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Geography is the key, the crucial accident of birth. A piece of protein could be a snail, a sea lion, or a systems analyst, but it had to start somewhere. This is not science; it is merely metaphor. And the landscape in which the protein "starts" shapes its end as surely as bowls shape water".

Students learn about how physical and human environments interact, how their lives are connected with other people and places, and why and how the world’s landscapes and societies are changing in the early part of the 21st Century. They develop skills that are central to modern life, such as independent and team work outside the classroom, analysing and interpreting a wide variety of different data sources, as well as developing a sense of social and environmental responsibility.

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A wide range of modules are studied through a student’s time at SHS which combine physical and human topics. Skills are developed in writing clearly and accurately about the world and its people. Facts and figures are researched using IT, maps, photos, graphs and diagrams along with collecting and interpreting data gained through fieldwork. Technology is used whenever possible to help develop these skills and enhance the learning experience.

Geography is a core subject for all pupils in the Years 7 to 9.  As a diverse subject, students are given a broad curriculum covering both physical and human topics, looking at processes and issues at local, regional, national and global level.


Geography is a multidisciplinary subject suiting students who have a general interest in global and environmental issues. It develops a range of important skills and is a valuable academic A Level choice as it complements a range of other subjects. There are many doors open to those who go on to read Geography at university, including land-based industries such as surveying and environmental consultancy; finance and business management; law; leisure and tourism, and research.


Intent, Implementation and Impact: The 3 l's


"Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future" (Michael Palin). Our purpose is to empower our students with the relevant knowledge, understanding and skills to make the difference in an ever changing world. By studying Geography, students will develop a deeper understanding of the landscapes around them in terms of how they were created, why they are changing and the complex futures our planet holds. Students explore the dynamic relationships between people and the environment through geographical enquiry both inside and outside the classroom. Thus, it challenges students to question and make sense of their place in the world, inspiring them to make the Earth a better place through confidently preparing them to make positive contributions to society both now and in the future.

Geographers have a sense of environmental and social responsibility as they think critically about contemporary large-scale problems, from global warming and pollution to a shortage of natural resources and the cycle of poverty. A key theme of every topic is sustainability to draw out the impacts we have on the planet while exploring solutions in order to develop resilience. By studying a range of up-to-date case studies, students develop a greater appreciation of and respect for the world they live in and also effectively engage with current affairs. Furthermore, geographers develop a myriad of valuable, transferable skills from their accurate fieldwork investigations and geographical enquiries to interpreting different data types from maps to graphs, effectively preparing and supporting students for a range of future careers.


All students extend their knowledge and understanding of human and physical processes, location and place through investigation and evaluation of local, British and wider world studies across the Key Stages through a spiral curriculum. Fieldwork, literacy and numeracy skills are also embedded across the curriculum. This clear and logical sequencing allows for broad and balanced geographical studies, as well as ample time for students to develop their long-term memory in terms of retrieving knowledge and practising the necessary skills in order to excel in the subject.

At KS3, the Geography National Curriculum is covered in appropriate depth and breadth over 3 years to inspire 'awe andwonder'aboutthe planet we live on. In Year 7, we start local introducing major skills like atlas and OS maps of the nearby area, as we learn about London then the UK and Europe. A key area here is to assess what students already know and to bridge the gap between different primary schools' teaching of the subject to ensure every student has a firm geographical base to progress. In Year 8, we go global with case studies from further afield, focusing on the continents of North America, Africa, South America and Antarctica, to broaden students' horizons and deepen their understanding. In Year 9, we think synoptically drawing together geographical links across a range of topics for more critical analysis and detailed evaluation, such as development and pollution in Asia to the impacts of climate change on Oceania and the geography of conflict. The focus here is to encourage appropriate discussion on the world's current affairs. Throughout KS3, we have planned for the progression of explicit knowledge and skills systematically and also have introduced examination techniques to help students develop their geographical literacy and argument structure. Thus, KS3 has been designed in order to lay a foundation for GCSE Geography.

At GCSE, we follow the AQA course that focuses on a wide variety of contemporary issues for the three examinations:

  • Living with the physical environment
  • Challenges in the human environment
  • Geographical applications (issue analysis, fieldwork and skills).

At A-level, we also use AQA and have chosen the topics that we find the most relevant to our students' lives and local context, including coasts, hazards and population and the environment.

Progress is monitored through three key assessment points in each year of KS3 and at least half termly with KS4 and KSS with a focus on testing long term memory, and skills required to reach substantiated conclusions through accurate evidence. Regular analysis of these results informs future planning and assessment. Modelling of responses and targeted feedback will also be a key feature at each key stage. The effectiveness of this delivery will be evaluated by learning walks, lesson observations, work scrutiny, department meetings and student voice.


Geography is growing in popularity at Southborough with strong results at Key Stage 3 in exam weeks, increasing numbers at GCSE and a steady recruitment at A-Level. In particular, attainment at A-Level has been exceptionally high with 100% A*-C results last year. This effectively has prepared them for a range of relevant careers that the subject provides the necessary skills for, from housing, town planning and marketing to education and environmental law. Recently, a number of students have applied for Geography degrees including at Russell Group universities, helped by the 'critical reading seminars' at A-Level that has challenged our learners with academic non-fiction and inspirational lectures.

We also run a very popular lunchtime 'Geography Club' where we watch documentaries and discuss the issues shown in them, as well as 'Eco Club' that has made outstanding progress towards Green Flag status. The latter also has greatly impacted the school's sustainability drive; for example, in running the recycling rota and taking care of our wellbeing garden, we have provided opportunities for students to give back to their school community. Furthermore, Geography field visits broaden our students' experience in terms of cultural capital. Student voice feedback has confirmed that the curriculum is engaging and data analysis shows that it is accessible for our Southborough learners.

Ket Stage 4 Course

Key Stage 5 Course

Curriculum Maps







Humanities geography y7Humanities geography y8Humanities geography y9Humanities geography aqa gcse y10Humanities geography aqa gcse y11

Humanities geography aqa a level y12Humanities geography aqa a level y13