Geography - Curriculum Intent
The Geography experience at Oakbank School is an exciting journey from remote, untouched natural environments to the teeming megacities of the world. Students develop the skill to ‘think like a geographer’, to be able to understand, analyse and evaluate the interactions between the human and physical worlds and to be able to become active citizens in an ever changing world. Students’ imagination is captured as soon as they begin in Year 7 with Fantastic Places, a topic that bridges the gap between Key Stage 2 and 3, as well as breaking down preconceptions of the subject. From here, students tackle a range of important and current issues starting with An African Adventure (in Year 7) and finishing with Climate Change (in Year 9). Students come across the same complex issues and landforms again and again, embedding knowledge and building upon different aspects of the subject. For example they will link rising sea levels when they study Cracking Coasts in Year 7 to the topic of Urbanisation in Year 8 when they study this ever present risk destroying the city of Lagos, which is home to 18 million people. The Oakbank Geography experience also seeks to create the next generation of geographers. Over the course of their three (possibly five) year journey, students are trained to become experts in a range of graphical, cartographic and statistical skills, some of which will be life skills they will continue to use and develop in their adult life. Students are also given very structured guidance on how to extract information from various figures, apply their own knowledge to geographical theories, identify the crucial role of case specific detail and offer their own, developed opinions. Assessment at Key Stage 3 aims to embed and reinforce these core skills, revisiting and refining these key concepts regularly. By the time students choose Geography GCSE they are extremely competent geographers. They are then given the opportunity to build upon prior knowledge as they study some of the topics studied in Key Stage 3 in more depth. Additionally they are able to be synoptic in their reflections as they link topics such as Geography of Conflict (studied in Year 9) to causes of uneven development in the Changing Economic World unit of the AQA course. It is the main aim of the department that students leave Oakbank as lifelong Geographers. They have the key skills to navigate a life of travel, a variety of jobs from engineering to journalism and an opinion that is based on a measured reflection of all the facts and both sides of the argument. Oakbank Geographers also leave with a passion for discovering the world and to make a positive environmental impact on it.