Welcome to the Geography Department


Intent

The geography department delivers a challenging and fascinating learning experience to all our students developing their curiosity and general knowledge, including those with SEND in the mainstream setting.

Geographical issues are in the news every day; never has our curriculum been more relevant as the impacts of climate change permeate political debate and the media report on the devastation that human activity wreaks on the natural environment. We equip our students to be able to participate in meaningful discussions based on fact and also support them in carrying out complex decision-making tasks. The up to date knowledge and relevant set of skills that we deliver also provides students with the confidence to articulate their views clearly in social, academic and employment situations.

In response to the pandemic, topics which were taught online and those which were missed completely have been identified. In addition to this, all assessment results in Years 7-11 are scrutinised by question level analysis. Consequently, the department has a clear idea of which topics and skills require more detailed future coverage and need to be addressed through retrieval practise.

At KS3, topics and content are driven by the national curriculum and sequenced to allow students to build on previous learning and apply knowledge and skills to new topic areas.

At KS4 we consider how policies at local, national and international level impact upon the environment and also upon our towns and cities. We consider the UK’s financial future as we investigate our post-industrial and post-Brexit economy. We aim to inspire our students to explore the wider world but more importantly to prepare and equip them to take their place in the workforce and also to make a positive contribution to society.

Why learn about Geography?

Geography prepares students for both further education and employment. Studying topical issues gives young people a more realistic view of the world, which they can transfer in to the workplace. Numeracy, literacy, map reading, in-depth analysis and decision-making skills are all developed within geography lessons. Geography can lead to many opportunities of further study and employment, for example, jobs in teaching, becoming a member of the Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Town Planning Institute, employment with the Environment Agency, local and central government, work in environmental science and meteorology as well as land management. Geography alerts students to the issues facing their world, giving them ‘food for thought’ and the facts needed to support their opinions and actions.

Year 7


During year 7, students will study the following topics:

Topic: Weather and Climate

Factors affecting climate, air masses, types of rainfall, the water cycle.

Topic: River Landscapes

An introduction to UK river landscapes.
Develop map reading skills

  • How to determine the relief of the land from an OS map (contour lines, spot heights, layer colouring).
  • Grid references (4+ 6)
  • Identifying landforms from an OS map.

Identifying features of a drainage basin. 
The location and importance of some of the world’s most significant rivers.
Considering river processes and how they create river landforms. 
Learning about the factors that affect a river’s risk of flooding. 

Case studies:
Flooding in Bangladesh.
Flooding in Lancashire.

Topic: Climate Change

How Earth’s climate has changed over time. Considering glacial and inter-glacial periods.

The natural and human causes of climate change- with a focus on Global Warming.

Investigating the social, economic and environmental effects of Global Warming.

Considering how we can adapt to the effects of Global warming and also how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Topic: Introduction to ecosystems, with a focus on tropical rainforests.

Introduction to parts of an ecosystem.

The economic reasons for deforestation.

The environmental costs of rainforest deforestation.

Sustainable management strategies for rainforest areas.

Topic: India

India’s location and its neighbours.

India as a NEE- investigation India’s stage of development using development indicators.

Investigate how India’s climate and relief affect vegetation zones and human activity.

Identifying factors that influence urbanisation in India.

Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of economic development

Topic: AFRICA – Kenya

Mapwork and facts about Africa’s biomes

The location and climate of Kenya.

Ecotourism in Kenya

How vegetation and animals adapt to Kenya’s climate

Fairtrade in Kenya

What can development indicators tell us about Kenya?

Population distribution and how it is linked to Kenya’s climate zones.

Rural life in Kenya and the pull factors of urban areas.

Rapid urban growth and the slums of Nairobi.

Strategies used to address the challenges of slum settlements.

Topic: The Middle East

Regional maps of the Middle East with a focus on Afghanistan.

How climate varies across Afghanistan.

What can development indicators tell us about rural and urban life in Afghanistan?

Why is Qatar a controversial host for the World Cup 2022?

The Caspian Sea and its ownership issues.

Conflict in the Middle East and how it impacts on regional levels of development.

Year 8


During year 8, students will study the following topics:

Topic: Earth’s History

When did life on Earth begin and how has it changed?

A scientific study of Earth’s development from the Big Bang to early human migration.

