Thursday 21st June 2018 : Week A    

Trinity Church of England High School, Manchester: Curriculum
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Aims of the Department

Geography provides students with a deeper understanding of the world around them. In the next 50 years, the world is due to change more than it ever has done before and the Geography team at Trinity aim to help prepare our students for these changes. We want our students to see Geography as important, interesting, topical and relevant.

Strengths of the Department

We employ a variety of innovative teaching styles in the Geography department so that all students are able to reach their full potential. We tend not to rely heavily on textbooks but use them as a resource to dip in and out of.

We use thinking skills activities to great effect and have used the school’s excellent ICT facilities to provide opportunities for students to research major world issues and events such as the recent World Cup.

As well as the subject content, we also ensure that students are taught a variety of skills that they will need for their further education and employment. This includes data analysis, presentation skills, graphical skills, team work and independent learning.


We have forged links with Manchester University that have involved collaboration with the Archaeology and Anthropology departments. We have also successfully run volunteering opportunities where undergraduate and postgraduate students have helped our GCSE students with their internet researching skills. We run a successful fieldtrip to a local National Park each year in order for our GCSE students to collect data for their controlled assessments.

End of KS3 levels have improved year on year since 2012 and the number of students opting to take Geography at GCSE level has tripled since 2012.

KS3 Geography Curriculum

With the new National Curriculum there has been a move towards taking Geography back to basics.

In Year 7, students begin their Geographical education by studying the meaning of Geography and learning basic geographical fieldwork skills such as surveying and field sketching. We also learn how to read maps and complete a unit of work on worldwide locational knowledge. Students will also study diverse topics such as the weather, people and cities, climate change and China.

In Year 8 we begin with an emphasis on geomorphology – how the world around us is shaped by natural processes. Students will learn about river processes and features, coastal processes and features and glacial processes and features before moving onto a small unit of work all about flooding and its impacts on rich and poor countries. The second half of Year 8 is more human Geography orientated so students will learn all about development, aid and the role of charities in helping to relieve poverty. The final unit is all about the very topical and controversial issue of globalisation and we study the impacts of this through the global fashion industry.

In Year 9 there is more of a mix of physical and human geography. We begin with a unit of work entitled ‘The Restless Earth’ which is all about plate tectonics, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions – this tends to be very popular with students. The next unit focuses again on cities in particular urban morphology and urban models before looking at the issue of crimes in cities and where crimes may happen. During Year 9 we also learn about a variety of ecosystems namely the tropical rainforest, deserts and the tundra. The final unit of work is all about the geography of Africa.

KS4 Geography Curriculum

Y10 Curriculum

In Year 10, students will begin to learn the new AQA GCSE Geography Qualification. This offers a broad range of topics that have some familiarity from KS3 and also some new content. As with most subjects, there is now no controlled assessment and the final grade is awarded based on the results of three examinations. In Year 10 we begin with Paper 1 entitled "Living with the Physical Environment". This involves the study of the following topics:

  • The Challenge of Natural Hazards
  • The Living World
  • The Physical Landscapes of the UK

At the end of Year 10 and into Year 11 we will begin the study needed for Paper 2 entitled "Challenges in the Human Environment". This involves the study of the following topics:

  • Urban Issues & Challenges
  • The Changing Economic World
  • The Challenge of Resource Management

Fieldwork is still an important element of all GCSE Geography Courses and to this end there will be at least two fieldwork opportunities in human and physical geography. The geographical skills needed to carry out effective fieldwork will be assessed in Paper 3 entitled "Geographical Applications". This involves answering questions based on their fieldwork experience and a Geographical Issue Evaluation which will involve some 'pre-released' material which we will study before the exams in Year 11.

Y11 Curriculum

At GCSE level students follow the AQA ‘A’ GCSE Geography Specification. This offers a very broad and balanced choice of topics to study. The course is split into two unit exams (each accounting for 37.5% of the final grade) and a piece of controlled assessment that makes up the final 25%. The topics we teach in Year 10 and Year 11 are:
Unit 1: Physical Geography:

  • The Restless earth
  • Water on the Land
  • Living World

Unit 2: Human Geography:

  • Population Change
  • Changing Urban Environments
  • Tourism

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