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Curriculum Intent

Our intent is to teach Geography in a context that will stimulate students curiosity about the ‘physical’ and ‘natural world’ around them, understanding the ‘wider meaning’ and to inspire a future generation of Geographical Investigators. Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the Earth as the home of humankind. (GA manifesto 2018) ​

The intent to teach the students about the wider world as opposed to just their home location. Develop an awareness of different cultures and reasons for those cultures to encourage empathy and a global awareness. To foster an understanding of GIS in a digital world and raise awareness of computing skills in Geography. ​ To assist students in understanding the impact that they as individuals have on our planet e.g. Plastic Oceans, Climate Change, Fragile Environments.​

Students are introduced early on to fieldwork skills/sampling strategies and data presentation skills. This links to Mathematics and enquiry skills are established early and built upon throughout KS3. It is our intent that our students shall have independent Geographical investigation/enquiry skill set which can be applied in a number of contexts and subjects and enable students to problem solve – a skill which is necessary in their future lives and prepare them for careers​.

At Holcombe we aim to deliver the following ambitious outcomes for our students through our curriculum. Students will:​

  • Be aspirational and ready for the next step in life ​
  • Achieve high quality academic outcomes.
  • Develop as effective, efficient, resilient learners who can work independently towards ambitious goals ​
  • Develop an awareness of their own strengths and acquire effective habits to be successful at school and beyond ​
  • Develop long term knowledge and skills which can be effectively deployed in new circumstances. ​
  • Develop the cultural capital to be able to successfully engage with a wide variety of social situations ​
  • Develop an awareness of their place as a citizen in the school, wider community and the world beyond

Curriculum Implementation:

We have established six key themes we feel run through Geography. These shape the curriculum we deliver within KS3 and have been informed by the vital skills needed to underpin studies at KS4 and KS5 levels.​

  1. Geographical Locations and Scales​
  2. Physical Processes through space and time​
  3. Human process through space and time​
  4. Systems approach
  5. Interactions of people and place​
  6. Geographical skills​

Intended curriculum Impact:

No matter what we are doing in Geography, we are always looking at new ways to encourage our students to develop and refine their skills, particularly when it comes to Thinking about their Thinking and Reflecting on their work. We achieve this through a range of different methods:

  • Measuring KS3, KS4 and KS5 outcomes, looking at and improving the depth of student feedback in response to teacher comments. ​
  • ‘Book monitoring’ for evidence of students engaging with activities showing the acquisition of knowledge and application of skills/structures.​
  • Opportunities for students to plan, review and evaluate their own learning through the use of AFL grids and teacher feedback – whole class and individual.​
  • Improving student subject vocabulary through glossary activities, and monitoring via conversation/oracy and in written form.​
  • Interleaving strategies to enhance subject recall and factual information.​
  • GCSE results and post 16 uptake at local colleges and beyond – with links to jobs in Geography.​

In the end though, It’s about using all that knowledge to help understand the world, bridge divides and bring people together.​

Key Stage 3

"As we constantly review and seek to ensure that our students study a challenging and innovative curriculum, we are in the process of changing over to a new scheme of work. This means that, due to the studies completed by our Year 8 and 9 classes previously, that there may be some gaps we have chosen to address this year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Geography Department to find out more." 

Benefits of Study
You will learn about and understand the world that you live in and develop foundation skills that will help you in other subjects and your future career. Our KS3 route to GCSE and A-level encourages students to develop core skills that are invaluable across all subjects. We want to encourage our students to work as a team and to learn by seeing, investigating, and not just listening and reading. The most important thing is that our students are not only holistic in their approach but inquisitive.

Assessment Structure
Our assessments range from recall key terminology tests to baseline knowledge checks, along with the topic tests and creative assessments. We want our students to be prepared to look at the information provided and be prepared to describe, explain, justify and analyse, whilst coming up with alternative suggestions. We start Year 7 with a baseline test to establish basic skills and knowledge and then progress from there reflecting on current and previous taught topics as we move through the year. This baseline test is repeated again in Year 8 and another in Year 9, to allow us to assess how the skills and knowledge has developed over time, and ensure students know where their own strengths and weaknesses are.

Synopsis of Study
Geography studies at Holcombe aim to inspire curiosity and fascination about the world and the processes that we are both part of and able to observe. We aim to equip our students with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural, physical and human environments and processes.

KS3 is where students begin to establish, refine and deepen their Geographical knowledge, allowing them to engage in deeper thinking through thinking maps, hats and Thinkers keys. Awe and Wonder plays a key part in Geography, along with the development of knowledge, which provides the tools and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.


Year 7

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
What is a GeographerHow do we use our planet as a natural resource?What is an economy?What is weather and climate?Is the geography of Russia a curse or benefit?School based fieldwork unit - Redesigning the school site.



Year 8

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Why are rivers important?What is development?How are populations changing?What happens when land meets the sea?How is Asia being transformed?School based fieldwork unit.



Year 9

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Will we ever know enough about earthquakes and volcanoes to live safely?What are the challenges and opportunities facing Africa?How does ice change the world?Why is the Middle East an important region?Climate change and Earth's future.School based research unit.

