Year 9 Geography

Curriculum Intent

Our aim in the Philip Morant geography department is to inspire in students a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We aim to offer our young people an interesting, engaging, relevant and cumulatively challenging curriculum, which will provide students with the valuable knowledge, and equip them with the intangible skills, which will support them in the next stages of their lives.

How

Our students will acquire broad locational and place knowledge whilst studying geography at Philip Morant, and will be equipped with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Students will continuously deepen their understanding of the interaction between the human and the physical as they progress through our geography curriculum.

Our students learn in conjunction with the acquisition of a mélange of skills, such as collecting, analysing and communicating with data, interpreting a range of visual, digital and written sources, and communicating geographical information and data through maps, numerical and quantitative skills, and writing at length.

Why

It is imperative that our young people have an awareness and a genuine consideration of the important geographical issues which surround their everyday lives. We see it as our responsibility to educate the future generations of our town, county and country in a way that allows them to be cautious, considerate and curious of the physical and human environment around them, having a sound awareness that every action they make will have ramifications on others, be it in the present or in the future.

Autumn Term 1

Climate Change

Grammar

Our students firstly study historic climate change over the past 545 million years. This allows students to think critically about the predictions, causes, and likely impacts of modern climate change and global warming.

Dialectic

Students learn through the analysis of climate reconstruction images, presentations of graphical data on maps and graphs, video sources, online news literature, and through the production and analysis of GIS maps.

Rhetoric

Our students showcase their learning in this module through; written explanations, labelled diagrams, GIS maps, climate reconstruction sketches, storyboards of fossil fuels formation and water conservation posters produced for Anglian Water.

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

The world’s current target for limiting global temperature rise is 2⁰C, with the worst case scenario predicted at a 5⁰C increase in global temperature. That doesn’t seem like much of a temperature rise, but consider that when the world was around 2⁰C colder on average, we were in an ice age and much of the northern hemisphere was covered by large masses of Ice, the United Kingdom included. Unless all of the worlds largest emitters of CO² make drastic and significant changes, a 2⁰C rise in global temperatures will be highly unlikely, making a temperature rise of 3 or 4⁰C much more probable.

Imagine a world 4 degrees warmer than today. We are looking at a vastly different planet. Ice has vanished from both poles, rainforests have turned to desert and rising sea levels flood coastal cities, island nations, and low lying countries such as the Netherlands and Bangladesh. Growing food becomes increasingly difficult in most parts of the world, which triggers mass migration of climate refugees. Racial conflicts and civil wars are inevitable. When temperatures were last at this level 55 million years ago, alligators lived in the arctic.

This brief description of our potentially not so far off future brings immediate justification as to why it is imperative that all young people across the world learn about the causes of, likely impacts of, and most importantly, the solutions to climate change.

Watch a movie
Have you ever seen the disaster film “The Day After Tomorrow”? It seemed far fetched back in 2004 when the film was released, but the science behind what happens in the movie is sound. The premise behind the movie is that the melting of polar ice caused by global warming stops the circulation of the Gulf Stream – the ocean currents in the Atlantic Ocean which bring warm water from the equator into the northern hemisphere. Although the effects of this are sped up and dramatised for the purpose of the movie, the world is sent into a new ice age. An article published in 2018 shows that scientists have discovered that the flow of the Gulf Stream has started to slow down, and may well stop in the near future – just like in the movie.

Go vegan
Three interesting facts about climate change and food security are;
• Agriculture accounts for twice the amount of GHGs than all cars, boats, trains, and planet.
• If cows were a country, they would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
• If everyone went vegan by 2050, food related emissions could reduce by ¾.
We’re not saying go completely vegan, but maybe try it with your family for one day a week, or even a month. Every little helps!

Go fossil hunting
The remains of ancient creatures from prehistoric climates such as dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, and huge ferocious sea monsters have been found along the Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk coastline. Go fossil hunting on the beach after a storm.

Autumn Term 2

Tectonic Hazards

Grammar

Before analysing the impacts of, and protection strategies against, tectonic hazards, students learn the fundamentals of geophysical science to understand the reasons why they occur in the first place.

