Through Geography, our vision is to deliver a broad and enriching curriculum to inspire life-long curiosity and fascination about the world. Whether well-travelled or having barely left Poole, students will develop a ‘sense of place’ for a variety of contrasting locations around the world and be able to make comparisons and connections between them. 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 explore 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 Earth’s caretakers, and citizens of a 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 for different cultures helps us embrace and value diversity in our own communities and future lives.
While human and physical geography are separate at Key Stage 4 examinations, we bring these themes together. This develops a student’s ability to think synoptically by linking their lives with people, places and issues throughout the world.
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. Students will travel the world from their classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom and Europe, Russia and the Middle East, Africa and Asia, North and South America, Antarctica and the Arctic. Themes of study include hazards, climate change, poverty, deprivation, landscapes, global patterns and processes, the economy and the challenges of sustainable resource use.
Students learn fieldwork techniques throughout their time at Magna. They focus on skills in data collection, presentation, analysis and evaluation – essential transferable skills for the future. Students also develop other critical geographical skills such as cartographic and mathematical skills.
Geography students can show their understanding not only through writing but also verbally, using good habits of discussion and oracy to help develop their confidence to offer alternative views. This helps prepare them for 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 a base of strong exam techniques and revision strategies which aid exam success.
Implementation and delivery
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 prior knowledge through frequent recall 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 key geographical terminology. KO tests and bi-annual assessments help to support students’ progress and preparation for external examinations, while celebrating knowledge acquisition. We embed knowledge through use of ‘do-nows’, recall tasks, questioning and consolidation exercises.
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 for Key Stage 4 and for GCSE success. 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.
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.