Curriculum Intent

Geography is a bridge between the Physical and Social Sciences covering a range of different topics which allow students to travel the world from their classroom. By studying Geography at The Dorcan Academy students will develop a lifelong interest in the world; they will learn to understand how the features of the earth are connected, where they and their area fit into the world and how people interact with the environment around them. Geography lessons will support and enable students to appreciate the complex nature of these connections and how through their actions they can make a difference to the world.

Geography aims to make students’ knowledge rich by linking new learning to previous knowledge. Through the development of links between the human and physical disciplines, students are aided in committing knowledge to their long-term memory.

Students will be equipped to contextualise issues facing the world today enabling them to ‘Think like a Geographer’, giving them the opportunity to make and communicate their own informed judgements through their rich subject knowledge. They will develop problem solving skills and acquire an understanding of the impacts any decisions they make have on the world around them, encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions or to hold other people to account for theirs.


In Geography last year, 47.7% of students achieved grades 9 to 5; and 65.1% achieved grades 9 to 4.

What we study – Topic Overview

 Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Year 7CoastsUrbanisationWeather and ClimateWeather and ClimateGlobal IndustryGeology
Year 8RiversDevelopment andDevelopment and KenyaThe Volcano HazardChanging PopulationCrime and conflict
Year 9Glaciation and climate change  KenyaEarthquakes and TsunamisEnvironmental  GeographyGCSE The Living WorldGCSE Resource  Management
Year 10Urban Issues and ChallengesUrban Issues and ChallengesThe Challenge of Natural HazardsThe Challenge of Natural HazardsPhysical Landscapes in the UK  Physical Landscapes in the UK
Year 11The Changing Economic WorldThe Changing Economic WorldPhysical Landscapes in the UK – CoastsPhysical Landscapes in the UK – RiversGCSE Revision 

How we assess

Students’ understanding and application of knowledge is assessed throughout each key stage. Firstly, through formative assessment; using spelling and vocabulary tests, knowledge quizzes, sequencing tasks, questioning, home learning tasks, a variety of lesson activities and writing tasks such as deliberate practice of exam-style questions. As students progress through KS3 they are introduced to a wide range of command /tier 2 words that become increasingly complex as the years progress, supporting them in answering exam questions at GCSE. Formative assessments are reviewed using live feedback, giving students the opportunity to instantly correct, amend or redraft their answers to help make progress.

At the end of each topic students sit a summative assessment; these cover the content of the unit and include cumulative elements to ensure prior learning continues to be assessed and secured. At KS4 these summative assessments take the form of GCSE past papers and are marked using the GCSE criteria and are moderated by the Geography Team. Students receive formal, written bridging feedback on these assessments, and are given opportunities to amend these assessments before moving forward.

Students also sit Prelim exams in Y10 and 11. In Y10 students sit a prelim made up of three units from Paper 1 and Paper 2. In Y11 students sit one exam made up of three units from Paper 1 and Paper 2 and a second exam covering an issue evaluation using pre-release materials and fieldwork skills.

Meet the team

Mr Alan Brownlie – Head of Geography

Miss Sophie Roberts – Teacher of Geography, Deputy Safeguarding and CLA lead

Mr Luke McNee – Teacher of Geography

Curriculum Allocation

All students study Geography throughout KS3 at The Dorcan Academy and may choose to continue to follow through to GCSE. 

In Year 7, 8 and 9, all students have 3 lessons a fortnight.

Students in Year 10 and 11 that select Geography as their global option, or as a second global subject receive 5 lessons a fortnight. 

Enrichment Opportunities

As part of the GCSE students are offered the opportunity to take part in two fieldwork visits; the first is to Bristol Harbourside to evaluate the success of the redevelopment, with the second visit of Buscot Park to investigate whether the River Cole fits the characteristics of a river’s middle course.

BBC Bitesize BBC Bitesize KS3 Geography

BBC Bitesize BBC Bitesize AQA Geography

Digimaps for Schools – the class teacher can provide the login details

The Dorcan Academy
St. Paul’s Drive
Covingham, Swindon
Wiltshire SN3 5DA
Switchboard: 01793 525231
Fax: 01793 431461
The Dorcan Academy is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales under company number 07831414. The registered office is St. Paul’s Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5DA.