Loreto College St Albans

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The aim of the Geography curriculum is to open the doors to our dynamic world and prepare all of our pupils for the role of global citizens in the 21st century. We encourage our pupils to be agents of social change in their local community and beyond. We want our pupils to appreciate how places and landscapes are formed, how people and environments interact, what consequences arise from our everyday decisions, and what a diverse range of cultures and societies exist and interconnect. We firmly believe we deliver this through the range of topics studied and by, at all times, encouraging our pupils to become independent learners whatever their ability. In Year 7 Tectonic hazards ignite pupil’s interest in the subject. They start to understand some of the physical processes that operate on our planet and the interaction between these and people. A study of India gives them an insight into a very different culture and an acceptance of different ways of life, as well as knowing how we are connected in an increasingly interdependent world.

With sustainability at the forefront of our geographical curriculum, Year 8 successfully develops pupils understanding of the complex and often damaging relationship between man and our planet, and how sustainability can be achieved. Their understanding is developed through an in-depth study of rainforests which develops their understanding of scale by considering local, national and global issues – a theme which runs throughout the GCSE and particularly the A Level course. This element of the course focuses on developing pupil’s skills in resolving issues around conflict, a skill that is continued into the Rivers and Flooding topic. They then study the challenges and opportunities in the Urban Environment of London. This not only gives them an understanding of place, which underpins the work on London at GCSE, but further extends their ability to critically analyse issues around conflict and form well developed arguments based on factual information, a key skill required in Geographical Applications at GCSE.

Throughout year 9 pupils encounter different societies and cultures though the topics of Development, Africa and Global Fashion. Much of the content encourages pupils to think about their place in the world, their values and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment, all of which is fundamental to the sustainable future development in our world. It also helps them to understand how nations rely on each other and the importance of dynamic global relationships  Again they develop an understanding of the many challenges we face within these topics but also the opportunities that can arise to improve people’s lives such as the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The geographical understanding and skills developed throughout KS3 enable a smooth and confident transition into GCSE. The AQA syllabus studied gives pupils an equal balance of Physical and Human Geography, as well as a balance of traditional geography topics such as tectonic hazards, coasts and rivers to more diverse topics such as the economic developed of NEE’s and resource management. A key focus of the syllabus is understanding the key opportunities and challenges facing the world further developing their understanding that has been firmly embedded at KS3. The course is more than just enabling pupils to gain an academic qualification but equipping them to become more sustainable global citizens, with the skills to address the issues affecting their lives. This is supported by always allowing pupils the opportunity to articulate their views. As teachers this is what we feel most passionately about.

The AQA course at A level is also equally divided between Human and Physical Geography, however pupils synoptic skills are developed as they gain the ability to further draw the interaction between the 2 elements together. The topics covered enhance some of their previous understanding including Coasts and Urban Environments, but also extend them with new topics such as Water and Carbon and Global Systems and Governance. The topics covered helps pupils to better understand the places we live in, why they matter and how they are connected to a globalised world.

Geography Curriculum Maps