Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.
At STARS we provide KS3 pupils with a weekly Geography lesson. We teach all Key Stage 3 pupils together for Geography which means that we do not follow a typical 3 year KS3 curriculum and, due to the nature of our provision and our focus on reintegration, a two-year cyclical curriculum works well. However, we do ensure that we follow the National Curriculum Programme of Study as closely as possible, which allows pupils to master the National Curriculum’s aims in Geography.
The Intent of the Geography curriculum is to provoke pupils’ curiosity about the world they live in and their place in it. They develop an understanding and interest in diverse places, people, resources, natural and human environments and the effect that human and physical processes have on it. More specifically:
- To gain an understanding of location - local and global (using maps, globes, GIS)
- Understand the similarities and differences across the world in both human and physical geography
- Develop an appreciation of different cultures, how people live and work across the world
- Understand physical processes and how humans interact and influence them
- Develop an investigative curiosity through using geographical skills and fieldwork
We support the reintegration of pupils in Geography by following a curriculum that promotes independent learning and the development of core disciplinary skills and knowledge of the subject. Within our supportive environment we ensure that behaviour expectations are high and are consistent with our mainstream colleagues, ensuring pupils are ready to reintegrate back into their school placements. Homework, although not compulsory, is occasionally set so pupils are able to build confidence to help them manage the demands of a return to their mainstream school.
To help with their reintegration further, we ask pupils to work independently and together to mirror the experience of pupils in mainstream Geography classes. We also encourage pupils to participate in lessons fully, by presenting their ideas to the class either individually or in groups to build their confidence with a smaller group of peers.
We also offer an Entry level course to all pupils in Year 9, so they will have the knowledge and ability to continue with this subject more easily when they reintegrate back to their schools.
Whilst teaching Geography at STARS we ensure pupils develop skills that can be used in other areas of the curriculum, particularly Maths, Science, English, RE, History, PSHE, Art and Cookery, such as collecting, presenting and analysing statistical data and communicating geographical information through writing at length, or helping pupils to understand the geographical importance of some historical events such as South America’s role in the slave trade. We encourage pupils to develop their cultural capital through using different areas of the world when focussing on particular physical processes, for example we look at Japan in detail, both the physical and human geographically elements, whilst learning about Tectonic Movement and Volcanic activity.
All pupils are encouraged to share their views on geographical issues such as climate change, poverty and how others live. We do this through regular discussions and pupils join in readily, showing their interest in the subject.
Geography trips include a joint visit with History to the 'London, Sugar and Slavery' exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands, to support their understanding of the Slave Trade as well as to carry out field analysis of an Urban environment compared to analysis gathered at a Rural environment. We also visit Birling Gap when we are covering the topic on Coastlines, so the pupils can experience some of the features for themselves.