Crispin School


The Geography department is part of the wider Humanities faculty which works collaboratively to raise attainment and ensure learning is as effective as it can be in all lessons.  It aims to expand students' understanding of the world in which they live which geography plays a significant part in.  In particular it aims to ‘Create compassionate global citizens’.


We aim:

  • To give our students knowledge of locations, places, processes, environments and different scales.

  • To develop students' understanding of concepts, environments and processes and the inter relationships between places, environments and processes.

  • To develop student's ability to apply knowledge and understanding to interpret, analyse and evaluate geographical information and make judgements.

  • To develop the geographical skills and techniques of students so that they can investigate questions and issues and investigate findings.

  • To develop the collaborative and autonomous learning skills to enable our students to become life-long learners so they are equipped with the skills they will need for the future.

The Geography department is always striving to reflect on our work and strive for the highest quality in our teaching.  For example it has been awarded the Secondary Geography Quality Mark by the Geographical Association who have commended the fact that we have developed a wide range of field work opportunities and have developed a curriculum containing a wide range of innovative strategies including practical work for the students.  They have said that we make effective use of local and topical examples and are not afraid to tackle complex issues.  The department has continued to build on these areas since the award.

Nepal Trip Write Up

geography v2.pdf

geography curriculum journey 2024 5.pdf

Fieldwork is a vital part of what we do in Geography. For example in Year 7 students carry out fieldwork in Cheddar and around the school.   In year 8, students visit Lulworth Cove where they study tourism and the coast.  In year 9 students carry out an investigation into the high street with the aim of using GIS to compare its fortunes to other schools in the trust.  At GCSE there are fieldwork visits to Bristol and Lyme Regis where students carry out urban and coastal fieldwork respectively.

At Key Stage 3 students study a series of themes based on enquiry questions.  In Year 7 the students start by asking ‘Where are we in the world?’ where they learn basic map skills which are then developed in other modules throughout Key Stage 3.

wlt assessment ladder.pdf

Year 7


To develop a sense of place about the world in which they live, to know where Britain is in the world and knowledge of the main features that make up the British Isles in which we live. To develop the skills necessary to interpret maps at different scales.

At the start of the course students will study the country they live in to have a sense of place about the UK and its links to the wider world.  Following this students will develop their skills so that they are able to interpret different maps. A map skills test will be used to ensure students can use the key skills taught.

During the term an extended learning project will be set to develop students' independence skills and understanding about the world in which they live, creating a wall display for different classrooms about the diversity of our world.


As we move towards winter there is often a degree of excitement from students about the potential for severe weather and the impact this can have on their lives.  In order to build upon this we will study what makes up the UK’s weather before looking at climate change and tropical storms later in the academic year.

Students will focus on working in teams to create a news report on a weather event which has effected the UK. There will be employability skills developed here such as leadership, teamwork and public speaking. 

The assessment will be a test with the aim that students develop their ability to recall knowledge. A focus on revision skills and recalling understanding and knowledge is important here.


In this unit we discover the range of different ecosystems around the world making comparisons between our sense of place and that of others around the world. In particular we look at students' perceptions of what Africa is like and look at the different places and ecosystems that make up this continent.  We will look at deserts in order to find out about how humans can interact with this kind of environment as well as looking at grassland and rainforest environments.  We focus on Congo rainforest so that students begin to get a better sense of space in terms of how Africa changes.  The concept of development is brought in at this stage of the course so that students can make links between how developed places are and how the environment is used.

An enquiry project is set on the world’s Coral so that students have a better sense of understanding of the worlds Oceans as well as its land based ecosystems.  This is vital so that later in the course they are aware of the very ecosystems that are at threat from the use of humans.


In this unit we focus in on an African country that our school has shared a link with for over a decade.  Now that students have a basic understanding of development we develop the concept of sustainability with them to explore how this amazing country can move forward in a sustainable way.  We compare the industries of farming and tourism with the view to developing students ability to make arguments in an evaluative way as to which are the best ways for the country to make progress.


