Geography Curriculum Intent

“Geography is the subject that holds the key to the future”

[Sir Michael Palin]

Geography is all around us and is ever changing. An understanding of geography is essential if we are to understand our place in the world and engage in lifelong conversations about earth as our home. Studying geography develops a sense of true citizenship and, through their experience of geography, our students gain an deep understanding of, and develop a sense of responsibility towards, their local, national and global communities. Geography nurtures curiosity and wonder about the world, exposing our students to the rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, places, and environments. Geography enables our students to connect with space and place and better understand the world in different contexts, and their place within it. Through geography, students come to realise the interconnection between countries and nations and this truly broadens their horizons, building an awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity. Sir Michael Palin received his knighthood for services to geography and this curriculum has been influenced by his thirst to experience a diversity of cultures through travel, virtual as well as physical. Our students will also gain a sense of wanderlust and recognise their role as custodians of the planet, utilising their geographical knowledge to make the world a better place.

Here at The Suthers School, we aim to deliver an ambitious, knowledge-rich and intellectually challenging geography curriculum. We are committed to developing inquisitive, life-long learners who are confident reading, writing, and conversing knowledgeably about geography, whatever the context or medium. They will exhibit both academic and emotional intellect, displaying compassion, empathy and enthusiasm. Our curriculum design not only reflects the demands of the National Curriculum for geography but has been informed by educational research. Lesson delivery follows a direct instruction approach and was inspired by the use of fertile questions, as suggested by geographer Mark Enser in his book ‘Making Every Geography Lesson Count ’. This is reflected in the manner in which we introduce our students to the ‘bigger picture’, using enquiry-based questions. This approach enables our students to navigate the worlds of both physical and human geography and, in doing so, recognise and understand the intrinsic connections between the two.

The Suthers geography curriculum empowers students by:

Equipping our students with a deep and rich knowledge and understanding of the geographical processes that have, and continue to, shape our planet.

Developing a conceptual understanding of both physical and human geography and how these interact to better appreciate place, space and the environment.

Imparting scientific fact through the study of theoretical approaches and be mindful of factfullness.

Comparing and contrasting the developed and developing world; ‘pause points’ allow students to ‘zoom in’ and ‘zoom out’ and explore geography on a local, national and international scale

Engaging students through a series of carefully sequenced, geographically-valid and progressively complex ‘fertile’ enquiry questions and hypothesis’.

Building schema that will strengthen connections within geography, but also unlock the content of other qualifications and subjects.

Promoting high levels of literacy, numeracy and oracy by honing in on geographical language and grammar and encouraging students to think, write and speak like a geographer.

Providing students with the intellectual tools they need to make better decisions about our planet than previous generations have done. This will encourage them to behave in a more responsible and informed way towards our planet and put pressure on the decision makers for the benefit of our planet.

Developing a thirst for learning that continues beyond the classroom and expands horizons; through ‘Read it, Watch it, View it’ we direct students to pursue independent enquiries and interests and complete fieldwork.

Supporting the core values of the Suthers School by acknowledging and rewarding:

Tenacity: through exploring and questioning the processes that shape our planet and people.

Optimism: using their gained knowledge to make the world a better place through understanding of global issues.

Respect: through subsequent actions based on learning that encourages more sustainable lifestyles and understanding their place as a custodian of the planet.

Curiosity: by asking how and why? Learning from the past to inform the future.

Hard Work: ensuring their studies help them to become active citizens within their own communities as well as the wider world.

To access the curriculum plans for each year group, please use the links at the side of this page.

If a year group link is not available you can contact our Geography Team at where they will get back to you with further information.

May 2022


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