SPALD Geography

Curriculum Intent

To have uncompromising aspirations for every individual and for our school to be an exceptional and inspirational community of lifelong learners.



Geography is a subject that will inspire a lifelong interest and curiosity about our world. The Geography Department believes that Geography is an essential ingredient in the development of our students as global citizens. In an age where our world is becoming a single global society, understanding and appreciation of this world is now more important than ever before. We want our students to be prepared for the world within which they will work and to be provided with information that will allow them to make informed decisions as global citizens and broaden their knowledge and culture capital.


Key concepts that underpin the Geography curriculum
  1. Physical and Human Processes
  2. Location
  3. Spatial Awareness
  4. Sense of Place
  5. Environment and Sustainability
  6. Cultural Awareness and diversity
  7. Geo literacy and thinking geographically


Key Geographical skills that underpin the Geography curriculum
  1. Collect, analyse and communicate data through fieldwork
  2. Interpret a range of sources of geographical information e.g maps, globes, GIS and satellite photographs
  3. Use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to view, analyse and interpret places and data


How does our curriculum shape learners?

Through the dedication of staff and students in the Geography department, students leave with the transferable skills they need to be successful in all aspects of life. They are independent, reflective, team players and have a deep understanding of the world around them.


Year 7 By the end of year 7, students will be able to describe the locations of a number of places in the world. They will be able to understand their sense of place, locally, nationally and globally by studying maps skills and the landscape of the UK. With regards to physical Geography, students will be able to identify key issues that our oceans are facing and formulate solutions to these problems. This is the start of our students learning journey to becoming global citizens and understanding global issues.
Year 8 By the end of year 8, students will be able to begin to explain their points and link to key contemporary case studies. Students will challenge stereotypes when studying ‘Africa and development’, bringing a further awareness of different cultures and the diversity of our human race. Students will be aware of global problems in the world and have thought about solutions and will be able to identify where in the world these issues arise.
Year 9 By the end of year 9, students will draw upon their prior knowledge of weather and climate to deep dive into the issues of climate change. They will be able to explain what climate change is and how it will impact people and the environment in the short and long term.
By the end of year 9, they will have explored and tackled some of the world's issues. They will have built upon their prior locational knowledge as well as cross curricular knowledge from other subjects such as RE, to understand different cultures.


Click on the image below to visualise the SPALD Geography learner journey


Key features of learning

Geography teaches important life skills, personal learning, thinking skills, functional skills, as well as developing a critical way of thinking about the world. Employers are looking for quality people to invest in, and geography is a subject which explores the importance of the future. The curriculum at Hayes school is far more than lists of content, rather specific topics chosen to really broaden the mindset of our students and teach beyond the specification, allowing time for regular retrieval and application of prior knowledge, which enriches and broadens their long term memory.

Geography lessons allow students to develop the idea of what it is to be a Hayes learner by partaking in group work while collecting data in the field or communicating their opinion to others while respectfully listening to others.


What will you see in lessons?
  • Low stakes practice of skills in a variety of ways eg matching activities, sorting activities.
  • Practical/kinesthetic activities to enhance understanding.
  • Use of visuals, including film clips.
  • Work sheets.
  • Opportunities to articulate and discuss thinking.
  • Specific practice of vocabulary informed by Elklan strategies eg word maps.
  • Encouragement to use visual aids


What will you see in books?
  • Learning objectives phrased as questions.
  • Deliberate practice of skills and concepts, including red pen improvements.

The work in books is often completed after a range of low stakes practice; this takes place before pen and paper meet eg work on MWBs, matching games, sorting activities.


What formative assessment will you see in SPALD Geography?
  • Quizzes
  • Questioning (e.g. cold-calling).
  • Written answers.
  • End of topic tests. What is the department currently reading and why?