Students need to be able to independently carry out investigations and enquiry. The focus of the investigation will be about how Street is dealing with the climate change challenge. The emphasis will be on students coming up with their own questionnaires and gaining confidence in carrying out independent research. It is vital students understand the changes our planet is facing and what different groups of people can do to help deal with these challenges.  From having looked at different environments earlier in the year they will now be able to explore our impacts on these environments.  We will also look at some of the extreme weather events taking place around our planet and question to what extent these could be a result of climate change.

It is also important that students can enquire and develop people skills in asking questions and carrying out market research. These are skills our learners will need for the future

Year 8


Students need to understand the processes that make up the unique landforms that are found on the UK’s coastline. Being an island, coasts are a vital part of the UK’s identity so understanding our coastal geography is an important area of study.

Students will be assessed with a short test to build up their knowledge and understanding of these landforms to ensure they understand them before they go to identify these in the field. 

Fieldwork is a vital part of Geography. Students need to be able to recognise landforms that make the South West of England an area of outstanding natural beauty. Students will therefore carry out field work in Lulworth Cove in term 1 where they will identify landforms and carry out an investigation into what extent Lulworth Cove is a honey pot site as a result of these landforms.  We will consider different ways that the data they gather can be graphically presented including the use of GIS.

Moving on from the fieldwork element we will explore the impact of climate change on coastal erosion and consider how our coasts may be protected from the sea in the future.


After the turbulent period of BREXIT, COVID and a cost of living crisis we want our students to get a better idea of why our world is changing so quickly and how our country fits into this.  We will explore how Street has changed from a farming community to a global manufacturer of shoes to becoming one of the South West’s most significant retail destinations.  How has the process of globalisation that led to COVID spread so quickly around the world; brought other problems for some, yet benefits for others?

Students need to understand that we live in an unequal world. We want students to appreciate how lucky they are to have been born in the UK and to appreciate differences in development between different parts of the world.  It is important students consider the role they can play in helping aid development throughout the world through either the choices they make in their purchases from TNCs or the way they support charities such as water aid or Fair Trade.  


Population is a theme which has been a controversial issue in the UK and Europe as a whole.  We believe it is important that students understand the issues a rapidly rising population creates for the world.  We also believe students need to understand that different population structures for different countries create unique opportunities and challenges.  These are fundamental in understanding the arguments for and against migration in our country. 

We will investigate what it is that causes people to make dangerous journeys around the world trying to reach the UK, exploring the stories behind the newspaper headlines which we regularly see in the news. We believe it is important for students to gain a balanced view of the issues surrounding migration and can begin to weigh up some of the arguments from different perspectives about the issue. 


China may or may not be the hegemonic nation state in our student’s lifetimes.  In a time of many polarising issues across the world it is important that our learners know about this country due to the many geopolitical implications of its growing influence and power.

Students will have already learnt about China’s links with the UK in the globalisation and development unit but will look at how this has shaped China itself.  Whilst many see China’s growth as a challenge to the natural environment others will see the potential its economic growth has for developing renewable technologies.


This term will focus upon students exploring the many issues of global concern that our planet faces; climate change, desertification, plastic pollution etc. Students will work upon developing a presentation on an issue that matters to them. This will not only develop their understanding about the issues facing our planet but will allow them to work on their oracy and presentation skills which are all vital to the world of work.

Year 9


In Year 7 students learnt a variety of mapping skills. This glaciation topic will give them an ideal opportunity to refresh these skills whilst beginning to gain an understanding about how the country in which they live has been formed. We will develop students' understanding of how the natural world is formed through erosion, transportation and deposition encouraging them to make links with these concepts and the natural world they can see in front of them.


A growing population world population was learnt about in year 8, in this unit we will look further at the implications of this for our planets resources. In particular, we will look at energy and the energy crisis that hit the UK in the 2020s. With many commentators suggesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine was behind this, it is important for students to develop an improved understanding of this country. It is also important that students understand where their energy comes from in a time of climate change and the positives and negatives of different energy sources.


