Geography Overview

Why do we study Geography? 

Teaching Geography at Ridgeway Secondary School aims to develop knowledge, skills, concepts, values, and attitudes through an approach that sees Geography as an integral part of the whole school curriculum. Geography offers a unique importance in equipping pupils with key attributes needed for Key Stage 4 and beyond. As a department, we are aware that the secondary level can be the final experience of school geography; therefore, we aim to ensure all students leave with the essential and necessary geography skills needed for all further education and employment opportunities.  


The rich KS3 curriculum is designed to encompass a range of traditional and more modern topics to put context to the world around us and allow exploration of current affairs at a range of scales including local, national and international issues. It builds on knowledge learnt at KS2 and offers opportunities to be assessed in a range of different ways with the intention of building a firm foundation for GCSE studies but also to ensure that there is a breadth and depth of curriculum for those who opt not to continue their geography studies into KS4. Case study examples change and are updated regularly making use of the most up to date examples and there is a clear link between topics that are introduced in KS3 and then revisited at KS4 in more depth and breadth. There are also close links and ties with content taught in science, history, English and RS as well as some numeracy topics taught in maths and skills developed in IT.


Geography at GCSE follows the OCR (A) specification which has a strong focus on case study examples and a balance between human and physical geography and developing geographical skills in cartography, numeracy and literacy.  Students are taught to analyse data, look for trends, patterns and exceptions; explain the causes and effects of events and make observations and predictions for the future. There is a strong emphasis on the sustainability of our future cities, transport and environment and what we can do to promote this.  These studies culminate in three written papers covering the geography of the UK, the wider world and geographical skills. Fieldwork remains an important ingredient in the studies and is a compulsory element of the course.  It aims to develop investigative skills, methodical analysis and clear data presentation skills.