Chaucer Subject Intent - Geography

Chaucer’s Geography curriculum aims to prepare its students to be responsible citizens with the knowledge and appreciation of a variety of local and global issues that affect our world today. We want our students to be curious about the unknown and to be able to justify and question the familiar.

Through the study of a variety of human and physical Geography topics we aim to give students the opportunity to navigate the world in which we live, and to take a role in developing and protecting our world in the future.

Building on their prior experiences and knowledge from both their everyday lives and KS2 teaching, we focus on developing the skills and techniques required to ‘think like a Geographer’ and engage in Geographical enquiries and problem solving.

Students are encouraged to draw on learning in other subjects to support their progress in Geography, particularly Maths, Science, Citizenship, History and English.

As a department, we help students to identify examples of ‘real life Geography’ from current news stories, and flexibly adapt our teaching in order to cover timely issues where appropriate. This ensures students understand the relevance of the topic and helps to maintain engagement.

Curriculum description

Year 7

Half term 1 – Welcome to our World

An introduction to the subject. Students should be able to demonstrate understanding of scale (local, national and global) and be able to discuss a range of human and physical features found in locations around the world.

Half term 2 – Map skills

Students will learn to interpret and analyse OS (Ordnance Survey) maps, using the following skills.

Grid references, compasses, scale, contour lines, longitude and latitude. 

Half term 3 – UK Geography

Students will study a range of physical and human features across the UK. They will investigate how the physical landscape of the UK affects where people live, and will focus on one UK city in detail.

Half term 4 – Africa

Students will study the continent of Africa, including its location, a range of human and physical features, along with how the continent is changing.

Half term 5 and 6 – Ecosystems

Students will study where different ecosystems can be found around the world, and the reasons for this distribution pattern. They will focus on rainforests in detail, studying the plants and animals found in rainforests along with exploring ways in which humans are damaging the rainforest ecosystem.

Year 8

Half term 1 – Tectonic hazards

Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the processes which take place to create tectonic hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes, along with the social, economic and environmental impacts of these hazards.

Half term 2 – Coastal erosion

Students will be able to describe the processes involved in the wearing away of land and the movement of material such as rocks and sand. They will investigate how coastal erosion is managed, along with the impact of erosion on local communities.

Half term 3 – Asia

Students will study the continent of Asia, including its location, a range of human and physical features, along with how the continent is changing.

Half term 4 – Weather

Students will study how the processes in our atmosphere lead to different types of weather

Half term 5 – Weather hazards (hurricanes and drought)

Building on the work they completed in Half term 4, students will focus on two contrasting weather hazards, looking at the impact of these extreme weather events and how we can protect against them.

Half term 6 – Urban Planet

The world is rapidly becoming more urban. Students will investigate why more and more people choose to live in towns and cities, along with the challenges and opportunities this brings.

Year 9

Half term 1 – Frozen Planet

Students will be able to explain how the UK has previously been affected by ice ages, and identify evidence of glaciation that can be seen today.

Half term 2 – Development

Students will gain an understanding of why contrasting countries are at different stages of development, as well as the reasons for the development gap.

Half term 3 – Resources and waste

The growth of human population and resource consumption is having a profound effect on natural systems. Students will study the causes, consequences and responses to the global waste problem. 

Half term 4 – Climate emergency

Students will study the history of the Earth’s changing climate, alongside how humans are contributing to climate change, and the impact it is having on both a local and global scale.

Half term 5 – Middle East

Students will study the Middle East, including its location, a range of human and physical features, along with how the area is changing and what challenges it faces.

Half term 6 – Factfulness

During this topic students will explore a range of issues already covered in their KS3 studies, such as population and development. They will explore available data in more detail to investigate the opportunities of our modern global world.


KS4 (Y10 and Y11)

Students who choose to study Geography at GCSE level will follow the OCR Geography B specification (Geography for enquiring minds).

The course is split into 3 main components which the students will prepare for over the course of the 2 years. They will be externally assessed across three exam papers. Students will also attend 2 days of fieldwork during the two-year course.

Component 01: Our natural world

Students develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world they live in and why it looks the way it does. They study the rich diversity of landscapes and ecosystems which are changing through physical processes and human interactions.

There are four topics:

  • Global hazards
  • Changing climate
  • Distinctive landscapes
  • Sustaining ecosystems.

Fieldwork skills include understanding and applying specific geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to real-world physical geographical contexts.

Component 02: People and society

Students explores the social, cultural, political and economic forces that make places unique, and how these change over time and space, particularly the growth of urbanisation and the challenges of feeding an ever-growing population.

There are four topics:

  • Urban futures
  • Dynamic development
  • UK in the 21st century
  • Resource reliance.

Fieldwork skills include understanding and applying specific geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to real-world human geographical contexts.

Component 03: Geographical exploration

This component draws on geographical knowledge, understanding and skills that have been developed in components 01 and 02. This synoptic assessment enables students to demonstrate their understanding of the connections between the different elements of the subject.

Geographical skills:

  • Cartographic
  • Graphical
  • Numerical

This component includes a decision-making exercise, here students can become critical thinkers and develop arguments.