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There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of geography. Pupils need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding.
a. Understanding the physical and human characteristics of real places.
b. Developing ‘geographical imaginations’ of places.
a. Understanding the interactions between places and the networks created by flows of information, people and goods.
b. Knowing where places and landscapes are located, why they are there, the patterns and distributions they create, how and why these are changing and the implications for people.
a. Appreciating different scales – from personal and local to national, international and global.
b. Making links between scales to develop understanding of geographical ideas.
a. Exploring the social, economic, environmental and political connections between places.
b. Understanding the significance of interdependence in change, at all scales.
a. Understanding how sequences of events and activities in the physical and human worlds lead to change in places, landscapes and societies.
a. Understanding that the physical and human dimensions of the environment are interrelated and together influence environmental change.
b. Exploring sustainable development and its impact on environmental interaction and climate change.
a. Appreciating the differences and similarities between people, places, environments and cultures to inform their understanding of societies and economies.
b. Appreciating how people’s values and attitudes differ and may influence social, environmental, economic and political issues, and developing their own values and attitudes about such issues.
Place: Every place has unique physical and human characteristics, which can be interpreted and represented in different ways. Pupils have mental images of places – the world, the country in which they live, their neighbourhood – which form their ‘geographical imaginations’. They should recognise that there are many different perceptions of places, some of which may conflict with their own. When investigating a place, pupils should consider where it is, what it is like, how it became like this and how it might change. Their enquiries should be based on real places.
Space: Pupils should develop spatial understanding, including how the locations of human and physical features are influenced by each other and often interact across space. Spatial patterns, distributions and networks can be described, analysed and often explained by reference to social, economic, environmental and political processes. As part of their geographical enquiries, pupils should identify these processes and assess their impact.
Scale: Scale influences the way we think about what we see or experience. Any geographical enquiry benefits from being viewed from a range of scales to develop an understanding of how these scales are interconnected.
Interdependence: Pupils should understand how human action in one place has consequences somewhere else, for example when deforestation causes flooding, or the enlargement of the European Union causes large-scale migration.
Physical and human processes: These processes cause change and development in places and can be used to explain patterns and distributions. Understanding these processes helps pupils to imagine alternative futures for places and for the people who live and work in them.
Environmental interaction and sustainable development: Understanding the dynamic interrelationship between the physical and human worlds involves appreciating the possible tensions between economic prosperity, social fairness (who gets what, where and why), and environmental quality (conserving resources and landscapes and preventing environmental damage). The interaction of these factors provides the basis for geographical study of the environment and understanding of sustainable development.
Cultural understanding and diversity: Considering how people and places are represented in different ways involves questions such as: Who am I? Where do I come from? Who is my family? Who are the people around me? Where do they come from? What is our story? This contributes to pupils’ understanding of diversity and social cohesion.
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The geography National Curriculum for England for Key Stage 3.
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