Dialectic

When studying tectonic hazards around the world, analysis of a variety of sources is key, including; newspaper articles, diagrams, video clips, graphical displays of data, distribution maps, GIS maps and photo evidence to name just a few.

Rhetoric

Students will be assessed by a combination of; ongoing low stakes testing, spoken contributions in class, diagram annotation, and a variety of different written tasks. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities with GIS mapping.

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

With an average of 62, 000 people dying each year from natural disasters in every corner of the globe, natural disasters are arguably one of the most talked about topics in Geography. From geophysical hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, hydrological hazards such as floods, droughts and wildfires, to meteorological hazards such as cyclones, tornadoes and dust storms, natural hazards undeniably affect everyone on planet Earth, with the UK being no exception. With natural disasters having such a momentous impact on people all over the world, they are important for us to understand.
Whilst studying the different types of natural hazards, students will concentrate on the geophysical hazards of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. The study of these natural phenomena and their implications on human populations also educate our students on key physical geography topics, such as; geological timescales and plate tectonics.

Pupils will extend their locational knowledge and deepen their spatial awareness of countries in Europe and Asia, whilst studying case studies of volcanic eruptions in Iceland, and earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan. Our pupils also further build on their skills with GIS software in this module of study, in addition to developing a sophisticated melange of tier 3 geographical terminology to enhance their academic articulacy.

Visit the Natural History Museum
Visit the natural history museum during a school holiday. As well as being a great family day out, have a conversation with you child about the history of plate tectonics while viewing the impressive exhibitions on show.

What if videos
Mum, what if this happened? Dad, what if that happened? These are questions which I am sure many parents have heard before, but believe it or not there is a whole YouTube channel dedicated to providing the answers. A few examples of video include;
What if you jumped into a geyser?
What if Yellowstone volcano erupted tomorrow?
What if we nuked an active volcano?

Disaster movies
Natural disaster provide great material for filmmakers all over the world. Be it about the eruption of a long dormant volcano, or an imminent earthquake along the San Andreas fault line, sit on the sofa at the end of a working week and watch a disaster movie.

Experiments
Natural phenomena offer a lot of opportunities for experiments. You could examine how magma moves inside a volcano by observing a lava lamp for example. Maybe try recreating that age-old experiment of creating an erupting volcano from paper mache and baking soda.

Skip some stones
Have a stone skipping competition at the beach or a by a lake. As the pebbles bounce along the water, observe how multiple waves radiate out in all directions much like a tsunami, rather than just one large wave as commonly perceived.

Spring Term 1

Geopolitics

Grammar

Pupils enhance their place, locational and spatial knowledge through the study of human and physical process causing conflict in around the world, from Russia to Pacific Island nations, The Middle East to Mexico, and Africa to Europe.

Dialectic

The premise of the module is founded on the book, Divided: We live in an age of walls, by Tim Marshall. Hence, reading is used to support students learning in this module, in addition to other more practical methods, such as graffiti artwork.

Rhetoric

As you might expect with a module studying geopolitics, pupils are presented with many opportunities to showcase their learning via discussion and debate here, whilst also creating Banksy like graffiti artwork, and Greta like climate speeches.

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

Our aim in the Philip Morant geography department is to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We aim to offer our young people an interesting, engaging, relevant and challenging curriculum.
It is imperative that our young people have an awareness and a genuine consideration of the important geographical issues which surround their everyday lives. We see it as our responsibility to educate the future generations of our town, county and country in a way that allows them to be cautious, considerate and curious of the physical and human environment around them, having a sound awareness that every action they make will have ramifications on others, be it in the present or in the future.

The unit of study aims to accomplish all of the above, where students study a wide range of political issues caused and influenced by geographical factors around the world. Pupils develop an understanding of current geopolitical issues, including; the debate over who owns the resources below the Arctic, a debate growing in tension as the ice in the region continues to melt, the pro’s and con’s of Donald Trump’s border wall, the issue of the mass migration of climate refugees, monumental and disappointing international agreements on climate change, such as Paris in 2015 and Glasgow in 2021, water wars along the River Nile, and the debate over Egyptian compensation for the blockage of the Suez Canal.

