sandbach high school

General information

“Seeking to develop independent enquirers”
Our Vision Statement
In an ever-changing world, Geography matters more now than ever; it helps pupils to understand the relationships that exist between diverse cultures and places. It stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. Geography raises awareness of global crises that range from migration to climate change to pandemics. Geography teaches not just the differences, but the similarities.
Geography explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on pupils own experiences and encourages them to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.
Geography matters because learning about problems isn’t enough; we have to take action to solve them.
Geography matters because we are all connected. Geography matters because this is our world.

Curriculum Lead

Curriculum Leader of Humanities and Subject Leader of Geography: Catherine Wildman 



What is Geography all about? 

Our department seeks to fulfil the following objectives:  

  1. To inspire and spark curiosity about our earth.  
  2. To tackle fundamental questions about people and places and how both physical and human processes work.  
  3. To address 'real world' issues, make these relevant to pupils’ lives and consider the consequences of actions; using up to date examples and case studies.  
  4. To develop a sense of place of local and far places.  
  5. To challenge prejudices and appreciate that there are differing values and attitudes, including those of decision makers, and to give pupils the tools to develop their own opinions.  
  6. To encourage critical understanding of big ideas, such as sustainable development; developing a “futures” perspective.  
  7. To develop a curriculum where pupils are involved in what is taught and in the learning process.  
  8. To encourage and promote active participation in enquiry and, by completing fieldwork, take part in “real world” learning.  
  9. To provide a differentiated program of activities which will reflect a variety of assessment methods appropriate to measuring achievement in a wide range of skills and abilities.  
  10. To enable pupils to think Geographically by:  
  11. Applying ideas to new and changing settings  
  12. Making connections between places and scales  
  13. Using key Geographical terms   
  14. Understanding concepts and relating these to new ideas.  



What we want the pupils to learn? 

General Pupil Outcomes (more detail of specific outcomes can be found in the KS3 and KS4 flight paths)  

  1. To have developed a range of skills and competencies necessary to carry out geographical enquiry and interpret information, transferring these to further study or employment.  
  2. To understand and be aware of contemporary economic, environmental, social and political issues at all spatial levels; local, regional, national and global  
  3. To have a better understanding of different communities and cultures throughout the world  
  4. To recognize some of the more important geographical patterns, futures, and relationships which are revealed in different types of landscapes and in different human activities  
  5.  To be able to make links between Geography and other subjects and between the skills used.  
  6. To be able to debate current dynamic social, economic, political and environmental issues and form an opinion  


Assessment in Geography 

  • KS3 – we use a range of GCSE style questions, research projects, comprehension activities, end of topic assessments (exam conditions) and creative activities to assess KS3 pupils – all work is given an effort and progress grade and is clearly linked to a set criteria. Homework is set at regular intervals, usually around once per fortnight with an end of topic assessment and an end of year examination.  
  • KS4 – We use end of topic exam style assessment, range of GCSE style questions, research projects, presentations, comprehension activities and creative activities, all with a clear link to assessment objectives at GCSE.  
  • KS5 – Again we use end of topic/mini topic exam style assessments, exam questions, timed essays/exam questions, flipped learning activities, research projects and independent work, there is an emphasis on synopticity and all assessments are clearly linked to A level criteria. .A level pupils are also supported throughout the NEA process to complete a research project to a high standard. 


Topics studied in KS4 BTEC Travel and Tourism 

Year 10 

Year 11 

Travel and Tourism Organisations and Destinations  

  1. Investigate the aims of UK travel and tourism organisations.  
  1. Explore travel and tourism and tourist destinations.  

Customer needs in Travel and Tourism  

  1. Investigate how organisations identify travel and tourism trends.  
  1. Explore how to meet the needs and preferences of travel and tourism customers.  

Influences on Global Travel and Tourism  

  1. Factors that influence global travel and tourism.  
  1. Impact of travel and tourism and sustainability.  
  1. Destination Management.  



