sandbach high school

Curriculum Intentions


“Seeking to develop independent enquirers”  

 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 Intentions 

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:  
    1. Applying ideas to new and changing settings  
    2. Making connections between places and scales  
    3. Using key Geographical terms   
    4. Understanding concepts and relating these to new ideas.  


Geography – the big idea/concepts that pupils will study at Key Stage 3 and beyond are: 

  1. Space, place and scale 
  2. Interdependence and physical and human processes   
  3. Environmental impact and sustainable development  
  4. Cultural diversity and awareness  
  5. Geographical skills  
  6. Thinking like a geographer 

Curriculum Lead

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


Key Stage 3

Topics studied by year group 

Year 7 

  • Introduction to KS3 Geography 
  • Diverse Britain 
  • Where people live 
  • Coastal landscapes 

Year 8 

  • Green living 
  • Natural Hazards 
  • Development 
  • Rivers 

Year 9 

  • Globalisation and the interconnected world 
  • Migration – the movement of people 
  • Tourism 
  • China – “the rising Dragon” 
  • Interesting environments 


Key Stage 4

Topics studied by year group 

Year 10 

  • River landscapes in the UK 
  • Coastal landscapes in the UK 
  • Resource Management 
  • The changing economic world 
  • Fieldwork and Paper 3 

Year 11

  • The changing economic world 
  • Ecosystems and tropical rainforests 
  • Urban issues 
  • Natural Hazards 

Key Stage 5

Topics studied by year group 

Key Stage 5

Topics Studied at KS5 – Geography - AQA A level Geography 

Year 12  

  • Coastal landscapes  
  • Changing places  
  • Contemporary Urban Environments  
  • NEA – Independent fieldwork project  

Year 13  

  • Water and the carbon cycle  
  • Hazards  
  • Globalisation and Global Governance  

For further information visit the course webpage on the Sandbach College website: 

Topics covered in BTEC Nationals Level 3 in Travel and Tourism 

Year 12  

1 The World of Travel and Tourism   

2 Global Destinations   

Year 13  

3 Principles of Marketing in Travel and Tourism  

11 Events, Conferences and Exhibitions  

For further information visit the course webpage on the Sandbach College website:

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

Useful Websites:


How can you help your Key Stage 3 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. 
  2. Watch geographical documentaries e.g. Simon Reeves, Disney documentaries, documentaries on Netflix 
  3. Prompt discussions about what your child has been studying in geography this week; encourage them to give you detail. 
  4. Discuss how your daily habits may have impacts upon the wider world. Good examples include recycling and climate change. 
  5. Encourage your child to proofread their notes from lessons. This will help them identify any gaps in their understanding 
  6. 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 Key Stage 4 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 Key Stage 5 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.