We provide a broad and enriching curriculum to inspire life-long curiosity and fascination about the world. Whether well-travelled or have barely left Poole, students will develop a ‘sense of place’ for their local area and make comparisons and connections to other parts of the country, the UK and overseas. They will develop a wide range of geographical and life skills, intrinsically linked to other areas of the academy curriculum, with opportunities to learn outdoors in a range of environments. Students will discover a variety of both familiar and unfamiliar patterns and processes in human and physical geography, as they explore the world from their classroom.
Geography lessons at Magna play a vital role in helping young people recognise their responsibilities as citizens of the global community. Geography lessons at Magna equip students with the skills required to make informed decisions and take responsible actions, in order to develop an appreciation of their global footprint. Geography at Magna Academy explores the world’s interconnections and engages students with complex global issues. Developing empathy and compassion of different cultures supports them in embracing and celebrating diversity in their own communities and future lives, so that they learn to value diversity.
While human and physical geography are separate at Key Stage 4 examinations, we bring these themes together. This develops a student’s synopticity by linking their lives with people, places and issues throughout the world.
Geography students can show their understanding not only through writing but also verbally, using good habits of discussion and the ‘say it again, properly’ technique and developing confidence to offer alternative views. This helps prepare them in their future lives and supports them in valuing and challenging the opinions of others.
Finally, our students need to go into assessments and examinations with confidence, so we develop strong exam technique and revision strategies which aid exam success.
Implementation and delivery
Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom, higher income countries, newly emerging economies and lower income countries. Topics of study at Key Stage 4 include climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use.
Teachers use unit booklets and textbooks as well as inspiring and well-researched resources to deliver topics. Our booklets ensure consistency of all teaching in the subject. They ensure students have opportunities to build on what they have already learned through recapping prior learning and by ensuring tasks build towards exam success. Teachers have the freedom to adapt their lessons in their own way so that students benefit from the breadth of their pedagogical skills and life experiences as they bring their lessons to life.
Guided practice ensures every student has the opportunity to meet a single challenging learning objective, including those with SEND or those who are disadvantaged.
The use of Knowledge Organisers (KOs) helps students to develop geographical language, key geographical terminology, concepts and processes. KO tests and bi-annual end-of-unit assessments help to support students’ progress and preparation for external examinations, while celebrating knowledge acquisition. We embed knowledge through use of ‘do-now’ and weekly tests, chanting, questioning and extended writing. The end-of-unit KO tests assess what students have retained from their self-quizzing homework, produced fortnightly.
Geographical skills – mathematical, statistical, cartographic and the use of IT – are practiced and developed across all units and all years. At Key Stage 4, consistent delivery of exam skills (use of direct instruction, PEEL, PEDAL, BUG the question etc) supports students across subjects within the academy. A ‘spiral curriculum’ approach is taken, where a topic in Year 7 will link to another topic in subsequent years, preparing students to broaden their understanding and skill base at Key Stage 4 and for GCSE success. Students learn fieldwork techniques through lessons and Key Stage 4 field trips. They focus on skills in data collection, presentation, analysis and evaluation, essential transferable skills for the future.
Over the course of their Geography education at Magna, students will learn numerous real-life case studies to add depth and significance to their knowledge and understanding. Cross-curricular links develop a broader perspective through the sharing of long-term plans with other subjects in the academy, with particular focus in Mathematics, Science and History. Students are given opportunities for discussion in every lesson, contributing to the development of their decision-making skills and critical thinking.
Every lesson uses formative assessment to systematically assess individual progress including spot check questioning, use of mini-whiteboards and show call. Whole-class marking and feedback is provided in order to address misconceptions, improve geographical literacy and challenge students further. Prior knowledge is ‘interleaved’ through pause lessons, which helps recap and revise previous content.
In Key Stage 3, students complete two Subject Assessments every year. These are a mix of multiple choice questions and knowledge application through skills tests. This extra layer of assessment requires students to apply knowledge in the context of an exam style question. In Key Stage 4, students are assessed through pre-public examination assessments twice a year.
We deliver a challenging and engaging Geography curriculum, which instils cultural capital and global awareness. We embed knowledge which provides the foundations for ‘thinking like a geographer’, giving students a platform for developing richer knowledge.
Students are provided with the skills and confidence to be able to understand the world and view it with compassion. We engage and enthuse our young geographers and guardians of tomorrow by bringing to them the real world in a virtual way, enlightening them of current issues such as climate change and sustainability in order to make our students more informed and environmentally aware citizens.
Ultimately, we in the Geography department at Magna Academy want our students to be able to express themselves in a geographical language on a range of topics that are relevant to them personally. Crucially, we create an environment where geographical enquiry, the basis of geographical learning, prepares students for the ever-increasing abundance of career opportunities in geography.