KS3 Learning Journey

Please see attached Key Stage 3 Learning Journey for Geography.

Key Stage 4

The study of Geography allows us to develop emotionally intellectual and holistic individuals through their studies. If you want to continue to study a subject which is interesting, lively, dynamic and wide ranging and you are interested in the world around you, then Geography is the subject for you!

GCSE Geography offers the unique opportunity to examine a wide range of processes at the physical and human interface. Geography provides an engaging real-world focus, where our students are encouraged to make geographical decision by applying their knowledge, understanding and skills to real-life 1st century people and environment issues.

In KS4 Geography both physical and human geography topics are included in the Edexcel Geography B specification, as well as core skills that enable you to develop your analysis and evaluation of the world around you. The content also supports progression on to A-level by laying a foundation of knowledge and understanding that can continue to be nurtured and developed.

Physical topics include: the natural hazards of tectonics and climate, rivers, the coastal zone and an understanding of the UK’s physical geography. Whilst Human topics include:  development dynamics, challenges of an urbanising world and studies in to the UK’s ever changing urban landscape. GCSE Geography at Holcombe involves two compulsory fieldwork days which have seen us visiting a variety of locations from Guildford to Chatham, and Seaford to Sheerness.

Geography requires an inquiring mind and the willingness to work independently to take on challenging and relevant topics. You will develop a wide range of skills from data collection, written and verbal analysis and interpretation, as well as exploring real world case studies such as volcanic eruptions, coastal management and the growth of towns and cities. We aim to include a wide variety of approaches in delivering study material using core Thinking Skills so to develop problem solving and proactively taking an active approach to learning, helping students to become effective and independent learners.

Geography is relevant to a wide variety of careers and is viewed to be one of the most employable subjects to study due to the nature of the content covered. Many of these jobs may be either directly related to geography – surveyor, meteorologist, urban planner, risk management, cartographer and teaching, as well as media, tourism and the civil service.



Year 10

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
1. Natural Hazards - tectonic and climatic2. Development Dynamics3. Challenges of an Urbanising world4. Rivers4. Coasts5. UK Evolving Human Landscape/Fieldwork



Year 11

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6

Revision & 6. Fieldwork

7. People and the Biosphere/8. Forests under threat8. Forests under Threat/9. Energy ResourcesRevision for GCSE ExamsRevision for GCSE ExamsRevision for GCSE Exams

KS4 Learning Journey

Please see attached Key Stage 4 Learning Journey for Geography.

Years 12 and 13

The specification is designed to address a wide range of contemporary themes and issues, so students can understand the world around us and what could impact its future. We cover the key ideas and debates in our world today, such as climate change, globalisation, urban regeneration and management of the world's resources. Students will explore a range of issues and examine potential solutions to them. There are a minimum of 4 compulsory days of coursework required to study this course.


Year 12

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Tectonics/GlobalisationCoasts/GlobalisationCoasts + Paper 1 review/GlobalisationWater Cycle/RegenerationWater Cycle/RegenerationNEA



Year 13

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Review Paper 1 and Paper 2Superpowers/Migration.Superpowers/Migration.RevisionRevisionExams

KS5 Learning Journey

Please see attached Key Stage 5 Learning Journey for Geography.

Online Learning Support

There are a wealth of websites that are perfect for Geographers to engage with:


There are a huge number of career pathways that can be taken following Geography as a focus, just some examples include:

  • Conservation worker
  • Coastal engineer
  • Economic adviser and analyst
  • Military mapping specialist
  • Aid worker
  • Flood protection manager
  • Market research analyst
  • Housing manager
  • Urban regeneration officer
  • Estate agent
  • Town planner
  • Transport officer
  • Construction/property lawyer
  • Health education campaigner
  • Advertising executive
  • Expedition leader
  • Landscape architect
  • Heritage site manager
  • Financial risk assessor
  • Armed forces
  • British cultural exchange manager

British Values

The Department for Education have a clear expectation that all schools will “promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs."

At Holcombe, we not only reinforce these values across the school in our Thinking Habits but we explore these directly and indirectly through the Geography curriculum.

The fundamental British values are summarised under four key headings:

  1. Democracy - respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process.
  2. The rule of law - respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in Britain.
  3. Individual liberty - support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
  4. Tolerance and mutual respect - support for equality of opportunity for all and respect and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs

In the Geography Department we instill these core values in a wide range of ways that is essentially a non-exhaustive list:

  • Respect democracy and the right of all our students to have their voices heard in a safe and respectful environment.
  • Uphold whole-school policies.
  • Facilitate opportunities to explore and understand how governments have influenced and shaped nations and countries through laws and policies.
  • Give students the opportunity to experience the importance of decision making by exploring and considering different opinions and how voices are heard.
  • Explore and discuss injustices and inequalities, both perceived and real, and challenge and debate these through the exploration of geographical topics.
  • Encourage independent learning skills to help us take control of own learning.
  • Understand the importance of identifying and combating discrimination including tackling stereotypes at a range of different scales.
  • Know and understand our responsibilities to conserve resources and play our part in sustainable development.