The Department of Geography strives to equip students with essential skills to be able to go out into the world as confident, informed and responsible citizens with the knowledge required to create a sustainable future in local, national and global contexts. Geography itself refers to writing about the world, and has its origins in Ancient Greek (geo meaning earth and graphy meaning to write).
In geography, students will engage in a quest to understand how the earth and its resources interact, whilst applying these ideas to a broad and balanced range of geographical case studies. Lessons at Armfield Academy will develop a range of different skills, with students being transported to other parts of the world whilst understanding where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time. Students will also explore technological advances within field settings and hone their ability to apply this knowledge to a wide range of contexts both within geography and across the whole-school curriculum.
The structured and sequential learning journey of students in geography, alongside the high expectations of staff within the department, will ignite their inner passion and inspire their ability to make lasting and permanent change for future generations in all potential career avenues. All students will be encouraged to become reflective and responsible global citizens with an awareness of place and space in relation to the rapidly evolving world around them and geography will help students to ‘go beyond the limits of their personal experience’ (Enser, Powerful Geography, 2021) to be the very best that they can be.
EYFS: In EYFS, students will begin their geography journey at Armfield Academy by drawing upon their own experiences of the world around them. Students will begin to explore the key features of their own lives, and that of other groups in other parts of the world. Students will also begin to use maps to help them to understand the wider world and develop a rudimentary sense of place and space.
KS1: In Key Stage 1, students will consolidate and extend upon the skills developed in EYFS. Students will be introduced to key skills such as compass direction, key knowledge such as the names of continents and they will begin to understand the country in which they live. Students will also begin to develop an understanding of the differences between human and physical features and contrast their immediate environment and surroundings to other areas of the world, focusing on how their climate may be different to that of other areas.
KS2: As students progress into Key Stage 2, they will begin to construct a further layer of skills, building outwards from their circle of comfort, looking further afield to continents beyond their own. However, students will still be expected to make links between their own lives and environments and that of other areas and biomes. Students will complete fieldwork within the local area, using technology at their disposal to develop further confidence to think and behave like geographers, before moving onto secondary school.
KS3: In Key Stage 3, students will develop their ability to question and analyse their immediate surroundings (such the close proximity of the coast) and establish links between their own human and physical environments building on what they have learnt during their primary experiences of geography. All lessons will encourage students to access higher-level thinking skills and decision making which will help to prepare for the rigour of Key Stage 4 and beyond. Geography will challenge students to become well-rounded individuals who are able to consider different points of view with empathy and understanding at a crucial time in the world’s continued development.
KS4: Students who opt for GCSE geography will be following the AQA syllabus, where they will study an equal mix of both human and physical units which will be examined in the form of three examination papers at the end of Year 11. The course is divided as follows:
- Paper 1 – Living with the Physical Environment.
- Paper 2 – Challenges in the Human Environment.
- Paper 3 – Geographical Applications.
Students will also be required to complete fieldwork on two separate occasions. Students who study geography at GCSE will be able to move onto a wide range of post-16 courses and qualifications as the skills that they learn during the course are highly transferable and desirable by employers. Furthermore, each year group will be offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities to supplement what they are engaging with throughout the curriculum.
“The study of Geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It is about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it's about using all of this knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together.”