The Knights Templar School

The Knights Templar School

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How to improve in Year 7 and 8 Geography

Help for students and parents

We encourage all our students to reflect on their learning in lessons and use feedback from their teacher’s to help them improve. Below, you will find the ‘statements for improvement’ that summarise the feedback students are given.

These statements will be used on the termly reports sent to parents and students, and parents are asked to look at the further guidance below to help clarify the statements on the reports.

Statements for Improvement: As seen on the Reports

  • Use maps more effectively by improving your interpretation of different types of maps
  • Use maps more effectively by improving your map skills
  • Describe patterns and distributions from maps and graphsUse a range of relevant geographical terms accurately in your writing
  • Describe how places, people and environments change over time
  • Begin to explain (give reasons) how places, people and environments change over time
  • Explain how places, people and environments change over time
  • Improve your presentation of data, e.g. graphs need labelled axes and detailed titles
  • Ask a range of useful and relevant geographical questions
  • Use independent research to extend your knowledge and to reach an informed opinion

These Statements for Improvement are aimed at Y7-8 Geography students

 

Statements for Improvement:

1.  Use maps more effectively by improving your interpretation of different types of maps

What does this mean?
At first maps can appear an abstract concept with a range of numbers, symbols and colours, but it is important that students are able to visualise what maps are showing them. Students need to ensure they practise looking at maps and thinking about what the landscape would look like in real life.

For example: If pupils understand what contour lines are showing them then they can imagine what the land would look like, e.g. is the land hilly, flat or undulating? This would then enable students to make inferences about how and why the land is used in a certain way.

2.  Use maps more effectively by improving your map skills

What does this mean?
Map skills are fundamental to the understanding and application of Geography. All students need to ensure that they understand basic map skills such as 4-6 figure grid references, the 4 and 8-point compass, contour lines and scale. These basic skills enable students to interpret and visualise what maps are showing them.

For example: If students understand how to use 4-figure grid references they would be able to locate themselves to within 1km of an area on a map. However, if students are able to use 6-figure grid references they are able to locate themselves more accurately. 

  1. Describe patterns and distributions from maps and graphs

What does this mean?
Maps are a great tool for navigation but they are also really useful for displaying information. It is important that students are able to interpret and describe patterns shown on thematic maps. For example, a map could show global population distribution and students would need to be able to describe what the map shows by identifying the overall pattern, giving an example and an exception.

For example: The overall pattern of the map shows that a lot of people live in the Northern Hemisphere. For example, Europe and Eastern Asia. There is a lower population density in areas such as North Africa where the Sahara Desert is located.

  1. Use a range of relevant geographical terms accurately in your writing

What does this mean?
Geographical terminology is essential to understanding both Human and Physical Geography. Students need to be able to understand and apply a broad range of subject-specific vocabulary appropriately in order to describe and explain key geographical processes and concepts.

For example: A basic sentence would be, ‘The rock at the cliff is worn away.’

When we apply geographical terms, the sentence becomes much more detailed, ‘The rock at the cliff is eroded away due to processes such as hydraulic action, abrasion and solution.’

5.  Describe how places, people and environments change over time

What does this mean?
In Geography we study how places, people and environments change over time in response to a range of different processes. For example, in Physical Geography a coastal environment can change as a result of management strategies or a volcanic area may change as a result of an eruption. In Human Geography, an area may change as a result of a declining tourist industry or gentrification.

For example:  At a basic level, students will be able to describe what these changes look like, ‘From 1987, the number of tourists visiting Blackpool declined from 16 million to 10.5 million.’ 

  1. Begin to explain (give reasons) how places, people and environments change over time

What does this mean?
In Geography we study how places, people and environments change over time in response to a range of different processes. For example, in Physical Geography a coastal environment can change as a result of management strategies or a volcanic area may change as a result of an eruption. In Human Geography, an area may change as a result of a declining tourist industry or gentrification.

For example:  As students progress, they will be able to begin to explain what these changes look like, ‘From 1987, the number of tourists visiting Blackpool declined from 16 million to 10.5 million. This happened because of the growth of package holidays and tourists could go abroad relatively cheaply as opposed to visiting Blackpool.’ 

  1. Explain how places, people and environments change over time

What does this mean?
In Geography we study how places, people and environments change over time in response to a range of different processes. For example, in Physical Geography a coastal environment can change as a result of management strategies or a volcanic area may change as a result of an eruption. In Human Geography, an area may change as a result of a declining tourist industry or gentrification.

For example:  More able students will be able to explain what these changes look like, ‘From 1987, the number of tourists visiting Blackpool declined from 16 million to 10.5 million. This happened because of the growth of package holidays and tourists could go abroad relatively cheaply as opposed to visiting Blackpool. As a result the annual spend by overnight visitors has declined from £800 million to £500 million at 2004 prices which led to a period of rejuvenation. This rejuvenation saw 26,700 new jobs created as a result of £2.2 billion of capital being invested.’ 

  1. Improve your presentation of data, e.g. graphs need labelled axes and detailed titles.

What does this mean?
In Geography students will carry out a number of enquiry-based units of work where they will be expected to collect and present data from the field. Students may present their data by hand or through the use of software packages such as Microsoft Excel. It is essential that students present their data carefully with detailed titles such as ‘A line graph to show…’, labelled axes and the clear and accurate use of a ruler. 

  1. Ask a range of useful and relevant geographical questions

What does this mean?
Geography is a contemporary subject which means it is constantly unravelling around us so it is crucial that students can engage with the world around them by asking a range of interesting, inquisitive and thought provoking questions. The key question words are often useful in helping students to ask these questions, e.g. who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

For example:   When we read a newspaper article about a recent volcanic eruption, we could think: Who was affected by the eruption? What were the causes of the eruption? Where was affected by the eruption? When did the eruption start? How did the volcano erupt? Why was the country not better prepared for the eruption? 

  1. Use independent research to extend your knowledge and to reach an informed opinion

What does this mean?
We study many contemporary topics in Geography so it is important that our students follow the news to keep up to date with what is going on in the world. Websites and magazines such as the National Geographic provide a wealth of interesting and relevant articles which help students to broaden their understanding of what they learn in the classroom. For example reading about earthquake events such as Italy in 2016 will help pupils to understand the relevance and importance of what they learn in school.