What is the intent of our Geography Curriculum?

Our intent in Geography is to promote the vitally important role that Geography plays in understanding how the world works from an integrated and synoptic physical and human perspective. We also aim to highlight the sustainable roles our students can play within the world’s increasingly globalised systems. Our MYP programme is not just a springboard to GCSE and our IBCP programme but also aims to develop all our students into becoming well-rounded adults who can contribute positively to their local and global community. Knowledge and understanding, communication, critical thinking, analysis, and investigation are at the core of our 21st century curriculum. We will support our students to develop the essential employability, and transferable skills gleaned from the study of this facilitating subject. The diversity of skills and curriculum content will be constantly adjusted to reflect the changing nature of our world and it’s dynamic forces.

Our curriculum will both reflect and learn from the diverse cultural mix of our IB World school community and also help to enhance our pupil’s cultural capital through the extensive range of topics, projects, and themes it will cover. We will also tackle difficult, ethical, topical, and sometimes controversial issues in a balanced and principled manner which will give the pupils the opportunity to discuss and debate social, moral, and cultural questions they may have.

Our aspiration is to deliver a dynamic and modern Geography curriculum in such a way that it fosters an environment and attitude that allows broadminded, confident and independent learners to flourish. We will set high standards and aspirational targets whilst ensuring that the needs of all learners are supported inside and outside of the classroom.  

There are four main foci within our Geography curriculum that will begin in our MYP programme and develop through GCSE and lead into our IBCP study:

  1. Global knowledge and understanding of locations, places, environments, processes & geographical features
  2. Understanding of the interactions between people and environments, changes over time and spaces, and the interrelationships between geographical phenomena.
  3. Competence in a range of skills, including those associated with fieldwork, the use of digital sources, and applying sound investigation techniques to a range of hypothesis, sources of information, and diverse question types.
  4. The application of geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and the use of evidence from real world contexts and contemporary situations to disagree well, develop arguments, and analyse situations, making well justified decisions.

There will be a balance between human, physical, and environmental geography throughout our MYP programme. There will also be studies covering a range of places and scales. The theme of sustainability will feature throughout. We will follow the Edexcel specification at GCSE and the IBCP diploma level programme at KS5.

Co-curricular and Enrichment opportunities 

  • We run an eco-club for our sustainably minded students to get involved and try to make our Academy a more sustainable environment. 
  • We currently visit Eastbourne and the East of London and the Docklands with our GCSE students and take our 6th form on a residential trip to Southwold 
  • We are looking to expand our provision and opportunities for trips and visits in the near future 

Useful websites

Years 7, 8 & 9

Curriculum Overview for our MYP students in KS3 

Our MYP Geography Curriculum is centered around the key concepts of change, systems, global interactions and time, place and space. These key concepts provide a framework, informing units of work and helping to organise our teaching and learning. This framework allows us to build and develop our students’ skills and develop links between topics and other subject areas as our students progress through their educational journey with us. 

MYP Geography falls under the Individuals and Societies group. The aims of MYP individuals and societies are to encourage and enable students to:  

  • appreciate human and environmental commonalities and diversity  
  • understand the interactions and interdependence of individuals, societies and the environment  
  • understand how both environmental and human systems operate and evolve  
  • identify and develop concern for the well-being of human communities and the natural environment  
  • act as responsible citizens of local and global communities  
  • develop inquiry skills that lead towards conceptual understandings of the relationships between individuals, societies and the environments in which they live. 

There are a set series of objectives that students will work towards and be assessed on during their MYP programme of study:  

A Knowing and understanding  

Students develop factual and conceptual knowledge about individuals and societies. In order to reach the aims of individuals and societies, students should be able to:  

  • use terminology in context  
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of subject-specific content and concepts through descriptions, explanations and examples.  

B Investigating  

Students develop systematic research skills and processes associated with disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Students develop successful strategies for investigating independently and in collaboration with others. In order to reach the aims of individuals and societies, students should be able to:  

  • formulate a clear and focused research question and justify its relevance  
  • formulate and follow an action plan to investigate a research question  
  • use research methods to collect and record relevant information  
  • evaluate the process and results of the investigation.   

C Communicating  

Students develop skills to organize, document and communicate their learning using a variety of media and presentation formats. In order to reach the aims of individuals and societies, students should be able to:  

  • communicate information and ideas using an appropriate style for the audience and purpose  
  • structure information and ideas in a way that is appropriate to the specified format  
  • document sources of information using a recognized convention.  

D Thinking critically  

Students use critical thinking skills to develop and apply their understanding of individuals and societies and the process of investigation. In order to reach the aims of individuals and societies, students should be able to:  

  • discuss concepts, issues, models, visual representation and theories  
  • synthesize information to make valid arguments  
  • analyse and evaluate a range of sources/data in terms of origin and purpose, examining value and limitations  
  • interpret different perspectives and their implications. 

