We aim to create knowledgeable students who have a deep understanding of the earth’s key physical and human processes. Our curriculum will explore thematic topics before applying them to regions and contemporary issues. Our curriculum structure and content is influenced by the book ‘Powerful Geography’ by Mark Enser, as well as various articles in Teaching Geography, published by the Geographical Association. Our curriculum enables students with opportunities to:
- develop geographical fluency so that students can ‘think’ and ‘write’ like a geographer
- appreciate the range and variety of human societies across the world
- extend knowledge from the familiar to the unfamiliar by taking students beyond themselves and everyday experiences
- develop their identity and sense of place in the world
- carry out geographical enquiries to enable them to deepen their conceptual understanding through reasoning, interpreting and analysing data
- question and debate knowledge
Our experienced teachers provoke a curiosity and passion for the human and natural world. The spiral design of the seven-year curriculum is aimed at revisiting topics on several occasions to promote learner’s confidence. Each time students revisit a topic, they are exposed to more complex content, building on what they have already learnt. We ensure the level of challenge is high enough for the most able, with scaffold and support available for students who need it. Students study key themes in Geography as well as investigating contemporary world issues. We constantly vary topics between human and physical geography to provide a varied and balanced appreciation of the ideas, skills and topics in Geography.
Our curriculum supports SEND/D students by referencing tier 2 vocabulary and grammatical features, in particular conjunctive adverbials (ensuring students ask themselves ‘so what?’ when explaining). We chunk task instructions and use dual coding and images to engage students and help them retain information.
We build the cultural capital of our students by helping them to understand the contemporary world around them. Students learn about how political decisions can cause change in the world around them. They learn about the powerful economic forces that are bringing about changes that will affect their future careers. Socially, the students learn about how countries are at different stages of development and how the lives of people living there are very different. Geography also helps to explain the many environmental issues that are changing the world in which these students live and how to make sense of these effects.
Our curriculum at NAC goes far beyond what is taught in lessons. All years take part in a fieldwork investigation. Key Stage 3 is based on the college site. Key Stage 4 experience local fieldtrips to Dawlish Warren and Plymouth. Sixth form students take part in a residential to Dorset. Fieldwork links to learning in the classroom, enabling students to apply skills and learn how to conduct geographical research and investigations.
We use techniques such as TEA (trend, evidence, anomalies) and annotations to help students develop skills to analyse geographical sources, such as photos, maps, graphs and data. We effectively use writing frames and sentence starters to support students to develop academic writing skills. We ensure our slides are designed in a way that avoids cognitive overload. Visualisers are used to model academic writing.
We seek to inspire a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. Students will develop the prepositional knowledge and procedural skills necessary to investigate the world for themselves. In all years, students are assessed continually throughout the year to monitor the impact of the curriculum. Students will have a greater sense of the world and appreciate a range of attitudes, values and beliefs. The will have advancing ability to select and apply investigative skills in the world of work and their post 16 and 18 academic journeys.