KS3 Geography


Our Geography curriculum empowers and inspires all students to become enquiring global citizens. 

The core concepts which underpin Geography are embedded throughout our curriculum giving students chance to explore the breadth of the subject and deepen their understanding of the world. These nine core concepts are: development, resilience, risk, investigation, globalisation, interdependence, inequality, sustainability and systems.  

Throughout the study of Geography at DGS we aim to provide students with: 

  • the means to think about the world in new ways in order to ‘think like a Geographer’ 
  • geographical knowledge and skills they need to understand modern challenges 
  • the means (knowledge and skills) to question and debate 
  • experience of geographical enquiry, allowing them to discover, apply and analyse new concepts 
  • an awareness for the significance of the subject beyond the classroom now and in the future 
  • challenging and intriguing enquiry topic questions. Here, “questions open out a topic, rather than closing it down” (Roberts, 2013) 

Curriculum sequence


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

Year 7

What does an awesome Geographer look like? 

Why does the UK look like it does?

How do hazards affect the UK?

How are London and Lagos changing places?

How will Kenya close the development gap?

How do I carry out a Geographical enquiry?

Year 8

Is the UK important?

How do hazards affect our planet?

My country project: Why is _________ fantastic?

What is the future for fragile environments? 

Is the UK equal? 

How do I investigate a Geographical problem?

National curriculum links

Our Geography Curriculum largely follows the KS3 National Curriculum covering the same core concepts of place knowledge, locational knowledge, human and physical geography, and fieldwork and skills. Using challenging and intriguing enquiry topic questions gives students the chance to explore each of these concepts in depth, inspiring their curiosity and fascination with the world around them.   

Locational and place knowledge are developed through the topics taught in Terms 4 and 5 of Year 7 and Terms 1 and 4 of Year 8. In these lessons, students will develop spatial awareness of the world’s countries and understand the key human and physical features of these locations. 

Human and Physical Geography concepts and processes are explored in the topics taught in Terms 2 and 3 of Year 7 and Terms 2 and 5 of Year 8. Through these topics, students will gain an understanding of how physical processes and human activities can interact to change landscapes.  

Geographical enquiry and fieldwork skills are developed in the topics taught in Terms 1 and 6 of Year 7 and Terms 3 and 6 in Year 8. Students develop their ability to collect and interpret data and have the opportunity to investigate geographical issues. 

Meeting the needs of SEND and disadvantaged students

In accordance with our whole school policy, Geography teachers place SEND and disadvantaged students at the heart of their lesson planning. 

In Geography we provide for the progress of SEND and disadvantaged students by: 

  • developing Geographical skills alongside teaching knowledge 
  • using a range of activities across lessons to suit all learners  
  • ensure lessons and topics are sequenced carefully and logically  
  • using standardised resources such as Power Point Presentations designed with SEND students in mind 
  • regular retrieval activities to support knowledge retention 
  • prioritising PP and SEND students with subject-specific support and interventions 
  • carefully considered seating plans. 


Our curriculum is taught to be securely learnt. The topics taught at KS3 are interconnected and therefore lessons allow students to revisit concepts, skills and ideas. To aid in the retention of these ideas, lessons incorporate retrieval practice through activities such as quizzing. When preparing for assessments students have Personal Learning Checklists (PLCs) and knowledge organisers to support their revision.  


Students complete formative assessments at the end of every unit. These assessments include a range of question types from multiple choice to longer written answers. Students will receive written feedback on their longer answers, this feedback will identify strengths and areas to improve. After this formative assessment, students will be given time to review their feedback and to complete improvements to their work. Teachers will also provide whole-class feedback on independent learning tasks and homework. This will focus on identifying strengths and allow for misconceptions to be corrected. 

Contact details

Miss S-A Nichols (2nd in Department):

GCSE Geography

This course provides a framework that allows students to: 

  • explore Physical and Human Geography themes and investigate the links between them
  • travel the world from the classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom and other countries at different levels of development  
  • apply knowledge and understanding of concepts outside of the classroom through fieldwork 
  • understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes

Course outline

Our KS4 course covers four sections and is divided into three exam papers.  

Paper One - ‘Living with the physical environment’:  

  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards
  • The Living World
  • Physical Landscapes in the UK

Paper Two - ‘Challenges in the Human Environment’:  

  • Urban Issues and Challenges’
  • The Changing Economic World
  • The Challenge of Resource Management

Paper Three - ‘Geographical Applications’: 

  • Fieldwork
  • Issue Evaluation

How it’s assessed 

Paper One - written exam of 1 hour 30 minutes (88 marks available) worth 35% of the GCSE 

Paper Two – written exam of 1 hour 30 minutes (88 marks available) worth 35% of the GCSE 

Paper Three – written exam of 1 hour 15 minutes (76 marks available) worth 30% of the GCSE 

Assessment and Progression 

Examination Board: AQA 

Grading system: 1-9 (9 being highest) 


Students complete a formative assessment at the end of each topic and sit full mock exams during whole school mock exam periods. They will receive written feedback for all formative assessments which will focus on areas of strength and areas for development. Students will use this feedback to improve their work. To develop the skills needed to answer exam questions successfully, students will regularly complete practice questions in lessons. They will be supported in this and will be given Personal Learning Checklists (PLCs), sentence starters and model answers. To support the retention of knowledge, students will complete retrieval tasks such as quizzes in lessons.  

Progression to Post-16

A Didcot Sixth Form we offer A Level Geography where students have the opportunity to further their understanding of Human and Physical interactions by exploring issues that affect the world today. The exam board is AQA and topics covered include ‘Coastal systems and landscapes’, ‘Water and Carbon’, ‘Hazards’,  ‘Global systems and global governance’, ‘Changing places’ and ‘Contemporary urban environments’. Students also complete an independent fieldwork investigation on a topic of their choice.  

Future career links

Studying Geography equips students with an array of multi-disciplinary and transferrable skills which can be used in numerous fields of employment such as town planning, meteorology, conservation, environmental consultancy, research and teaching to name a few. 


Miss L Ahearn (Head of Department)


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