Of course in geography the global nature of our subject is always at the forefront of our minds and the Global Contexts of the MYP Programme allow us to develop and direct learning towards independent and shared inquiry into our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Using the world as the broadest context for learning, our MYP Geography Curriculum aims to develop, throughout our topic areas (as listed below), meaningful explorations of:  

  • identities and relationships  
  • orientation in space and time  
  • personal and cultural expression  
  • scientific and technical innovation  
  • globalization and sustainability  
  • fairness and development. 

Year 7 topics

  • Term 1 - An introduction to geography and map work 
  • Term 2 - The UK’s landscape – our island home 
  • Term 3 – Rivers, their courses and processes 
  • Term 4 – Human settlement  
  • Term 5 & 6 - Challenges and opportunities of our modern World (a focus on the human and physical challenges and opportunities in other continents) 

Year 8 topics 

  • Term 1 – Weather and Climate 
  • Term 2 – Global inequality and development  
  • Term 3 – Coasts 
  • Term 4 &5 – Sustainable living 
  • Term 6 – Fieldwork skills, practice, and presentation 


Year 9 topics

  • Term 1 – Who run the World? 
  • Term 2 – Tectonic hazards 
  • Term 3 – Weather hazards 
  • Term 4 – China  
  • Term 5 – Glaciation and cold environments 
  • Term 6 – Rainforests  


Years 10 & 11

Course Title: Geography B (1GB0) 
Exam Board:  Edexcel 
Qualification: GCSE

About the course 

This GCSE course gives students the opportunity to understand more about the world, the challenges it faces and their place within it. This GCSE course will deepen understanding of geographical processes learnt during students’ MYP study, it illuminates the impact of change and of complex people-environment interactions. The highlighting of dynamic links and interrelationships between places and environments at different scales, and development of students’ competencies in using a wide range of geographical investigative skills and approaches is vital and integral to this course. Edexcel Geography enables our students to become globally and environmentally informed and thoughtful, enquiring citizens.   

Case studies, examples and real world contexts along with a wide range of graphical, statistical, cartographical, digital, and geographical skills and fully integrated within all units and topics of this course.  

The course is divided into three components:  

Component 1: Global Geographical Issues  

This component draws across physical and human processes and people-environment interactions to consider key contemporary global geographical issues. The component is divided into three sections:  

  • Topic 1: Hazardous Earth – an understanding of the global circulation of the atmosphere and changing climate. Plus two depth studies of an extreme weather hazard (tropical cyclones) and tectonic hazards at contrasting locations.  
  • Topic 2: Development dynamics – an understanding of the scale of global inequality. Plus a depth study of how one emerging country is developing and the consequences for people, environment and the country’s relationship with the wider world  
  • Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world – an overview of the causes and challenges of rapid urbanisation across the world. Plus one depth study of a megacity* in a developing or emerging country. 

This is examined in a paper that is 90minutes long and worth 94 marks. The paper will assess spelling, punctuation, grammar and use of specialist terminology which will contribute 4 marks towards the overall marks for this paper. The exam includes multiple-choice questions, short open, open response, calculations and 8-mark extended writing questions. 

Component 2: UK Geographical Issues 

This component draws across physical and human processes and people-environment interactions to consider key contemporary geographical issues for the UK. The component is divided into three sections:  

  • Topic 4: The UK's evolving physical landscape - an overview of the varied physical landscapes in the UK resulting from geology, geomorphic processes and human activity over time. Plus two depth studies of distinctive landscapes – Coastal change and conflict and River processes and pressures  
  • Topic 5: The UK's evolving human landscape - an overview of the changing and varied human landscape of the UK, including the socio-economic and political processes that influence it. Plus a case study of a major UK city - Dynamic UK cities.  
  • Topic 6: Geographical investigations - two investigations, including fieldwork and research, carried out in contrasting environments, one from 'Coastal change and conflict' or 'River processes and pressures' and one of either 'Dynamic urban areas' or 'Changing rural areas'. 

This is examined in a paper that is 90minutes long and worth 94 marks. The paper will assess spelling, punctuation, grammar and use of specialist terminology which will contribute 4 marks towards the overall marks for this paper. The exam includes multiple-choice questions, short open, open response, calculations and 8-mark extended writing questions. Students must answer one from two optional questions (Investigating coastal and conflict or Investigating river processes and pressures) in Section C1. Students must then answer one from two optional questions (Investigating dynamic urban areas or Investigating changing rural areas) in Section C2. 