Topics Studied at KS5 – Geography - AQA A level Geography 



Year 12 

Year 13 

Coastal landscapes  

Water and the carbon cycle  

Changing places  


Contemporary Urban Environments  

Globalisation and Global Governance  

NEA – Independent fieldwork project  

More information can be found by following the link below:  




Topics covered in BTEC Nationals Level 3 in Travel and Tourism 

Year 12 

Year 13 

1 The World of Travel and Tourism   

3 Principles of Marketing in Travel and Tourism  

2 Global Destinations   


11 Events, Conferences and Exhibitions  




Topics covered in Event Planning Level 2 

Year 12 

  1. Planning an Event.   
  1. Event Review and Evaluation.  
  1. Market Research and Marketing Methods in Event Planning.   
  1. Human Resource Planning At Events .  
  1. Communication and Customer Service At Events  






The wide range of skills that are used within our curriculum are transferable to many other subjects and employments, with a range of literacy, scientific and mathematical skills being taught and learnt. Through studying Geography at our school, pupils will understand space and scale, identify different places and realise the interdependence between them, know physical and human processes and how they affect the world, grasp the environmental impact we have and how we can be more sustainable, be aware of cultural diversity, use a range of geographical skills and be able to think like a geographer when coming across new scenarios. 

The progress in Geography and Travel and Tourism is good and above the national average. Pupils go on to study both courses at a range of universities, including Durham and Edinburgh. 

Wider Curriculum

We run a wide range of trips across the key stages which include rivers fieldwork, coastal investigations and visits to a wide range of Travel and Tourism organisations.   

Year 8 – trip to Milldale for rivers fieldwork  

Year 10 – Geography GCSE fieldwork based in Arnside  

Year 11 – GCSE coastal fieldwork trip to Crosby and Formby   

Year 13 – NEA preparation fieldwork trip to Barmouth  

Travel and Tourism – Various fieldtrips to locations such as Llandudno, Manchester Travel Show, a range of hotels and travel and tourism providers – these trips evolve each year but a range of different locations are covered over the year.  


We run Eco-club at lunchtimes for KS3 which covers a wide range of topics to support the pupils learning.  

There are lunch time support sessions for KS4 and KS5 which support and develop the content studied in class.  

We produce a monthly bulletin called “Geocache” that gives pupils wider reading, listening and watching to further support their studies.  

Useful Links 


How can you help your child in their geographical studies? 


  1. Watch the news at least once a week - discuss any geographical events which may be in the news and how they impact peoples’ lives. 
  1. Watch geographical documentaries e.g. Simon Reeves, Disney documentaries, documentaries on Netflix 
  2. Prompt discussions about what your child has been studying in geography this week; encourage them to give you detail. 
  3. Discuss how your daily habits may have impacts upon the wider world. Good examples include recycling and climate change. 
  4. Encourage your child to proofread their notes from lessons. This will help them identify any gaps in their understanding 
  5. When travelling out of your local area, encourage your child to compare the geography of their destination with their home. 

How can you help your child in their geographical studies? 


  1. Encourage your child to read around any topics which they may be studying in geography. Background reading will help further their understanding. Knowledge Organisers are an excellent starting point for this. 
  2. Encourage your child to get out, discover and experience the local area at different times of the year. Discuss how the natural environment impacts our lives differently according to the seasons. 
  3. If travelling outside of the local area, encourage your child to consider how and why people’s lives may differ. 
  4. Visit a local town or city centre and encourage your child to think about the challenges they present to the environment and people who manage them. 
  5. Encourage your child to consider their own carbon footprint and what changes they could make to their daily lives in order to reduce it. 

How can you help your child in their geographical studies? 


  1. Encourage further reading on any topics which your child may be studying in geography. Online journals and Geography Review provide useful starting points. 
  2. Encourage regular revisiting of previous topics studied. This can be done by reading over old notes, self-quizzing using Knowledge Organisers or using revision guides and the AQA Website where past papers can be accessed. 
  3. When discussing geographical events which may be in the news, encourage your child to look at the issue through the eyes of all interested parties. This will help develop empathetic thinking and understanding. 
  4. Encourage your child to watch a wide range of documentaries - many have Geographical themes embedded within them. 
  5. Prompt discussions about different areas around the world and the challenges and changes that different places face.