Head of Department: Miss V Lee

Intent: The intent of the Holy Family Geography department is to develop student’s awareness of the world around them and inspire pupils to make a difference. We want our students to appreciate their natural environment and to take some responsibility for our geographical futures. As a department we seek to equip our pupils with the necessary skills and tools to prepare them for life after Holy Family.

KS3: KS3 is a continuous course which, builds upon the foundations of KS2. We aim to develop students skills learned at KS2 and widen their knowledge of geography at varying scale. By the end of KS3 we want pupils to be confident young people that have a detailed understanding of the world, how it has been formed, and current issues and developments. At KS3 students enjoy a wide range of topics, such as; extreme weather, populations, coastal erosion and world ecosystems. The KS3 curriculum is developed to allow progression and create detailed knowledge and understanding that prepares students adequately for GCSE. Topics are a mixture of geographical themes and places and aim to meet all the expectations of the KS3 national curriculum.

KS3 Geography Curriculum

Geog KS3 Curriculum

KS3 Curriculum plan and rationale



Unit of work title

Coverage of KS3 NC


Opportunities for progression



Zombie Apocalypse

Competent in geographical skills

This topic aims to develop upon skills learnt at KS2 and now go further.  Students are expected to work from global to local, inspiring an interest in the local area.  We use the theme of a zombie apocalypse to interpret maps at different skills and communicate geographical information in a variety of ways.

OS map skills-used in all KS3 and KS4 topics.

Concept of human and physical geography.



#7 billion

Human geography relating to population.

This topic aims to provide students with an opportunity to discuss an issue that affects us on and to develop a balanced view about the positive/negative aspects of population growth.

Concept of a changing world.

History of Britain and how development affected population growth.



Disappearing Britain

Understanding through a detailed place based example (UK)

UK’s physical history- ice age, glaciation, rocks, soil, coasts, flooding.

This topic aims to comprehensively study the UK to give students a deep understanding of a variety of processes that have shaped our island.  This finalises with human issues such as coastal erosion and flooding as humans have populated the land.

This topic allows students to develop fieldwork and evaluation skills.

UK focus at GCSE.

Coastal and fluvial processes and landforms studied at GCSE.

Builds upon the processes of weathering and erosion.



Rich World

Poor World

Human geography relating to international development.

This topic aims to improve numerical skills through data analysis of development indicators. GIS through a variety of mapping forums- map finder, World Mapper.

Supports understanding of urbanisation in Y8.

Changes in development studied at GCSE.



Risky Places

Physical geography relating to geological timescales and plate tectonics.

This topic gives Y7 fantastic understanding of how the world formed and the impact of this on the interactions and processes they will learn about in the future.

Introduces plate tectonics.



Are we running out?

Human geography relating to the use of natural resources.

This topic provides students with a decision-making exercise to widen their ability to debate and form arguments.  The topic focuses on differing viewpoints and uses a local study of fracking to make geography real.

Improves debating ability.

Extended answers.

Final topic of GCSE covers resources.



World Ecosystems

Extend their locational knowledge of Africa and Asia.  Focus on the environmental regions- polar and desert.

This topic aims to inspire an interest in the wider world and builds upon the concept of human and physical geography from Y7.

Supports their understanding of global biomes if they opt at GCSE.

Deeper understanding of physical processes to support further topics in Y8.



Concrete Jungle


This topic focuses on our local area and the NW to make geography real.  This topic gives students a chance to study the changes in their local area and how those changes impact upon opportunities such as jobs, learning and the future.

Mapping skills of the local area and NW.

Understanding changes and opportunities for future jobs



Extreme weather

Weather and climate

This topic builds the foundations of weather and climate systems which are hard concepts at KS4.  This topic gives pupils a chance to see themselves and their lifestyle in the wider world, issues such as climate change and how sustainable they are.

To lead a more sustainable life.

Become responsible adults.

Climate graphs.

Fieldwork skills local at our local microclimate.



Russia or

Topic issue (Olympics, Commonwealth games, local issues) 

Developing awareness of major global areas/regions

This topic aims to consolidate all the skills, human and physical processes into either a Russia study or if applicable a world topic/current issue.  This allows pupils to study current important events that they have some understanding of to build upon.

Builds upon student’s ability to see the value/importance of geography.

Gives students real-time events to study.

Improves debating skills/forming opinions and viewpoints.


Assessment across KS3 includes one at the end of each themed topics.  Each year 3 assessments are in the form of timed assessments comprising of a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended answer which are designed to allow access to the assessment for all ability ranges.  In Y7 one assessment is a geographical investigation designed to improve fieldwork and data analysis skills as specified in the national curriculum.  In Y8 one assessment is a decision making assessment that gives pupils a chance to develop clearly constructed arguments about a local issue.

There is a strong local context throughout our curriculum including;

  1. Skills topic at the start of Y7 focussing on the local area and NW.
  2. Coastlines in Y7 topic 3 which looks at erosion in Southport and Crosby and the risks of coastal flooding.
  3. Fracking in Y8 which looks at Formby and the Alt Car site.
  4. Study of Manchester and Liverpool and the changes (redevelopment) that has taken place.