Component 3: People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions  

Overview In this component, students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions between people and environment and investigate related issues at a variety of scales. This component has three sections:  

  • Topic 7: People and the biosphere – an overview of the global distribution and characteristics of large-scale ecosystems, why the biosphere is important to human wellbeing and how humans use and modify it in order to obtain resources  
  • Topic 8: Forests under threat – a detailed study of tropical rainforests and the taiga, looking at processes and interactions and issues related to their biodiversity and to their sustainable use and management  
  • Topic 9: Consuming energy resources – a study of renewable and non-renewable energy, its supply and demand, access and energy security issues, its sustainable use and management  

The content and concepts from topics 7, 8 and 9 should be taught through a range of contexts.  

Characteristics of the geographical decision-making process  

The examination will consist of a booklet of sources, provided in the examination, that exemplify a geographical issue drawing from Topics 7, 8 and 9 and underpinning conceptual knowledge from Components 1 and 2. It requires students to make effective use of, analyse and interpret the resource material provided in the examination. The final 12-mark question requires students to consider physical and human geography together, draw on information in the booklet of sources, and make reasoned justifications for proposed solutions in terms of their likely impact on both people and environment. 

This is examined in a paper that is 90minutes long and worth 64 marks. The paper will assess spelling, punctuation, grammar and use of specialist terminology which will contribute 4 marks towards the overall marks for this paper. Each section explores an aspect of a geographical issue leading to the final decision making question related to the issue. The exam includes multiple-choice question and will include short open, open response and extended writing questions. Section C will include 6-mark extended writing questions and Section D will offer a choice of one from three decisions assessed by a 12-mark extended writing question. Extended writing questions will assess students’ ability to develop extended written arguments and to draw well-evidenced and informed conclusions about geographical questions and issues. 

Course teaching structure

Year 10 

Term 1

Development Dynamics  

EQ1: What is the scale of global inequality and how can it be reduced?  

EQ2: How is ONE of the world’s emerging countries managing to develop? 

Term 2

Topic 4: The UK’s evolving physical landscape  

EQ1: Why does the physical landscape of the UK vary from place to place?   

Topic 4: Coastal change and conflict 

EQ2: Why is there a variety of distinctive coastal landscapes in the UK and what are the processes that shape them? EQ3: What are the challenges for coastal landscapes and communities and why is there conflict about how to manage them?  

Topic 4: River processes and pressures  

EQ4: Why is there a variety of river landscapes in the UK and what are the processes that shape them?  

Term 3 

Topic 4: River processes and pressures  

EQ5: What are the challenges for river landscapes, people and property and how can they be managed?  

Topic 5: The UK’s evolving human landscape  

EQ1: Why are places and people changing in the UK? 

Case Study: Dynamic UK cities  

EQ2: How is ONE major UK city changing? 

Term 4 

Topic 6: Geographical investigations  

Fieldwork and research on Investigating dynamic urban areas 

Term 5 

Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world  

EQ1: What are the causes and challenges of rapid urban change?  

EQ2: Why does quality of life vary so much within ONE megacity in a developing country OR emerging country?  

Term 6 

Topic 6: Geographical investigations  

Fieldwork and research on Investigating coastal change. 

Year 11 

Term 1 

Topic 1: Hazardous Earth  

EQ1: How does the world’s climate system function, why does it change and how can this be hazardous for people? EQ2: How are extreme weather events increasing hazardous for people?  

EQ3: Why do the causes and impacts of tectonic activity and management of tectonic hazards vary with location?  

Term 2 

Topic 7: People and the biosphere  

EQ: Why is the biosphere so important to human wellbeing and how do humans use and modify it to obtain resources?  

Topic 8: Forests under threat  

EQ: What are the threats to forest biomes and how can they be reduced?  

Term 3 

Topic 9: Consuming energy resources  

EQ: How can the growing demand for energy be met without serious environmental consequences?  

Term 4 

DME Skills 

For further information, click here

Years 12 & 13

Course Title: Geography 
Exam Board: IB 
Qualification: IBCP 

Our students culminate their geographical study with us here at SKA by following the IB diploma programme course of study. The Diploma Programme geography course integrates both physical and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both scientific and socio-economic methodologies.  

Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. This helps students develop an appreciation of, and a respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints and ideas. 

The geography course embodies global and international awareness in several distinct ways. It examines key global issues, such as poverty, sustainability and climate change. It considers examples and detailed case studies at a variety of scales, from local to regional, national and international. 

We have four objectives for the Standard Level and Higher Level Geography course 

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specified content  

  • between areas of film focus and film elements employed by 
  • the core theme—global change  
  • two optional themes at SL and three optional themes at HL  
  • at HL, the HL extension—global interactions  
  • in internal assessment, a specific geographic research topic.  