Watch the news
This unit of study is designed around educating students on the geopolitical issues which are happening in the world today. Sit down and watch the news together once a week and discuss any pieces which spark an interest in your child.

Discuss Opinions
Who owns the Arctic?
Was Donald Trump right to build his wall?
Who’s in the right; Israel or Palestine?
Should the UK take in climate refugees?
Whose fault is climate change?
Which is the most powerful country in the world? Why? What makes them powerful?

Create some art
Many areas hosting geopolitical issues around the world have been the topic for contemporary art. For example; Banksy’s walled off hotel and graffiti artwork next to the Israel-Palestine wall, the pink seesaws on either side of Donald Trump’s US-Mexican border wall, graffiti on the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam which has sparked a water war in North-East Africa. Grab a canvas and get creative.

Watch a documentary
Geopolitical issues are great topics for documentaries.
Try watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s, Before the Flood on Netflix, or Why Ships Crash – illustrating the Suez Canal blockage by the Ever Given and the Egyptian demand for compensation, on BBC iPlayer, to provide just a couple of examples.

Spring Term 2

Coastal Landscapes

Grammar

Students learn the key physical processes involved along the UK’s coastline, and how these physical processes impact the communities that populate the coast. Coastal landforms are studied through making cross-curricular linkages with History.

Dialectic

Our young geographers learn the processes involved in coastal landscapes through a range of activities, such as; diagrams, Pictionary, reading grid references on a map, playing coastal defence top trumps, and conducting virtual fieldwork.

Rhetoric

Pupils illuminate their intelligence around coastal landscapes through video narration, diagrams, the creation of GIS map to analyse the effects of sea level rise, and through stakeholder opinion debate regarding coastal management strategies.

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

Living in a country with a coastline of nearly 2000 miles, the young geographers at Philip Morant school certainly have reason to study the physical processes involved at the coastal landscape. Even more so, living in a location such as Colchester, so close to the Colne Estuary and the sea, the coastline will certainly have an impact on these young geographers’ lives at some time or another.

Our coastline has been constantly changing for millions of years through a variety of physical processes, be it erosional processes, depositional processes, or the occurrence of sea level rise and fall. This changing coastline has an impact on the human processes involved in the societies that populate them, and thus it is important for these coastal residents to understand and comprehend said processes, but to also consider efficient management strategies to respond to the issues arising from said processes.

Beyond this, pupils’ study coastal landscapes with a practical, hands on approach, and learn through the analysis of maps of our coastline, both present and projected, and even go as far as creating these sophisticated GIS maps themselves using challenging GIS software, and completing virtual fieldwork to analyse solutions to our constantly changing coastline.

Take a walk
Colchester is a stones through away from a handful of beaches appropriate for a relaxing weekend stroll. Take a drive to Brightlingsea, Mersea Island, Walton-on-the-Naze, Frinton-on-Sea, or Clacton-on-Sea and walk along the coastline. You could discuss the landforms you see along the beach, the impact of coastal tourism on the coastal community, or the pro’s and con’s behind the different coastal management strategies deployed to halt erosion in the area.

Flood risk maps
Have you recently brought a house? If so, you should have a flood risk map for your property somewhere. If not, visit either flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk or flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk to view flood risk maps for your area, or visit http://flood.firetree.net/partner.php to have a look at how sea level rise might affect your property. How at risk of flooding are you and what could you do to prevent your home from flooding?

Go fossil hunting
There are in fact some benefits of coastal erosion, and many scientists wish to allow it to happen in certain areas. The remains of ancient creatures from prehistoric climates such as dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, and huge ferocious sea monsters have been found along the Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk coastline. Go fossil hunting on the beach after a storm.

Summer Term 1

Economic Geography

Grammar

Students learn the different economic sectors by studying them in the context of the book, is it worth dying for an iPhone; the primary sector through the mining of Coltan in the DRC, secondary through manufacturing in Asia, and tertiary in the West.

Dialectic

Naturally, a unit of study designed around such a book lends itself to learning through reading and developing student’s literacy and academic oracy skills.

Rhetoric

As you may expect when studying a book with such a controversial title; is it worth dying for an iPhone, students are presented with significant opportunities to showcase their learning here through debate and writing balanced arguments.