Pupils at KS3 are given a variety of tasks to enable all students to engage with at home learning.  Some topics have differentiated menus where each pupil is able to challenge themselves and pick homework from a wide range of choices and challenge levels.  Each activity is directly linked to a lesson, further enhancing their learning.  Some topics have a project based homework such as World Ecosystems, where each week pupils must use what they have learnt in the lesson to directly apply to another world biome of their choice.  Challenge tasks are set each week beyond the normal homework.  Finally, some topics require weekly homework to support learning such as exam-style practise questions using structure strips in preparation for assessments.

KS4: Geography is an exciting and diverse subject to study at GCSE, not least because it lends itself to a wide variety of careers including, environmental professions, city planning, renewable energy, economics, flood protection and prevention, travel and tourism.  At GCSE pupils follow the AQA specification, a course that is relevant and engaging.  The AQA course allows pupils to study topics that have proven to be interesting and topical to them such as world natural hazards and more local issues such as re-development and changes within Liverpool and the local area.

The AQA course that we have chosen, helps put students on the path to becoming geography specialists by giving them skills and knowledge relevant to the modern age.  The qualification covers a mixture of both physical and human geography as well as current issues and enquiry.  Topics covered are:

  • The challenge of natural hazards
  • Ecosystems, Tropical rainforests and cold environments
  • UK landscapes: rivers and coasts
  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • The challenge of resources: energy
  • Geographical application: fieldwork and issues evaluation

The optional topics chosen at GCSE for our pupils are coasts and energy for the following reasons;

  1. The school is located in a coastal location (Sefton) so the topic is directly relevant to our students.
  2. Assess for all pupils to local fieldwork.
  3. Our local area and the north-west has been the subject of two fracking applications, there are local energy issues.
  4. There are ample opportunities very close to our school to develop fieldwork skills.

Finally choosing AQA means that pupils have the opportunity to complete and issues evaluation exam.  This exam focuses on pupil’s ability to make decisions and develop coherent arguments to support their points (something pupils at Holy Family are good at).  This specification also has fieldwork as an integral part of the course.  Students will complete a minimum of two days of fieldwork in contrasting local locations.  This opportunity gives students a chance to develop their local geography, and their ability to collect, analyse and manipulate numerical data.


The table below shows how the course is assessed:       

   Which part of the GCSE?      What does this involve?      When?      What percentage of the course?  
Paper 1 All questions in this exam will relate to physical geography. You will be asked a mixture of data   response questions and using case studies


Year 11

Paper 2 All questions in this exam will relate to human geography. You will be asked a   mixture of data response questions and using case studies.


Year 11




Two pieces of fieldwork completed in Y10 and Y11.   You will be questioned on your fieldwork. You will also be given a current issue to investigate and learn about e.g. building 400 new homes on the island of   Anglesey. You will be asked to evaluate the pros and cons of any development or issue.


Year 10



Geography club each Monday Years 7-9

Local fieldwork in and around the school Years 7/8

Zoo school as part of Year 8 World Ecosystems topic.

Fieldwork for Year 9- Salford Quays/Media centre

Fieldwork for Year 10 to Liverpool

Fieldwork for Year 11 to Ainsdale, Crosby

Useful Links

The following websites are useful to all pupils studying geography. You can either have a general look through them or use them when you have been set a specific piece of work by your teacher. This is the UK's geographical association website. It contains lots of good articles,   information and advice on choosing geography as a GCSE and A level subject and it tells you how geography can help you in future careers. This is the home of the royal geographical society. Again they have information on geography as an option choice. They have maps and up to date geography in the news information. This is a useful website as it has some general geography information and then it is broken down into a section for each year group with different topics for each group. This website has fact files on every country in the world. It includes maps, flag and facts about the social, economic and environmental factors of each country. This website is broken down into KS3 and GCSE sections and it has interactive sections and a   gallery of images. This website has short movie clips on various geography topics. These could be helpful for your homework or for revision. Useful for information when studying weather and climate. This is useful for both pupils at KS3 and GCSE when they are studying for assessments and exams.  Just go the homepage and search for the relevant topics. Another useful website for weather and climate information. This includes lots of case studies that we cover in class.

Lots of good information on trade and aid and real-life stories. This site has   lots of work on improving your map skills and interactive games This site can be used to find data on particular areas and places. This site has lots of links to different topics. This is a good site for general facts and atlas work. A good selection of short videos on a variety of topics.


Search School Website only

What's Coming Up
Monday 21st Oct - School Play (rehearsals)
Tuesday 22nd – Thursday 23rd – School Play
Thursday 24th Oct - Year 11 Geography trip to Liverpool
Friday 25th Oct - 6th Form trip ‘Scarefest’ Alton Towers
Monday 28th October – Friday 1st November 2019 - Half term


For more information please see

Holy Family School Calendar



Our Address

Mr M Symes,

Holy Family Catholic High School

 Virgins Lane.


L23 4UL

Contact Us

sample0151 924 6451

   School Contact Mrs S Harris (Head’s PA):
         Tel: 0151 932 6106
         Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Us

How to Find Us

Find Us on Google Maps

Link to Google