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Selby High School

Selby High School

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Contact details:
Name : Mr C McArdle
Position : Curriculum Area Leader
Email address :


Curriculum Intent:
To provide students with high quality geographical information through stimulating and exciting lessons using a wide range of teaching styles and techniques.  Geography will allow pupils to develop a sense of place and will help them make sense of their surroundings and to better appreciate and understand the variety of physical and human conditions that exist on Earth.  We aim to take students “around the world” and extend students’ interest and knowledge beyond their immediate experiences through our exploration of current geographical concepts and events from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest; from the rise of Nigeria to the human and physical characteristics of India and China.

We aim to inspire and foster an enquiring mind in our students. We aim to link with many different subjects such as English, Maths and Science in order to better embed the concepts that we are teaching. We hope to instil the ideas that geographers can change the world for the better, and always look to create good and global citizens. 

Key stage 3 overview
This is a two-year curriculum that create confident geographers.  It develops their knowledge and understanding of the world we live in both locally and globally and develops key geographical skills while incorporating both numeracy and literacy.

The themes were selected as they fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum while also allowing the pupils to acquire a broad knowledge of the world.  The content also touches on the content covered in our GCSE specification. 

Our curriculum has been divided into 13 different schemes over the two year KS3.  Unit 1 (Year 7) concentrates on the ‘Geography of the UK’ whereas unit 2 (Year 8) focuses on ‘The wider world’.  Each unit has interlinking themes and concepts.  Unit 2 builds on the content of unit one with a greater level of challenge implemented.  Each scheme incorporates assessments and regular feedback opportunities to help ensure the pupils are engaged and understand the content and links.

Key stage 4 overview
This is a three-year curriculum which follows the AQA specification.  Pupils will sit 3 exams at the end of Year 11.

We believe that Geography is not only up-to-date and relevant, but that it is one of the most valuable and exciting subjects that pupils can study and we aim to get this message across to all of our students.  GCSE Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom (UK), higher income countries (HICs), newly emerging economies (NEEs) and lower income countries (LICs). Topics of study include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. Students are also encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.  The programme of study which we offer will provide pupils with the skills and knowledge needed to progress to an A-level in the subject or beyond.   We at Selby High School are also very much aware that for many of our students this is the last time they will experience Geography in a classroom environment and with this in mind we aim to send them off as global citizens who have the skills and knowledge needed to make a difference in the world.

This course has three main elements:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment.  35%

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment. 35%

Paper 3: Geographical applications and skills.  30%

Personal development and Cultural Capital
Students will learn about areas of significant geographical interest both on a local and a global sale.

We will study famous geography such as Alfred Wegener (a German polar researcher, geophysicist and meteorologist) and his theory of continental drift, Willy Brandt (A former German Chancellor) and his theory of economic inequality between the northern and southern hemispheres and we will investigate key human and physical geography which has been shared around the world by famous Geographers such as Sir David Attenborough.

Pupils will experience a range of opportunities across Key Stages 3 & 4.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Fieldwork in a place of local interest
  • Investigating coastal processes in Bridlington
  • The use of computer software to identify places around the world and understand their key physical and human characteristics
  • The use of GPS systems such as Google Earth
  • The use of OS maps which helps pupils fulfil the requirements needed to complete the Duke of Edinburgh award.
  • Collage trips to experience taster days such as an A-Level in Geography.
  • Learn about many different cultures from around the world which they may not otherwise experience.

Personal development will be taught directly through lessons.  We will aim to develop different aspects of pupils personal attributes for their life beyond the classroom such as leadership, determination and character/moral development.  Attributes such empathy will be enhanced by looking at a variety of different cultures and exploring regions of the world who are not as fortunate as ourselves.  Our aim is to develop pupils who not only have a sound and broad subject knowledge but pupils who also appreciate the world we live in, can acknowledge the social and economic inequalities which exist and have the skills to be a good global citizen.

Wider Curriculum opportunities

  • KS3: Fieldwork study in the local environment.
  • KS4: Fieldwork in both a human and physical environment
  • Session 6
  • As a department, we also make ourselves available at break and lunchtimes to assist our pupils with any queries they may have.

Geography Curriculum Overview