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Curriculum Purpose and Impact

At Foundation level, we aim to captivate our students interest for geography as well as scaffold integral skills essential for the success at Mastery and Advanced level. The purpose of the high quality geography curriculum at Uxbridge High School is to inspire a curiosity and fascination about the world and the people in students. Students will be equipped with knowledge about diverse places, resources and people togetherness with a deep understanding of the Earth’s physical, environmental and human processes.  We have decided to base all Foundation curriculum with a backdrop to the 17 SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) developed by the UN on how to make our world a better place. Students will be able to discover the world they live in and take actions towards the SDG within the school, at home and within their community.

The geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. As students transition for Year 7 to Year 13, their ever-growing knowledge about the world will empower students to become active citizens of our global community.

“The best thing about geography is that you learn general knowledge about the world, and you know why the world is as it is. When you learn geography, it encompasses history, politics, sociology, maths, science, business and economics. This means that I have an overview of concepts and can link all these subjects together. For example, in Business lessons, I used my knowledge of Superpowers and the Cold war to understand the economic system of Europe.  It is a very underrated subject, but it is the best, I have no regrets in picking Geography, as it has helped me develop my passion for Urban Planning that I will study at University. ”

Hazeem Jailani, year 13.

The opportunity for students to dive into fieldwork is a vital and compulsory phase of the student’s geography school experience. Learning not just in the classroom, but directly in the untidy real world. Geographical skills extended here are transferable life skills.  Geography opens up many career opportunities including those in the following fields: architecture, conservationism, education, GIS, local council, engineering, scientific research and development, field studies, aviation (flying/piloting), travel and tourism, healthcare etc.  We offer fieldwork at each level to develop the understand of geographical research and discoveries. For example, year 7 will have the opportunity to go to the Living Rainforest in Surrey, the year 8 and 9 will use geographical study to understand the world of globalisation and urban regeneration in their local area. Year 10/11 and 12/13 will have the opportunity to research river management, coastal management and urban regeneration at the Olympic park and Docklands area.

We want to make sure that students can develop their independent learning and we make certain that students are able to develop their research skills, revision skills and creativity, in addition to honing their geographical reading and writing skills, with breath of documents from Geofiles to GIS.  This is achieved through the careful planning of home-learning projects, workbooks and on-line revision tools which complement our units of work across all year groups.

Skills and knowledge and concepts:

Geographic skills provide the necessary tools and techniques for us to think geographically. They are central to geography’s distinctive approach to understanding Earth’s physical and human patterns and processes. Geographic skills are used in making decisions important to everyday life—where to buy or rent a home; where to get a job; how to get to work or to a friend’s house; and where to shop, vacation, go to school, understanding the impacts of climate change on our lives. All of these decisions involve the ability to acquire, arrange, and use geographic information. Daily decisions and community activities are linked to thinking systematically and spatially about environmental and societal issues. This is why we have decided to teach the following scheme of work and skills:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
    • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
    • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
    • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
    • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
    • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

Themes for Foundation:

Year 7:

What are the difference Map Skills in Geography?

What are the World’s fantastic places?

How does our food shape space and geography?

 What lies beneath in our oceans?

Why should we care about our world’s rainforest?

How can we live in a world that is more sustainable?

Year 8:

How does energy shape the way we live?

How does space and time bind geography of sport?

How and why does migration occur in our 21st century?

Where and why people stele where they do in our wider world?

(How to survive in extreme environments)

How can Fame help shape our understanding of different geographies?

How can we analyse different crimes in geographical spaces?


Themes for Transition:

Year 9:

How do the resources we use affect our world?

Why do different regions at different stages?

How and why does a river change from the source to the mouth?

What are the different features of our coasts?

How does money shape our interconnecting world?



Year 10: AQA Exam board

Urban Issues and Sustainable cities: How does city life affect the way we live? Why do cities grow?

Coasts: How are the different features of our coasts developed?

Economic World: How do economic changes impact the UK and the world?

World Development: How do regions at different stages of DMT shape our world?

Rivers: What are the specific processes that create our river from the source to the mouth? How are the different features within these created?

Fieldwork-Human ( Docklands) and Physical ( Colne River)

Year 11:

The Living World: How do we conserve our environment? How does

The Challenges of natural hazards

Resource management: water, food and energy: Why are the resources we use affect our world and how can we reduce the future consequences?


Wider Community

In order to encourage students to be inspired by our subject and perhaps follow a career path using their geographical skills; we have guest geographers, travel experience sharing by staff, Geography week and careers. Careers and training is embed into our curriculum plan and offer students opportunities to take part in geographical competition within the school and outside the school context such as with the RGS and Royal Urban planning. We also run extracurricular clubs such a Geo-club for underachievers and a Eco-Club to develop sustainable practices with students.

Creating Pathways

There are a huge amount of different career paths for geographers. According to the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa), geography graduates are among the least likely to be unemployed. More than 90 per cent are in work or further study within six months of graduating. They are seen as employable due to their combination of transferrable skills including problem-solving and critical thinking.

Statistics from the destinations of leavers from Higher Education survey show that recent geography graduates are taking up graduate roles that may appear more loosely related to the subject. Nearly one-fifth find work in business, finance and human resources, and more than 10 per cent go into marketing, public relations and sales.

Slightly more are employed in clerical work, while the 10 per cent that go into education, engineering and building fields is expected to increase over time.

Some graduates go on to work as town planners, cartographers, surveyors, environmental consultants and campaigners, travel agents, emergency planners, landscape architects and meteorologists.

Many graduates find third-sector work for non-governmental organisations, such as the many specialising in development, poverty and climate change, while others pursue careers in journalism, local government, the Civil Service and utility companies.

Famous people who studied geography 

David Attenborough and the Duke of Cambridge are just two famous figures who have studied geography. Others include Immanuel Kant, the philosopher; Alexander von Humboldt, the naturalist and explorer; Hugh Dennis, the comedian; and television presenter Chris Tarrant.

Top athletes have also graduated in the subject, including Michael Jordan (the  basketball player); Olympic gold medal-winning rowers, Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell; and former England rugby player, Rob Andrew. Anita Roddick, the founder of the Body Shop, and David Harvey, the geographer and anthropologist, also hold degrees in the subject.