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In the Geography department, our intention is for all students to acquire a sound knowledge base of both Human and Physical Geography as well as an  analytical understanding of the world through discussion and written responses on case studies and topical issues.

The Geography Department at Burnley High School is a place where children can explore the world and gain a deeper understanding of the planet they live on. We endeavour to create a safe environment, so students can ask questions and be inquisitive, enquiring learners. Our aim is to show our students that there is so much more to the world than where they come from and that natural processes are happening all around them, all the time.

We believe that Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future and that everyone should have the opportunity to study Geography to enrich their lives for the better.

The Geography curriculum covers the full National Curriculum,  building upon prior learning from Key Stage 2 to broaden students’ understanding and appreciation of the human and physical world and how they interact. They are challenged to learn through the use of ‘BIG Questions’ and are required to think hard in lessons using a variety of skills from defining, calculating describing and explaining to ‘higher order’ skills such as answering “to what extent” questions where students have to give both sides of the argument. Geographical skills are embedded throughout the key stages such as analysing graphs and maps.

Topics are sequenced in a logical way, cumulatively building composite and component knowledge. For example, in Term 1 in Year 7 students study basic geographical knowledge and skills and identify the difference between Physical and Human Geography. Students develop their map skills such as direction, grid referencing, scale and locational knowledge.  Knowledge underpins our curriculum and Physical and Human Geography have equal weighting throughout KS3 and KS4.

Spaced retrieval, low stakes testing, and repeated practice are used to ensure that concepts are understood and knowledge remembered. We place emphasis on the acquisition of subject specific vocabulary, modelling and explaining this in our teaching and facilitating exposure to it using ‘real-life’ application of their learning, for example using OS (Ordnance Survey) maps and climate graphs in The Duke of Edinburgh.

At KS3 students study real-life 21st century global issues that are relevant such as migration, deforestation, climate change and sweat shops. Lessons encompass a variety of countries such as, Brazil, India, Russia, The UK, China, and The UAE (United Arab Emirates) to allow students to understand the similarities and differences between countries.

At KS4, Geographers study the AQA Specification and have 3 hours of Geography a week.  Students carry out fieldwork in the summer term in Year 10, investigating the impact of urban regeneration at Salford Quays and come to an informed judgement about whether there are more social and economic opportunities. They also apply their physical geography knowledge of rivers to investigate if The River Irwell follows the Bradshaw Model.

Geography Road Maps

Please note,  every subject exercise book your child has contains a subject ‘Burnley High Road Map’ that outlines the content covered, timelines and assessment points for the current year.

I love BHS because it really does feel like a family. All staff and students know each other, are extremely supportive of one another and show amazing levels of respect throughout the school. There really isn’t another school like it!”

Miss Yates