Geography: Vision Statement

Studying geography at DHFS will equip our students with the knowledge and skills to be engaged, active and responsible global citizens of the 21st century. Geographers will develop their knowledge of places and environments, as well as their understanding of the diversity of different societies and cultures. This will help them to understand how people and environments interact and what impacts and actions we need to take to ensure sustainability for our societies and planet. Learning in geography at DHFS is underpinned by our core principles of developing responsibility, resilience and reflection.

Geography: Design Rationale

How has the curriculum been designed? The geography curriculum has been designed to ensure that our students are provided with the most important geographical knowledge and skills that they will need for a successful future as 21st century citizens. We have used the NC as a basis for mapping out what knowledge our students need to acquire, which processes they need to understand and which skills they will need to perfect. We have collaborated as a team of staff to ensure that our planned curriculum is an ambitious one that ensures students’ breadth and depth of knowledge, understanding and skills exceed the expectations of the NC. The curriculum in KS3 builds towards further study of the subject at KS4, KS5 and beyond by mapping a sequence of modules that ensures that prior learning is built on and is reflected on throughout.

The Big Ideas

We have chosen four ‘Big Ideas’ that thread through the entire 7-year curriculum in geography.
These are:

  • Our Place in the World
  • Unfair World
  • Threatened World
  • Dangerous World

Why have these big ideas been chosen?

To ensure a balance of both human and physical geography, whilst at the same time recognising social, economic, environmental geography within human, we have decided on four big ideas that thread through all key stages of geography at DHFS.


We are located on the ground floor in C Block and have a suite of four rooms.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7 students will investigate all four of the Big Ideas through the following questions.

  • What is my place in the world?
  • Is the world a fair place?
  • What are the causes and impacts of earthquakes?
  • Why is the Earth heating up?
Year 8

In Year 8 students will investigate all four of the Big Ideas through the following questions.

  • Are there too many people on the planet?
  • Would you rather live in Siberia or the Sahel?
  • How can conflict effect people’s lives?
  • What is happening to our coastline?
Year 9

In Year 9 students will investigate all four of the Big Ideas through the following questions.

  • Why are so many people moving?
  • Do you know who makes your clothes?
  • Should we get used to living in a flooded world?
  • Why are rainforests so important?

Key Stage 4

Year 10/Year 11

Students will follow the OCR B GCSE (geography for enquiring minds) specification throughout Year 10 and Year 11. The sequence map shows the sequence of modules studied across the two years. Students will develop and extend their knowledge of places, environments and processes at a variety of scales. They will investigate the interactions between people and environments and really start to think like a geographer! Students will extend their competence in a range of skills including those used in fieldwork. As part of the GCSE course, students must undertake fieldwork in both a human physical setting. For our physical fieldwork, students will visit the Porter Brook river on the outskirts of Sheffield to investigate how its physical shape and form change as we move downstream. Our Human fieldwork takes place around the centre of Sheffield as we investigate where would be the most suitable location for a new quaternary based business. We also visit the Advanced Manufacturing Park on the outskirts of Sheffield as this forms part of our work on economic hubs.

More information on the GCSE specification can be found here:

Year 12

Students will follow the OCR A Level geography specification throughout Y12 and Y13. The course aims to encourage students to develop a range of essential skills for higher education and world of work through content which is relevant to any citizen of the planet in the 21st century. Through exciting topics, students will understand the nature of physical and human geography whilst unpicking the debates surrounding contemporary challenges facing the world today.

In Year 12 students will study Earth’s life support systems which involves analysing how important both the water and carbon cycles are to life on the planet. We compare the cycles and how they operate and are threatened in two contrasting biomes (Tropical rainforests and Arctic Tundra). Coastal landscapes systems builds on the knowledge acquired at GCSE and introduces the conceptual framework of a systems approach to understanding how our coastlines are shaped and ultimately threatened. The Global migration topic will allow students to build up a picture of how the world around them is shaped, the complexities associated with this and the resulting issues for people. In Changing Spaces; Making Places students study the concept of place and how people are at the heart of places living their lives, forming attachments and making connections. Places are dynamic, multilayers and the history and culture of a nation can be found in its buildings, public spaces, towns and cities.

As part of the A Level, students must complete a Non-Examined Assessment – which is an independent geographical investigation and constitutes 20% of the overall grade. As part of the course students are invited to attend a residential fieldtrip to the North Yorkshire coastline where key skills in data collection and analysis are undertaken in the lead up to the NEA.

Year 13

In Year 13 students will study Hazardous earth. This focuses on the movement of the Earth’s land masses, from Pangea to present day. Students will also investigate how societies are mitigating against the threats from tectonic hazards across the globe. The Disease dilemmas topic will enable students to study how diseases can be classified, the factors which impact on an individual’s and community’s susceptibility to the risk and the global nature of some diseases in terms of their spread and scale. The Human rights topic is linked to the global migration topic from Year 12 and involves a healthy amount of debate and discussion on issues facing specific groups of populations across the globe in the 21st century.

More information on the A Level specification can be found here:

Extra curricular activities

An integral part of the subject.

  • Key Stage 3: Day visit to Flamborough Head in Year 8
  • Key Stage 4: Porter Brook Sheffield for physical fieldwork. Sheffield city centre for human fieldwork
  • Key Stage 5: North Yorkshire coast residential – focus on both human and physical geographies in preparation for the NEA

Teaching staff

  • Mr S Haveron (Head of Humanities)
  • Mr M Cooper
  • Mrs F Westley
  • Mr A James
  • Mr D Sanderson
  • Miss R Thompson
  • Ms J Stubbs

Websites to help students learn about Geography


BBC Bitesize

SAM Learning

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