The Springfields Academy

Reach South Academy Trust

Our central mission is for Reach South pupils to aspire to achieve beyond the expectations that others place on them.

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"To build safe, independent lives for autistic young people through support, understanding and enablement"

A high-quality Geography curriculum inspires all pupils to learn about the world they live in. It provides opportunities for pupils to become more confident in a way communicate their ideas both verbally and in their written work.  In Geogrpahy we will look at where we live at a local, national and international level, look at human and physical features of the world and consider the impact that we have as humans on our planet.

  • Develop confidence in written and verbal communication.
  • Develop independent learning skills
  • Create an understanding of the local area and the wider world
  • Ensure that pupils can live safe and independent lives while being as sustainable as possible


 Pupils in primary phase follow the skills progression from the Hamilton schemes of learning.  Pupils in Year 9 - 11 follow the skills progression for their accreditation pathway.  

Pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Name and locate the world’s 7 continents and 5 oceans
  • Name, locate and identify characteristics of the 4 countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country
  • Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles
  • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to:
  • Key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather
  • Key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop
  • Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage
  • Use simple compass directions (north, south, east and west) and locational and directional language [for example, near and far, left and right], to describe the location of features and routes on a map
  • Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features; devise a simple map; and use and construct basic symbols in a key
  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment

As pupils progress through the school they should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This will include the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. They should develop their use of geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to enhance their locational and place knowledge.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities
  • Name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time
  • Identify the position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night)
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of the United Kingdom, a region in a European country, and a region in North or South America
  • Describe and understand key aspects of:
  • Physical geography, including: climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle
  • Human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy food, minerals and water
  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied
  • Use the 8 points of a compass, 4- and 6-figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world
  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies


Pupils should then consolidate and extend their knowledge of the world’s major countries and their physical and human features. They should understand how geographical processes interact to create distinctive human and physical landscapes that change over time. In doing so, they should become aware of increasingly complex geographical systems in the world around them. They should develop greater competence in using geographical knowledge, approaches and concepts [such as models and theories] and geographical skills in analysing and interpreting different data sources. In this way pupils will continue to enrich their locational knowledge and spatial and environmental understanding.

Pupils should be taught to:

  • Extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of the world’s countries, using maps of the world to focus on Africa, Russia, Asia (including China and India), and the Middle East, focusing on their environmental regions, including polar and hot deserts, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities
  • Understand geographical similarities, differences and links between places through the study of the human and physical geography of a region in Africa and a region in Asia
  • Understand, through the use of detailed place-based exemplars at a variety of scales, the key processes in:
  • Physical geography relating to: geological timescales and plate tectonics; rocks, weathering and soils; weather and climate, including the change in climate from the Ice Age to the present; and glaciation, hydrology and coasts
  • Human geography relating to: population and urbanisation; international development; economic activity in the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors; and the use of natural resources
  • Understand how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on the effective functioning of natural systems
  • Build on their knowledge of globes, maps and atlases, and apply and develop this knowledge routinely in the classroom and in the field
  • Interpret Ordnance Survey maps in the classroom and the field, including using grid references and scale, topographical and other thematic mapping, and aerial and satellite photographs
  • Use Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to view, analyse and interpret places and data
  • Use fieldwork in contrasting locations to collect, analyse and draw conclusions from geographical data, using multiple sources of increasingly complex information

The Geography curriculum is fully differentiated to give every student the opportunity to gain a qualification in Geography, there is literacy support for students who need support in their writing, a range of teaching resources to support all types of learners.  All students will be entered into an entry level qualification those who achieve this in year nine will go onto study GCSE Geography.

Additionally there opportunities of learning outside the classroom.  It is hoped that all year 9 students will have the chance to visit the natural history museum to experience their tectonic exhibition.  In year 10 students will take part in a river study as part of their GCSE or entry level qualification and year 11 an urban study. There may be additional opportunity for students to visit other Geographical places that are relevant to their qualification

Many skills learned in Geography are transferable to other subjects and in the world of work, in addition to this Geography can help improve literacy and help students to be more empathetic while developing a sense of where they fit into the world and how they can do their bit to look after it

 Many skills learned in Geography are transferable to other subjects and in the world of work, in addition to this Geography can help improve literacy and help students to be more empathetic while developing a sense of where they fit into the world and how they can do their bit to look after it.


Measuring the Impact of the Geography Curriculum:

Geography’s fundamental role lies in helping children to understand the world, its environments and places near and far, and the processes that create and affect them. It encourages a holistic appreciation of how the world works and of the interconnections between concepts such as scale, community, cultural diversity, interdependence and sustainability. Geography is a subject that contextualises and extends the possibilities for developing and applying language and mathematics, and enriches understanding of other subjects such as Science.

Entry level students will be assessed using one teacher marked in class test and two teacher assessed personal projects that will be moderated by the OCR exam board.

GCSE students will be assessed with three end of course exams, these will be a Human Geography, Physical Geography and a field work and Geographical skills paper.

Students will receive regular feedback through live marking in class, verbal feedback and for GCSE student’s regular marking of practise exam question.  Whenever feedback if given students will be allowed time to act on this feedback by adding detail to their work or correcting any misconceptions

  • Teacher assessment against reading Key Performance Indicators that are pathway/subject  specific
  • Progress towards end of year targets is evaluated through the pupil assessment and progress cycle (reference flow chart)

The curriculum is evaluated through the termly curriculum review which is informed by:

  • Progress Frameworks - autism, knowledge and skills bespoke to cohort pathway. 
  • Progress towards EHCP outcomes 
  • Accreditation achieved 
  • Pupil progress and attainment cycle 
  • Pupil voice
  • Staff curriculum evaluation 
  • Parent voice 
  • Review of the curriculum development plan


Impact of the Geography Curriculum:

All Springfields pupils will leave the academy achieving as a minimum the Entry Level 1 qualification in English; many will achieve higher level qualifications such as further Entry Levels, Functional Skills Qualifications and some may achieve GCSE Geography.