and coping with uncertainty.

Transferable skills such as teamwork when carrying out the compulsory fieldwork.

Analytical skills from analysing and interpreting fieldwork data

Intellectual skills from evaluating and making justified judgements.

Year 13 

Curriculum Intention:

In Year 13 the pupils continue to follow the OCR A-level specification (H481).

The parts of the specification that are covered in year 13 are those highlighted in bold below:

Component 01: Physical systems

There are two topics:

  • Landscape systems
    Students will explore how the landscape can be viewed as a system, how landforms developed within their chosen landscape and the influences of both climate and human activity on this. Students develop an understanding of landscape systems by studying one of the following options:
    • Option A: Coastal landscapes (Year 12)
  • Earth's life support systems
    Students will explore how important water and carbon are to life on earth through their cycling, stores and processes. The influence of human activity is explored through the tropical rainforest and arctic tundra. Physical changes in these cycles occur over time at a range of scales as well as global management strategies to protect these cycles. (Years 12 and 13)

Component 02: Human interaction

Students develop a picture of how the world around them is shaped by humans, starting from the local and moving out to regional, national and international scales. There are two topics:

  • Changing spaces; making places. Students explore the relationships and connections between people, the economy, and society and how these contribute to creating places. (Years 12 and 13)
  • Global connections. Students explore the processes and flows that occur at a global level, and the ways in which these influence people, places and institutions. They must choose one option from global systems and one option from global governance.
    • Global systems
      • Option A: Trade in the contemporary world
      • Option B: Global migration (Year 12)
    • Global governance
      • Option C: Human rights
      • Option D: Power and borders (Year 12)

Through case studies students will build up a picture of how the world around them is shaped, the complexities associated within this and the resulting issues for people.

Component 03: Geographical debates

Students study two of the topics in-depth, gaining an understanding of the issues and reflecting critically on them. The topics are:

  • Disease dilemmas (Year 13)
  • Hazardous Earth (Year 13)

Component 04/05: Investigative geography (Year 12 – Summer term)

Students carry out an independent investigation into an area of particular interest to them, related to any aspect of the specification. They produce a written report of around 3000 to 4000 words. Through their investigation students develop the following valuable transferable skills:

  • The structure and enquiry process
  • Extended writing
  • Innovation in investigating and presenting data
  • Self-directed study
  • Research techniques
  • Making synoptic links between the real world, geographical theory, the learner’s own research and the specification.

Curriculum Implementation:

Autumn

Spring

Summer

Sept 2nd - Oct 14th

Disease Dilemmas

Hazardous Earth

Jan 6th – 10th Feb

Disease Dilemmas

Hazardous Earth

20th April – 18th May

Revision

Half term

Half term

Half term

Oct 28th – Dec 16th

Disease Dilemmas

Hazardous Earth

24th Feb – 30th March

Revision

1st June – 13th July

Christmas Holidays

Easter Holidays

Summer Holidays

 

Outcomes:

In year 13 pupil progress is assessed and recorded as A-E in line with the grading at A’level

A’level exam-style questions will be used to assess progress at regular intervals.

Employability skills:

Lots of independent study of units and revision of a content-heavy curriculum builds important skills such as time management, development of responsibility and coping with uncertainty.

Transferable skills such as teamwork when carrying out the compulsory fieldwork.

Analytical skills from analysing and interpreting fieldwork data

Intellectual skills from evaluating and making justified judgements.