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

The Geography department at Philip Morant have taken the topic of economic geography, previously regarded as a dull topic, and brought it to life through the study the book ‘Dying for an iPhone’, by Jenny Chan, Mark Selden and Pun Ngai.

Students learn the key issues of economic geography through providing a balanced answer to the question; Is it worth dying for an iPhone? With a product such as an iPhone being so common place in many of our students lives, how many of them actually consider where it has come from, and the positives and negatives behind owning such a product?

Initially, pupils are introduced to the concept of globalisation, and the timeline of causal factors which has led to globalisation. Students then learn the different economic sectors by studying them in the context of the book, is it worth dying for an iPhone. Students study the primary sector through examining child exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo when it comes to the extraction of Coltan, a key element used in iPhone batteries, the secondary sector through the exploitation of workers in the manufacture of iPhones in South East Asia, and the tertiary and quaternary sectors when examining that contradicting argument to the key question. That is, pupils consider a contradicting opinion to the question is it worth dying for an iPhone, when they study the Apple car designed to reduce traffic collisions, Apple glasses combatting glaucoma, and the Apple watch monitoring glucose levels.

Have a conversation
Ask your child to bring you their three favourite items in the house (without yanking the TV from the wall!). Then, ask them to consider all of the different jobs which have gone into making those items. For a TV for example, someone needed to design the TV, someone needed mine the materials to create the components, someone then needed to put all of those components together, someone needed to design the software which would be downloaded onto the TV, someone needed to sell you the TV, someone needed to deliver the TV to your house, and depending on how handy you are someone may have needed to attach the TV to you wall. Then ask your child to consider whether those jobs fit into the primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary sectors of industry.

Make a charitable contribution
Through the study of this module, students become aware that some of the products they own are not all as perfect and wonderful as they had initially thought, and they become aware that some people around the world suffer for our gain. Ask them to identify and justify a charity they would like to support, and make a small charitable contribution to help others.

Summer Term 2

Energy Issues

Grammar

Before analysing the impacts of Energy Issues, students learn the fundamentals of energy types to understand the reasons why we have issues in our energy provision.

Dialectic

Students learn through the analysis of energy provision images, presentations of graphical data on maps and graphs, video sources, online news literature, and through the production and analysis of GIS maps.

Rhetoric

Students will be assessed by a combination of; ongoing low stakes testing, spoken contributions in class, diagram annotation, and a variety of different written tasks. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities with GIS mapping.

In school...
How can I support this unit at home...

The ability of a nation to secure sufficient, affordable and consistent energy supplies for its domestic, industrial, transport and military requirements is termed Energy Security. It means that current and future energy needs have a high probability of being met, irrespective of economic or political instability.

Countries can try to achieve energy security through a range of strategies:
Exploiting own resources to achieve as close to full self-sufficiency as possible. Norway, with a population of just over 5 million people, can meet 96% of its energy needs by exploiting its HEP resources and offshore oil and gas fields. In fact, it has a surplus of energy that it exports to neighbouring countries, such as a long-distance undersea gas pipeline to the UK.

Supplementing own energy resources with imports from reliable and consistent supplier nations. The USA and Canada form the largest integrated energy network in the world with Canada being a net exporter of gas and oil to the USA, a net importer of coal from the USA, and both countries co-supply each other with electricity in different regions.

Importing energy from a wide range of suppliers. If one energy producer falls out of favour due to price, supply or political factors, custom can be switched to alternative sources relatively simply. Japan, with relatively few energy resources of its own, imports Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) from more than five countries ranging from Indonesia (51%) to the USA (3%).

Try and reduce energy consumption – however that may be? Turning appliances off when not being used. Walking rather than driving. Recycling whatever you can. Having showers for a week rather than baths. You could also make a poster encouraging people to reduce the amount of energy they use and why this is important?

Go vegan

Three interesting facts about avout reducing energy consumption are;
• Agriculture accounts for twice the amount of GHGs than all cars, boats, trains, and planet.
• If cows were a country, they would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
• If everyone went vegan by 2050, food related emissions could reduce by ¾.

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