Volcanoes and earthquakes play a vital part in shaping the planet on which we live, they also help inspire an awe and wonder for the natural world with which we want to captivate our students with.

In order to understand how earthquakes and volcanoes work students need to understand the structure of the earth and the plate boundaries which this leads to before we focus on volcanoes. Earthquakes will be the main focus of the GCSE course so to improve the variety of content we will focus on volcanoes in year 9.

In particular, we will look at the recent eruptions of mount Nyragongo and how this impacts the lives of people living in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Students will be given the opportunity to use their understanding from previous years to plan and make decisions about the best ways to respond to an eruption.


With an increasingly diverse population the Middle East has taken on even more significance in our country as the fallout of the Gazan conflict has shown in the lead up to the 2024 election.  This unit is aimed at looking beyond conflict to explore the continent in terms of its physical and human diversity.  We will look at how the area is moving on from its oil dependence to developing sustainable approaches for the future. 


In this short unit we will carry out fieldwork to look at the state of Street’s high street.  The idea is that students carry out some fieldwork using ARCGIS a Geographical Information System to record and present geographical data.  Other schools in the trust will also be using the same package so students will be able to make links between the data collected in different parts of the region.


Rivers will be studied as living around a floodplain of the Somerset levels means that rivers have an important part to play in the lives of the students who attend Crispin.  Students need to understand the physical processes that shape the natural world around them. 

A river of the world project will help students develop a wider understanding of the world in which they live and develop awe and wonder about the natural and human world.

Extreme weather in the UK is also an ever increasing problem. Students need to have an appreciation for why rivers flood and what can be done to stop the devastating floods which are happening more and more frequently across the UK.

GCSE Years 10 and 11

At GCSE our students study the AQA GCSE syllabus. This incorporates 3 main units.

AQA Geography GCSE


This unit will give students a sound understanding of important physical processes eg. geological processes, ecosystems, the atmosphere and climate and the hydrological cycle. Some of the highlights of the unit include studying:

  • The challenge of natural hazards - earthquakes and volcanoes, weather hazards such as hurricanes and climate change. We start the course by looking at plate tectonics and focus on the earthquakes that happened in Japan and Nepal. After this we look at weather hazards, for example Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines. There is an in-depth look at climate change where students have to research in detail the effects of this and how we can mitigate and adapt to deal with these.
  • The living world - ecosystems such as tropical rainforests, where we study the Amazon rainforest in depth and cold environments. This links to our field study visit to Iceland which the department runs.
  • Physical landscapes in the UK - coastal  and river landscapes.  We will study case studies of how the British landscape has been formed. 

The whole course requires students to develop an in-depth knowledge of case studies which they need to be able to apply to the questions that will be put to them in the terminal exam.

Whilst this unit is covered in Year 10, we will take a spiral learning approach to delivering the course where we will cover some of the basics towards the end of Year 9 so that students have the chance to process their new knowledge being taken in during Year 10. 


This unit focuses on human geography. In a similar way to Unit 1, it links together to build an overall understanding of human geography. Students study how populations grow and change, where people live and work and how they exploit and use resources. This will be covered in Years 10 and 11.

Highlights include:

Urban issues and challenges - growth of cities around the world. We look at the growth of Rio in Brazil and the impact of this on people and its environment.  Closer to home we study Bristol in detail.

  • The changing economic world. We study the development gap to analyse why some countries are richer than others and look at the consequences and potential solutions to this. We study a newly emerging economy in depth, looking at why Nigeria has changed and compare this to the changes that have taken place in the UK's economy.
  • The challenge of resource management. We look at how water is provided in the UK and abroad.


In this unit students draw together knowledge, skills and understanding from the full course of study. They evaluate issues showing the ability to think critically and problem solve. A resource booklet will be available 12 weeks before the exam to allow students to interpret graphs, diagrams, statistics, photographs, satellite images etc before answering questions on them in the exam. There is also a fieldwork element where students need to have undertaken two geographical enquiries outside of the classroom. Visits take place to Bristol and Lyme Regis where students develop their fieldwork skills.

Last Updated : July 2024

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