Gilbert Inglefield Academy

Geography Curriculum Overview 2018-2019

Head of Humanities Department: Mrs. M. Timberlake
HOD Email Address: 

“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.” - Ansel Adams

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” - Edmund Hillary (New Zealander mountain climber and Antarctic Explorer; first person to successfully climb Mount Everest b.1919)

At Gilbert Inglefield Academy, the teaching of Geography is intended to inspire a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with our pupils for the rest of their lives. We aim to equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The schemes of work are designed to develop pupil’s growing knowledge about the world, to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Moreover, we aim to develop geographical skills (such as the reading of maps and locational information) that will support our pupils throughout their lives.

Through the study of Geography, pupils are able to develop a range of skills and abilities and as they move up through the school, their skills are refined and developed through more advanced tasks and high level thinking skills. The Geography teaching staff also work hard to support progress in English, Mathematics and Citizenship in all lessons.

The Humanities department also promotes learning outside of the classroom through the participation in themed days, presentations from external visitors and trips

Year 5

 Around the World in fourteen lessons

In this unit, pupils gain an understanding of global geography by conducting geographical surveys of the continents of the world. Pupils learn to identify and explain human and physical geographical features and also learn how to describe locations. In addition, pupils learn the location of the equator, Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and also gain an understanding of Greenwich Mean Time and time zones around the world.

 Contrasting Locations: the Carribean and Leighton Buzzard

In this unit, pupils compare the town of Leighton Buzzard to that of a city in the UK (Cardiff). Pupils learn how to explain the location and development of settlements and learn how to compare land uses in different areas of the country. This will support pupil’s work in English as they read “Coming to England”.


In this unit, pupils consider water and its uses/importance in today’s society. They gain an understanding of the concept of water on a global and national scale (oceans, lakes and river), learn how to describe the water cycle, conduct surveys of water use (including a ‘water walk’ around the school site) and examine why some areas of the world do not have access to clean water in Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDC).

 The Perfect Playground and Leighton Buzzard local study

In this unit, pupils will consider locations and will make geographical decisions as to where their “perfect playground” would be. In a joint project with History, pupils will also study Leighton Buzzard and will understand how and why the town has changed over time.

 Year 6

 Rocky Rivers

In this unit, pupils investigate the effect of rivers on our environment. They recap on where water comes from and revisit the water cycle; discuss the features of a river and river basins; investigate the geomorphologic process; understand erosion; learn how rivers help form the landscape; how waterfalls are created and what happens on a river bend.


In this unit, pupils revisit the main physical features of global geography by conducting geographical surveys of the continents of the world before focussing on the continent of North America. Pupils learn to identify and explain human and physical geographical features and also learn how to describe locations. Pupils consider settlement, land use and tourism in Mexico.


In this unit, pupils learn how mountains are formed (physical geography) and how they are used (human geography). Using a range of resources pupils investigate mountains both locally, in Europe and worldwide. Using Mount Everest as a specific example, pupils conduct an in-depth study of mountains. They will also develop their understanding of the physical features of the continent of Asia.

 Chocolate: from Bean to Bar (Fairtrade)

In this unit, pupils develop their understanding of the concept of Fair Trade using chocolate as a specific focus. Pupils follow the ‘story’ of chocolate from bean to bar and consider their benefits of the Fair Trade programme for Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDC).

 Year 7

 Tremendous Tectonics

In this unit, pupils study the physical and human considerations of tectonics in today’s world. Focussing on earthquakes and tsunamis, pupils investigate the geographical and geological reasons for these events (plate tectonics) and the human responses to them (using Japan and Montserrat as case studies).

 My Patch: Map and Atlas Skills

In this unit, pupils develop their map and atlas skills. They learn how to follow the sixteen point compass rose, identify four- and six-figure grid references, identify and explain Ordnance Survey (OS) map symbols and to follow directions on a map. They conclude the unit by completing “My Patch” where they investigate a specific location in the UK (chosen independently) using a section of an OS map: in doing so they actively consolidate their understanding of map skills, description of a location, and explanation of land use. The ‘My Patch’ unit is underpinned by GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and has a strong ICT bias.


In this unit, pupils consider and investigate the human and physical geography of the continent of Africa. They will learn about the main physical features (including the diversity of environments) of the continent and then consider and analyse: stereotypical views of Africa; life in urban and rural areas; poverty; education; disease, famine, drought; fair trade; sustainability; and tourism. In doing so, pupils will develop their explanatory skills, use a wide range of sources, and will develop their decision making skills.

 Adventure Landscapes

This short unit focuses on the geographical features of the world’s most adventurous biomes. This module appeals to students' sense of wonder and adventure, virtually dropping them into dramatic places above and below ground and allowing them to explore the physical processes that formed them and continue to shape them. The module includes some ICT based work, lots of creativity as well as map skills and mostly focuses on the adventure landscapes of the UK.

 Weather in the UK

In this unit, pupils learn about the physical process of weather. They learn about different types of weather, clouds, pressure and weather systems. They also learn how to measure weather and how to document geographical trends through graphing. By the end of the unit, they will be able to: describe and explain different weather systems; to produce and analyse various climate graphs; describe and explain the factors that influence climate; and explain how and why we measure the weather.

 Year 8

 Food Miles

In this unit, pupils consider the main issues surrounding the concept of Food Miles. Using a range of geographical sources, pupils reach their own conclusions regarding the significance and importance of Food Miles on a national and global scale. In the unit, pupils conduct a range of activities to develop their map and atlas skills, decision making skills, group work, and speaking and listening skills.

 Population Trends

In this unit, students examine population growth, distribution, density, movement and policies. They will need to be able to describe patterns and characteristics of human populations. They will need to be able to explain the factors influencing these patterns and characteristics. Students must then be able to make reasoned and evidence based arguments about the challenges and issues these differences in population create. Finally they should be able to analyse patterns [spatial and time related] in population and draw conclusions using evidence to support their arguments. Some should be able to make reasoned predictions about future changes in trends on a range of scales.


 This unit focuses on the global issue of Development and considers the key question as to why some countries are more developed than others. Pupils will understand the characteristics or More Economically Developed and Less Economically Developed countries and will consider key concepts and social, economic and environmental factors (such as employment, education etc.) and analyse how they impact development. Pupils will conclude the unit by comparing MEDC and LEDC and by considering how the gap can be closed.

 Cold Environments

 In this unit, pupils conduct an in-depth study of ‘Cold Environments’ with a focus on Antarctica. Pupils use human and physical geographical skills to develop their understanding of climate zones, glaciers and glaciation, bio-diversity, and eco-systems. This unit has strong literacy and numeracy links and is also designed to develop the pupil’s independent research skills.

 Zombie Apocalypse Geography

 In this unit, pupils are able to embed and develop their mapping and atlas skills through a imaginary "Zombie Apocalypse" theme. They use a range of maps and mapping/atlas skills to identify major cities, to comment on and compare locations and to create maps of their own. There are strong literacy and numeracy links throughout this unit as pupils are encouraged to think logically and creatively.