Topic: Soils and Rocks

Fertile Questions:

What are soils made from?

Do we manage soils sustainably?

A study of the Rock Cycle and rock types using samples.

A close look at soils using fieldwork sampling techniques.

Understanding how soils are formed from weathering processes and the nutrient cycle.  

Desertification and soil degradation are studied alongside soil management strategies. 

Topic: Tectonics

Fertile questions:

Do the advantages of living near tectonic zones outweigh the risks?

A close look at how convection currents move the Earth’ s tectonic plates and the resulting hazards caused by their movement.

Case studies in Haiti and Japan, Indonesia and Yellowstone National Park are investigated.

Explore how Japan uses monitoring, prediction, protection and planning to reduce damage to property and risk to life.

Explain what happens at a constructive plate boundary. (Iceland case study).      

Explore the opportunities of living close to plate boundaries.

Using the Boxing Day Indonesian tsunami to explain why destructive plate boundaries are associated with tsunamis. Explain why the impacts were so significant, relating this to levels of development.

Using the Yellowstone case study, explore the phenomenon of supervolcanoes and magma plumes. (hotspots)

Topic: China

Locate China and its neighbours on a world map.               

Identify the relationship between areas of high agricultural activity and population density.

Use development indicators to explore China’s level of development       

Explain reasons for rural-urban migration from eastern to western China.           

Analyse China’s employment structure and consider how and why it has changed in recent decades.

How China’s economy has benefited from the ‘Open Door Policy’ and importance of ‘Special Economic Zones’ (SEZs).

Why is China ‘the workshop of the world’, and why is China investing in East Africa?        

Explain the context and the details of the One Child Policy (OCP) and consider how and why this policy has changed in order to respond to China’s economic development.

Explain the social, economic and environmental consequences of China’s rapid industrialisation.          

Investigate the importance of the river Yangtze in the context of sustainable development.

Topic: Resources

Where do we find resource surpluses and why.

The UK’s energy challenge and the role of fracking and nuclear power.

To explore the opportunities and challenges faced by the UK in sustainable supplying water to all its regions.

To explore the opportunities and challenges faced by the UK in providing food including the issue of ‘food miles’.

Sustainable water supply and management including China’s Three Gorges Dam and the Hoover Dam and the advantages and disadvantages of the human management of river systems.

Topic: Tropical Storms

The distribution, formation, and characteristics of tropical storms.

A comparison of the effects of tropical storms in HICs and LICs

Reducing the Effects of Tropical Storms in HICs and LICs

Explain Monitoring, Prediction, planning and protection.

ERIC TASK

To understand the effects and responses to Hurricane Irma

Year 9


During year 9, students will study the following topics:

Topic: Coastal Environments

Fertile question: Can we sustainable manage our coastlines?

This unit starts by looking at the landforms that lie below the ocean’s surface including the deepest place on Earth; the Mariana Trench. We then look at how different types of wave affect the shoreline.  Marram grass adaptations and fragile sand dune successions are studied. the unit them goes on to consider coastal processes and coastal landforms ending with a decision-making task linked to hard and soft engineering strategies.

Year 10


During year 10, students will study the following topics:

Topic: Rio de Janeiro, a city in a newly emerging economy

Fertile question: Is Rio an important city? Can it be improved?

In this unit we discuss the regional, national and international importance of Rio. We also balance whether Rio’s social, economic and environmental challenges outweigh the opportunities.

In addition to this, we look at how Rio is being improved and consider how effective these strategies have been so far.

Topic: Natural Hazards and Tectonics

Fertile question:

Are we at risk from natural hazards? And is that risk increasing?

Is it worthwhile to live near a tectonic hazard?

What are natural hazards? and which factors increase our risk of being affected by one?

We consider why we have tectonic plates and the range of tectonic hazards that are found along different plate boundaries.

We study the people that live near to tectonic hazards and ask ourselves why they do that.

We compare two earthquakes in contrasting economic regions, (Chile 2010 and Nepal 2015),  and reflect on how and why both the effects and the responses to earthquakes vary from place to place.

Finally, we look at how monitoring, prediction, protection and preparation can help to reduce the effects of an earthquake.

Topic: Resources

Fertile question: Can we provide resources for everyone?

