|Head of department
|Mr S Zeglam
Having now become the most popular option subject for Year 9 students, our curriculum is steeped in academic challenge, cultural capital and academic excellence. In 2022, the Geography department at Hatcham College was awarded by The Royal Geographical Society the Award for Excellence in Geographical Learning, the outcome of exceptional performance in geographical examinations.Subject overview
Geography at Hatcham College aims to inspire students and staff to develop through the study of contemporary geographical issues. These include identification of endangered species in Year 7, studying colonialism and global commons in Year 8 and the synoptic links between geopolitics and environmental disasters in Year 9. By offering GCSE and A-level Geography to students, they are given a full opportunity to develop as geographers before reaching university.
In Key Stage 3, the curriculum has been re-created in 2023 to enable pupils to become knowledge experts whilst obtaining and practicing geographical skills that can be applicable to education and wider study. Increased breadth of geographical study is developed further at Key Stage 4 before culminating in Key Stage 5 with intellectual challenge, strong cultural capital and academic excellence.
Geography is a subject that connects all and so there has been clear and targeted planning of the curriculum so that students are able to make synoptic links between topics throughout KS3, 4 and into 5. This is undertaken through integrated regular retrieval practice, homework and revision practice to enable learners to perform to the best of their ability.
Embedded into the curriculum are regular opportunities to develop a love of Geography beyond the classroom with regular signposting of ‘Geography jobs’ and ‘Brilliants Books’ within each unit. In Geography we hold reading and literacy at the forefront to being good geographers and actively encourage students to read deeper into the subject through reading lists shared on the Firefly page and within the Learning Resource Centre.
Key Stage 3 Overview
Beginning in Year 7, students develop on their work in primary school Geography and start to ‘learn like a Geographer’. The topics studied by students in Year 7 are:
- Creating a Sustainable World;
- Ecosystems Interactions;
- Place study: Russia;
- Urban Interactions;
- Weather Processes; and
- Geographical Investigations.
These topics in Year 7 are underpinned by our threshold concepts to allow students to learn 21st century issues in the human and natural world and more importantly the interaction between them. Students learn cartographical skills, graphical skills and statistical skills, whilst being provided with the opportunity to carry out geographical fieldwork.
After developing their work in Year 7, students in Year 8 expand their minds further and begin to ‘think like a geographer’. The topics studied by students in Year 8 are:
- Changing Landscapes;
- Conflict & Peace;
- Place study: Middle East;
- Glacial Processes;
- Changing Coastlines; and
- Fighting Inequality.
At this point in their studies, students develop their knowledge of 21st century issues in both the human and natural world and more importantly the interaction between them. Threshold concepts and geographical skills begin to be efficiently applied by students to geographical challenges.
During Year 9, students further build on their knowledge in order to focus their understanding and begin to ‘study like a geographer’. The topics studied by students in Year 9 are:
- Place study: Africa;
- Changing Hazards;
- UK Great British Geography;
- Geographical Investigations; and
- Making Geographical Decisions.
At this point in their studies students continue their development of 21st century issues and begin forming conclusions on the extent to which the human and natural worlds interact.
Key Stage 4 Overview
During Year 10, students begin work towards their Edexcel B Geography GCSE and recall their knowledge and skills gained from Key Stage 3. The topics studied by students in Year 10 are:
- The Challenges of an Urbanising World (Paper 1);
- The UK's Physical Landscape (Paper 2);
- The UK's Human Landscape (Paper 2); and
- Geographical Investigations (Paper 2).
Students will be developing their cartographic, graphical and statistical skills further in combination with the ability to critically evaluate geographical concepts, in order to ‘apply themselves as geographers’ in the future. As students enter Year 11 they continue working towards their Edexcel B Geography GCSE learning what it means to ‘achieve like a geographer’. The topics studied by students in Year 11 are:
- Development Dynamics (Paper 1);
- Hazardous Earth (Paper 1);
- People and the Biosphere (Paper 3);
- Forests under Threat (Paper 3); and
- Consuming Energy Resources (Paper 3).
Key Stage 5 Overview
During Year 12 and Year 13 students work towards their Edexcel Geography A Level, recalling their knowledge and skills gained from KS3 & KS4. Students begin to ‘connect like geographers’ before they ultimately ‘see the world like geographers’. Understanding of Geography is obtained through the study of the following topics:
- Tectonic Processes and Hazards;
- Coastal Landscapes and Change;
- The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity;
- The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security;
- Regenerating Places;
- Superpowers; and
- Migration, Identify And Sovereignty.
