"Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future."

- Michael Palin

The Geography department plays an important role in ensuring that exploration is at the heart of curriculum. Students delve into the human and natural phenomena that occurs around them locally and globally. Our students mature into well rounded beings who are socially, economically, politically and environmentally aware.

Geography Department Objectives

Geography at Aylward Academy inspires students to learn more about the beautiful, yet increasingly complex world that we live in. By using ‘big ideas’ and a mastery approach we encourage students to ‘think geographically’, so that they may confidently apply core knowledge and skills to different contexts. As an enquiry based subject we help students make sense of challenges they face, promote critical and creative thinking and give them the opportunity to draw from their own experiences. Fundamentally, the subject helps to build more caring and understanding citizens of the future.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 students follow an ‘Integrated Humanities’ course, which covers History, Geography, Citizenship and Religious Studies. However in Year 8 & Year 9 students start to prepare for GCSE in subject-specific lessons.

Some of the ‘big questions’ that they cover are:

Across keystage 3 Geography some of the ‘big questions’ which students cover are:

  • What is Geography and what tools does a Geographer need?
  • What is the UK like and what is its place in the wider world?
  • How have rivers and glaciers shaped the land?
  • Why are our natural resources in crisis?
  • Why do people live where they do?
  • Why are the world's rainforests under threat?

In Geography the topics covered are:

  • Population & Migration
  • Ecosystems and Rainforests
  • Tectonic Hazards
  • Global Inequality
  • Changing Cities
  • Coasts

Student progress is regularly and effectively monitored through Formative and Summative Assessments based on age-related expectations. These are embedded within schemes of learning so that students are aware of their strengths and areas of improvement and feedback lessons allow students the opportunity to act on the next steps identified. In addition, regular homework is set which focuses on extending students independent learning and research skills.

Key Stage 4

Student will study towards a GCSE in Geography which it is made up of a three exams. We follow the Edexcel B specification. Students build on the knowledge and skills learnt at KS3, when undertaking the contemporary, interesting and thought-provoking two year GCSE course. Fieldwork is also introduced as an essential component to embed a culture of learning outside of the classroom in a ‘real-world’ context. During the Physical Geography, and Human Geography fieldtrips students are able to gather primary data to support the enquiry process and allow them to reach evidence based conclusions. The fieldwork is assessed as part of their Paper 2 examination.

By the end of KS4 the Department believes that our learners will have developed into inspirational global citizens and leaders.

GCSE examinations taken at the end of Year 11 are:

Paper 1: Global Geographical Issues

(1 hour and 30 minutes)

  • Topic 1: Hazardous Earth
  • Topic 2: Development dynamics
  • Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world

Paper 2: UK Geographical Issues

(1 hour and 30 minutes)

  • Topic 4: The UK’s evolving landscape - including sub-topics 4A: Coastal change and conflict and 4B: River processes and pressures
  • Topic 5: The UK’s evolving human landscape - including a Case Study on Dynamic UK cities
  • Topic 6: Geographical investigations - including one physical and one human fieldwork investigation linked to Topics 4 and 5

Paper 3: People and Environment Issues - Making Geographical Decisions

(1 hour and 30 minutes)

  • Topic 7: People and the biosphere
  • Topic 8: Forests under threat
  • Topic 9: Consuming energy resources

Independent Learning Tasks: Homework is an important part of the curriculum and the use of a projects and sketchbook encourages independence, imagination and good practice. Students should click the Show My Homework icon to login.