How the UK provides food, water and energy for its population and how we can develop a more sustainable approach.

Reasons for global inequality and unequal access to resources.

Local and national schemes designed to improve access to resources.

Followed by a focussed approach to the issues surrounding the supply, demand and use of energy.

Topic: Urban Change in the UK- Liverpool

Fertile question: To what extent has investment in Liverpool improved the QoL of its residents?

In what ways is Liverpool of significance, regionally and nationally?

How has Liverpool’s economy changed over time and how have these changes brought about social, economic and environmental opportunities and challenges to its population?

How have urban renewal projects created change? And to what extent does social inequality still exist?

Topic: Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests and Hot Deserts

Fertile questions:

Can we manage our local and global environments sustainably?

Can people make a sustainable living from hot desert areas and areas on the fringes of hot deserts?

A study of food webs and food chains and their constituent parts. How human activity can impact on natural habitats.

The importance of tropical rainforests, the economic and social pressures leading to their removal followed by consideration of what we can do to protect them, now and in the future.

Hot deserts are also fragile environments. We look at their climatic characteristics and study the plants and animals which live there, giving particular attention to the Thar Desert in NW India.

We investigate how hot deserts are being developed economically, taking in to consideration the constraints placed on this by the environment, but also look at how people are over coming these constraints with innovative strategies such as developing solar farms and the building of massive irrigation systems.

Following that, we then study the Sahel Zone which includes the causes of desertification and the range of appropriate technologies being used to slow down the spread of deserts.

Topic: Glaciation

Fertile question: Are UK Glacial landscapes sustainably managed?

A close look at glacial processes and the landforms which are created by them.

The Lake District National Park is studied to demonstrate how a UK glacial landscape is being used to provide economic opportunities. We also look at how different land use can create conflict between groups of people that live, work and visit the Lake District.

Managing National Parks is a difficult task, we study some of the strategies being used by the Lake District National Park Authority which are designed to attract visitors, protect the environment and also promote economic well-being for its residents.

Year 11


During year 11, students will study the following topics:

Topic: Bristol, a city in the UK.

Fertile question: Can we use Bristol as a role model for other UK cities?

We begin the topic by examining the importance of Bristol at a national and international level. This is followed by a consideration of the economic, social and environmental challenges and opportunities faced by the residents and businesses of Bristol. We finish the topic with a focus on the Temple Quarter zone of the city.

Topic: Glaciation

Fertile question: Are UK Glacial landscapes sustainably managed?

A close look at glacial processes and the landforms which are created by them.

The Lake District National Park is studied to demonstrate how a UK glacial landscape is being used to provide economic opportunities. We also look at how different land use can create conflict between groups of people that live, work, and visit the Lake District.

Managing National Parks is a difficult task, we study some of the strategies being used by the Lake District National Park Authority which are designed to attract visitors, protect the environment, and also promote economic well-being for its residents.

Topic: Resources

Fertile question: Can we provide resources for everyone?

  • How the UK provides food, water, and energy for its population and how we can develop a more sustainable approach.
  • Reasons for global inequality and unequal access to resources.
  • Local and national schemes designed to improve access to resources.
  • Followed by a focussed approach to the issues surrounding the supply, demand and use of energy.

Topic: Ecosystems and Tropical Rainforests

Fertile questions:

Can we manage our local and global environments sustainably?

Can people make a sustainable living from hot desert areas and areas on the fringes of hot deserts?

A study of ecosystems, food webs and food chains and their constituent parts. Followed by how human activity can impact on natural habitats.

Tropical rainforests and the characteristics of their climate, vegetation and amazing wildlife using the Malaysian Rainforest as a case study.

The importance of tropical rainforests, the economic and social pressures leading to their removal followed by consideration of what we can do to protect them, now and in the future.

Topic: Climate Change

Fertile question:

Can we reverse Global Warming?

How does the greenhouse effect work, and just how is the enhanced greenhouse effect changing our world?

We look at the natural and human causes of climate change.

We study the strategies that can be used to help people survive alongside the current effects of climate change such as sea-level rise as well as the important strategies which can hopefully be used to reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.


Miss J. Williamson

Head of Department

Mr D. Evans

Teacher of Geography

Miss P. Woodhouse

Teacher of Geography

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