2. Demonstrate application and analysis of knowledge and understanding  

  • apply and analyse geographic concepts and theories  
  • identify and interpret geographic patterns and processes in unfamiliar information, data and cartographic material  
  • demonstrate the extent to which theories and concepts are recognized and understood in particular contexts.  

3. Demonstrate synthesis and evaluation  

  • examine and evaluate geographic concepts, theories and perceptions  
  • use geographic concepts and examples to formulate and present an argument  
  • evaluate materials using methodology appropriate for geographic fieldwork  
  • at HL only, demonstrate synthesis and evaluation of the HL extension—global interactions.  

4. Select, use and apply a variety of appropriate skills and techniques  

  • select, use and apply: 
    • prescribed geographic skills in appropriate contexts  
    • techniques and skills appropriate to a geographic research question.  
  • produce well-structured written material, using appropriate terminology 

The course is divided into four components (or three for Standard Level):  

Component 1: 

  • Geographic themes—seven options (those currently studied at SKA are shown in bold). Standard Level study two options; Higher Level study three options • Freshwater • Oceans and coastal margins Extreme environmentsGeophysical hazards • Leisure, tourism and sport • Food and health • Urban environments 
  • ​This is examined in paper 1.  
  • Each option has a structured question and one extended answer question from a choice of two.   
  • ​It is worth 35% of the final grade 
  • Standard Level – 1h30m  
  • Higher Level 2h25m 

Component 2: 

  • Geographic perspectives—global change  
  • Population distribution—changing population  
  • Global climate—vulnerability and resilience  
  • Global resource consumption and security 
  • This is examined in paper 2.  
  • Three structured questions, based on each SL/HL core unit. Infographic or visual stimulus, with structured questions. One extended answer question from a choice of two. 
  • It is worth 40% of the final grade at Standard Level and 25% of the grade at Higher Level 
  • Standard Level – 1h25m  
  • Higher Level - 1h25m 

Component 3 – for Higher Level Only  

  • Geographic perspectives—global interactions  
  • Power, places and networks  
  • Human development and diversity  
  • Global risks and resilience 
  • This is examined in paper 3 
  • There is a choice of three extended answer questions, with two parts, based on each HL core extension unit. 
  • Higher Level – 1h 
  • It is worth 20% of the grade 

Component 4 

  • Internal Assessment 
  • Fieldwork, leading to one written report based on a fieldwork question, information collection and analysis with evaluation 
  • One written report based on a fieldwork question from any suitable syllabus topic, information collection and analysis with evaluation. 
  • Standard Level – 20h 
  • Higher Level – 20h 
  • It is worth 25% of the final grade at Standard Level and 20% of the grade at Higher Level 

Course teaching structure  

Year 1 

Teacher 1

  • Global Climate - Vulnerability and resilience (Terms 1 & 2)
  • Global Resources - consumption and security (Terms 3 & 4)
  • Power, Places and Networks (Terms 5 & 6)

Teacher 2

  • Populaton distribution - changing populations (Terms 1 & 2)
  • Oceans and Coastal Margins (Terms 3 & 4)
  • Internal Assessment (Terms 5 & 6)

Year 2

Teacher 1

  • Extreme Environments (Terms 1 & 2)
  • Global Risk and Resillience (Terms 3 & 4)

Teacher 2

  • Geophysical Hazards (Terms 1 & 2)
  • Human Development and Diversity (Terms 3 & 4)

For further information:

Year 10 PPEs

The Year 10 end of year assessment will consist of GCSE examination questions on the topics that we have completed thus far in the year: Development dynamics. The UK’s evolving physical landscape, and The UK’s evolving human landscape.

In order to revise for these topics students should make use of their classwork books, as these have the most detailed information on the specific case studies and processes we have learnt.

If you wish to purchase your student a revision guide we recommend this one as it covers the same case studies as we complete in class. There are significant discounts often available by buying from the second-hand section of Amazon (other bookshops are available) which are cheaper than if we were to bulk order them at the Academy. If you have a different revision guide from an older sibling or friend then this is fine to use, but please check that it is for the Edexcel B course as there are significant differences between the specifications.

We have put together summary documents (knowledge organisers) of the whole GCSE course, these can be found on the students’ Teams page and are also saved below for your convenience. The end of Year 10 assessment will consist only of topic 2 from paper 1 and topics 4 and 5 from paper 2.

We recommend active rather than passive revision (e.g. just reading their books), students could make flashcards, spider diagrams, summary sheets of their own. They can test each other, or ask others at home to test them on knowledge. If they would like help to structure their revision they can ask their geography teacher for specific help.

Paper 1 Knowledge Organiser

Paper 2 Knowledge Organiser

Paper 3 Knowledge Organiser