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Geography Department

Subject Outline / Aim

As Barack says, Geography isn't about memorising places on a map, it is about looking at the world from a physical and human perspective and being able to explain it.  At a time where the world is ever changing, it is about teaching students the art of analysis and interpretation, not to mention coming up with the solutions to change the world!

In geography we look at how where you live, could determine how long you live, how many GCSE's you will receive or even how many children you might have.  We learn to question the statistics and most importantly understand how we can change social mobility.  Now don't get me wrong, it's not all people, migration, and demographics.  We also need to understand how rivers change along its course, how will the UK manage its ever-increasing energy consumption and what we can do to minimise the global environmental impact.

So, if you choose to learn how things work, questions the status quo and be able to see how everything in the world is linked...Geography is the subject for you.

Holy Family Catholic School Geography Curriculum

'Together we step out in faith, knowing Christ is with us and united as a holy family.'


The Geography curriculum inspires a fascination in students about our world and its people. Geography provides pupils with a knowledge of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments. It enables students to develop a deep understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes allowing students to celebrate the opportunities and understand the challenges of a range of places. The curriculum ensures students can think like Geographers and use their valuable geographic knowledge to make sense of the world around them. This then allows them to take part in the geographical debates of today and tomorrow.


Geography is not just about learning where places are on a map. The role of the Geography department at Holy Family is to give students the skills to analyse, challenge and bring solutions to a wide range of topics that can be transferred to real life scenarios. Classes are open and honest and encourage discussion on hard hitting topics. Students will be challenged to stretch their learning and understanding of others through detailed case studies from around the world as well as local impacts on the environment, social impacts and economic challenges.

In Geography we strive for students to be articulate in the way in which they approach topics. They will learn to use a varied range of source materials and data to formulate their own views and arguments. With use of deeper questioning techniques, expanded reading and writing strategies they will be able to back up their opinions with sound relevant facts. In a world abundant with information at their fingertips, it's essential that we challenge misconceptions often brought into the classroom.

The Geography scheme of learning is coherently planned to give students the basic understanding of the world around them, covering a range of local and international topics to see how the world in which they live is intrinsically linked together. The topics, although placed into differing parts of the scheme of learning, continuously look back, develop hinterland knowledge, and see how everything around them is linked. For example, in Year 7 we start to look at how population and settlements change over time, then revisit this with case studies of the middle east and Rio. This theme will then be continued at KS4 as part of changing economic world.

Key vocabulary is used in every lesson and revisited by interleaving and cold calling. Often these basic steps are checked and tested through various homework assignments.  A mixture of formative and summative assessments are used, from using exam based questions, to producing a news broadcast explaining the impacts and responses to a natural disaster. All assessments are given back to students and given the opportunity to develop their own work and understanding on those areas they may have not grasped. All resources are planned and in a central location on the staff shared drive. These show the chosen order to deliver learning to the class as well as all additional resources required for differentiation and SEND support.


Students will not only leave Geography with a greater understand of the world around them, but also the skills to analyse and understand their own greater impacts. Geography is known as the "gateway" subject and can be used in many fields in later life, from flood engineers to bank managers. Students will have the confidence to understand data, challenge misconceptions and articulate their opinions. They will have a thirst for trying to understand why humans do the things they do as well as exploring the wider world around them.



KS3 is all about learning the skills you need to be an amazing Geographer. Year 7 starts off looking at one of our favourite resources at our disposal…MAPS!  This does not just look at normal A-Z maps, but OS maps as well as GIS or online maps to non-geographical humans!  We learn to read, interpret and draw our own scaled drawings in various differing guises. 

After the physical side of the course, we move onto Human Geography.  We look at how and why settlements are formed, how they change over time and working out how we can make Mega Cities better in the future.

After looking at where we are in the world we start to delve a little deeper into what affects you.  From the weather and climate around us, to the secret biomes that are found on our doorsteps.  You will never look at your local area the same again!

Topics Covered

  • Maps Skills
  • Ecosystems
  • Population and Settlement
  • Weather and Climate
  • Energy
  • Natural Hazards
  • China (as a case study)
  • Rivers & Coasts


Homework in KS3 varies for each topic.  It will usually take between 30-45 minutes per week.  Some of the homework is term based projects such as making your own exploding Volcano.  All of the homework is loaded onto so you can plan and see what has been set, as well as always written in your planner.

Learning Journey

The learning journey in KS3 is simple, it’s about awe and wonder. As you start your Geographical journey we give you the skills to start to interpret what is around you and how everything is interlinked.  You will find that the skills learnt in KS3 are constantly revisited under a different topic and it allows you to pick Geography for GCSE, confident you are KS4 ready.

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9


Assessment Information / Exams

At Holy Family Catholic High School we choose to follow the AQA GCSE specification. 

It combines 3 different papers,

Paper 1 is all about the physical Geography (90 Minutes).  It includes the following topics:

  • Living World
  • Rivers & Coasts
  • Tectonic Hazards
  • Weather and Climate

Paper 2 is all about Human Geography (90 Minutes).  It includes the following topics:

  • Changing Economic World
  • Urban Issues
  • Resource Management
  • Climate Change

Paper 3 (90 Minutes) is all about fieldwork and a decision based exercise.  As part of the course you will undertake 2 separate days of fieldwork as a minimum.  This at present includes looking at a river study (where yes you will have to get wet and climb in mountains). Alongside this we will also complete a human element, such as a Tourism flow study.

8 Weeks before your paper 3 we are sent a resource booklet that you will need to learn to be able to make a decision on the future of an area.  It is a real opportunity to showcase your analytical and interpretation ideas you have learnt during the course.

Learning Journey

KS4 is the natural progression from what you studied in KS3.  GCSE geography allows you to dig deeper into the synoptic links between topics to increase your hinterland knowledge of why we live the way we do and how we can shape the future. As well as the structured formal topics given to us by AQA, it allows you to really stretch your mind-set and skills on the world around you, as well as understanding the impacts of day to day life throughout the world.

Year 10

Year 11


As part of Geography we must include fieldwork! This is the point in the course where we go see the world in action.  It could be the local pond ecosystem, to climbing in the Yorkshire Dales to find the source and features of the upper course of the river. 

Alongside the GCSE fieldwork we plan (when not in covid restrictions) to visit the East coast to see differing geographical features and processes. As well as sampling the ice cream we will look at how the flow of town’s effects tourism and what can be done to improve the quality of an area.

As for “once in a lifetime” trips we have previously ran expeditions to Snowdonia and Sicily to see real volcanoes exploding in front of our eyes.  The next trip on the horizon is hopefully to the Azores!