Students complete a non-examined assessment through an independent fieldwork investigation.
Students further develop their cartographic, graphical and statistical skills further in combination with the ability to critically evaluate geographical concepts through a wide variety of case-studies. By the end of the course, students should have learnt to make synoptic connections between knowledge gained across the course, ready for an undergraduate degree in Geography.
How is this subject assessed:
We assess students’ ability over time, with improvement in mind to ensure that students feel that assessment is a celebration of success and not a frightening prospect in the classroom as we advocate maximum effort and deep thinking above all else.
Students complete formal Pre-Public Examinations as part of the whole-school Pre-Public Examination timetable. In addition to these summative assessments, students regularly complete a wide variety of formative assessments to develop their ability to recall and apply knowledge accordingly, touching on topics of the past, present and future. This is done both inside and outside of lesson through low-stakes quizzes and Seneca retrieval.
Students receive feedback once per half term through the marking of one Quality Marked Piece within their book, in addition to regular in class live marking and verbal questioning. At Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students also receive written feedback to exam questions carried out as part of homework.
How does this subject fulfil SMSC needs
Social: Geography introduces students to the diversity of cultures, societies, and communities around the world. Through a Hatcham curriculum that studies different countries and regions students develop an understanding and appreciation of social diversity. Furthermore the use of fieldwork encourages students to engage with their local communities, fostering a sense of social responsibility.
Moral: Moral issues are a vital part of many of the topics covered in Geography. Hatcham Geography Curriculum aims to raise awareness about environmental issues and ethical dilemmas
related to resource use, climate change and conservation. It encourages students to think about their moral responsibilities toward the planet and future generations. Furthermore our exploration of issues related to social justice, such as inequality, poverty, and human rights violations encourages students to think critically about these issues.
Spiritual: The study of Geography is promoting a sense of wonder and fascination with the physical and human world. An understanding of scale is an important aspect of Geography and how small changes in climate can have far-reaching consequences. Pupils develop an understanding that all life is linked together and create the processes that make Earth the only known inhabited planet. Pupils reflect on the long and short term impacts noting the rights and wrongs linking into the value of justice. The value of stewardship is covered looking at reduce, reuse and recycle.
Cultural: Geography at Hatcham promotes an understanding of different cultures, traditions, and languages. It encourages students to appreciate and respect cultural diversity, which is essential for their cultural development. Geography often involves the study of historical sites, monuments, and the impact of human activities on landscapes. This intends to help students connect with their own cultural heritage and history.
How does the subject challenge more able pupils and High Prior Attainers?
The Geography curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of all students so they develop their knowledge, skills and abilities in Geography. Geography teachers at Hatcham utilise a wide range of learning approaches in the subject to set suitable learning challenges, respond to students’ diverse needs and overcome potential barriers to learning.
All teachers within the department are expected to have sufficiently high expectations for all learners, with this regularly monitored through Quality Assurance by the Head of Department. This is undertaken through lesson scans, work scrutiny and termly student voice.
Students are challenged regularly and are encouraged to consider some of the big geographical ideas though the use of NEXT and THEN tasks in all lessons.
What provision is made for pupils with SEND?
Teaching within the Geography department at Hatcham consistently aims to avoid presenting pupils with SEND with an oversimplified and dull Geography. Instead, they are provided a rich Geography curriculum that excites, engages and includes all students. Unnecessarily complex geographical terminology is stripped back to ensure an understanding that enables SEND students to access the curriculum.
Quality first teaching ensures SEND pupils receive wave one interventions in class. This may include scaffolded work, differentiated delivery, all pupils set appropriately challenging targets through visual cues, structured routines and writing frames. Written and spoken instructions are presented in a way that enables all pupils to access the curriculum.
Enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities
Students are provided with a range of compulsory and non-compulsory trips. At GCSE students visits Seaford on the south-coast and Stratford as part of two days of fieldwork, whilst A Level students
visit Southwold in Norfolk for three days. A Level students additionally at Hatcham visit the Migration Museum, Museum of London Docklands and Queen Mary University of London.
At Key Stage 3 fieldwork opportunities have been embedded into the curriculum, whilst regular competitions at this Key Stage aims to foster a passion and love of Geography.
GCSE Booster Club occurs weekly at lunchtime, with this an opportunity to recap, revise or catch up with the GCSE Geography course through a range of subject knowledge-based activities and exam technique practice. These lunchtime sessions involve exam practice, providing time to talk through how to approach each question and how to formulate the best answers.