The Geography curriculum at Manwood’s aims to:
Engage... our independent learners - we will encourage students to think for themselves by encouraging discussion and debate in lessons and by the careful use of questioning to push students to think further. As students get older we will find opportunities for them to think critically about information and not to take it at face value.
Explore... contemporary local and global issues - we want students to be excited to know that they are studying topics, issues and processes that shape the world they live in. We want our geographers to have a solid grasp of a wide range of human and physical processes that influence their world and understand how these can create challenges when they interact. This broad understanding makes geographers generalists; in the best sense of the word - as their understanding allows them to work across disciplines to creatively solve problems.
Explore values - through decision making activities and role plays, we help students explore different values and opinions that shape the world, so that they can draw conclusions about what values are important to them. Through this we hope to encourage students to become responsible citizens who understand their power to influence the world as well as the limits to their personal power.
Excel... in a cross curricular subject - we want Geography to be a combination of a Social and Earth Science. Research and scientific enquiry skills play a key part in Geography at Manwoods. Students will develop their quantitative and qualitative skills. Some of this will happen through fieldwork and gathering secondary data online. We will help students to confidently apply their Maths, English & IT skills, which makes Geography a truly cross-curricular subject.
In Year 7 students start by focusing on the UK before the topics broaden to look at more global. They started by learning the basic geographical skill of map reading (Mountain Rescue teams warn about relying on phones and the Duke of Edinburgh award uses paper maps for navigation, so these continue to be useful skills) to help them learn more about their local area. In topic two, students learn about the weather and climate that we experience in the UK. They then go on to learn about tourism is related to weather and climate and how it has become a global industry that has affected towns like Margate. They finish that topic by making a presentation about how they would improve Margate’s fortunes. We finish the year with a final topic learning about rivers and flooding by taking a journey down the Nile from its source in Tanzania to its mouth in Egypt.
In Year 8 students study issues with global significance. The first topic is all about the world’s growing population and we decide whether we are optimistic or pessimistic about the world’s ability to cope with a population that will reach 11bn by 2100. We then study climate change and energy – how the world’s climate has changed in the past as well as the future direction for our climate. We look at the solutions to decarbonising our world, with a big focus on electricity. Our third topic is ecosystems, particularly the Amazon rainforest. We look at the drivers of deforestation and debate whether countries like the UK should care enough to contribute to the effort to reduce deforestation. Finally we focus on Geology by looking at the age of the earth and how the rocks under our feet are formed and break down – with some good practical lab based lessons that explore this topic.
In Year 9 students start with a dive into two GCSE topics to enable them to work out whether they want to take Geography at GCSE. Firstly they look at International Development; they understand how international trade helps countries develop and the challenges that can bring such as sweatshops. They go on to study the movement of the earth’s plates, the causes and effects of earthquakes and how they affect countries in different levels of development. The third topic takes us on a journey from Everest Base Camp to the summit as we understand how ice has the power to change our planet. Finally, we look at the topical issue of Energy Security which has come into focus much more since the Ukraine war.
Year 10 (AQA GCSE specification)
Firstly, we study coasts and how they are shaped by the tides and waves. We look at the impacts of erosion and flooding from the sea (carrying out fieldwork at Sandwich Bay to assess the likelihood of future flooding as sea levels rise) and the ways that we can deal with these threats. We move on to a major topic that takes our Year 9 topic on International Development much further by looking at the rise of China, the future for the UK and explaining why some countries get trapped in poverty. We go back to Physical Geography with a topic on rivers and how they shape the landscape and how we try to manage the increasing problem of river flooding, before finishing Year 10 by studying the challenges of an increasingly large urban population in cities such as Mumbai.
Year 11 (AQA GCSE specification)
At the start of Year 11 we complete our urban topic by understanding the issues of cities in the UK, focusing on London and undertaking our fieldtrip to Stratford to assess the impact of the Olympic regeneration on deprived areas in east London. We then study the world’s ecosystems, focusing of deforestation of rainforests in Borneo and the challenges and opportunities for people living around the edges of hot deserts like the Sahara. We then move onto natural hazards, revising what we studied in Year 9 and going on to study hurricanes which are probably the most significant natural hazard in the world given the lack of preparedness for them. Our final topic allows to recap on our understanding of energy that we studied at Key Stage 3 and debate the importance of the competing challenges of Energy Security and Energy Sustainability.
Year 12 (OCR A level specification)
Human Geography (Mr Anderson).
Global Migration – migration is ancient, as when Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. Students will learn the differences between migrants, asylum seekers and refugees and understand the causes of recent increases in migration globally and why many governments need migration.
Unique places – in this topic we will study how specific places are shaped today by both their physical geography (created over millions of years) and their human geography - often influenced by global economic forces that leave local people feeling powerless.
Physical Geography (Mr Raymond)
Glaciation – David Attenborough's Frozen Planet has brought the icy extremes of our planet to life. Ice plays a key role in shaping our planet and this topic helps us understand that.
The Earth’s life support systems – a core topic for anyone wanting to work in Climate Change. We study how the carbon & water cycles are so crucial to human life on the planet and how humans influence them.
At the end of Year 12, students pick a topic that they want to research. Students plan their project in the summer and collect their own data over the summer holiday.
Year 13 (OCR A level specification)
At the start of Year 13, students present and analyse their data and write up their final report.
Human Geography (Mr Anderson)
Power and Borders (Geopolitics) – we take it for granted that the borders of countries are fixed - but borders change more rapidly than we realise. We will study the forces that lead to conflict and assess how effective global bodies like the UN that try to control conflict.
Disease Dilemmas - There is a clear link between health & the development of a country. We study malaria to understand this and the relationship between physical geography and disease outbreak. We will look at the dilemmas governments face when trying to improve health and tackle outbreaks of disease, including pandemics such as Covid.
Physical Geography (Mr Raymond)
The Earth's Life Support Systems - we complete the topic by looking at two contrasting ecosystems to understand how the water and carbon cycles act in completely different, but massively important ways depending on where on the earth's surface you are.
Tectonic Hazards – we build on knowledge from GCSE to gain a much more complex understanding of plate tectonics. There is a much greater focus on volcanoes and the ways in which geology influences hazards and geopolitics influences the response to natural disasters.