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How we teach Key Stage 3 Geography effectively using Hodder Education resources

King Alfred School

Head of Geography, The King Alfred School, An Academy, Somerset

"Progress in Geography prepares our students well for their GCSE and the future."

"We are currently moving from a 2 to a 3 year KS3 programme. Our KS3 programme aims to provide students with a foundation for AQA GCSE Geography and their future life.

Having gained greater understanding of the requirements of the new GCSE course, my department decided to re-write our KS3 course in September 2018.  The Progress in Geography textbook appeared at a perfect time to become our core textbook. We also have access to the Dynamic Learning resources which accompany the textbook.

An example of a unit in which we have made frequent use of the Progress in Geography textbook is ‘Africa – Challenges and Opportunities’.  We used the nine spreads in the book for our first nine lessons, then developed three further lessons at the end of the unit. Rather than follow the textbook religiously we dip into it when it is useful.  This varies depending on the unit we are studying.  

It was very useful to be able to download the PowerPoints for each spread from Dynamic Learning and adapt them to suit our lessons. The lesson plans available from Dynamic Learning include answers to the questions in the textbook.  We integrated these answers into the lesson PowerPoints so that students could self-assess and improve their answers. We downloaded some of the worksheets available from Dynamic Learning to be used as support or challenge sheets for students who needed them. Having detailed PowerPoint presentations including clear content, tasks and answers was particularly useful for non-specialist teachers. 

For our year 7 ‘Somerset Rocks’ unit we took a very different approach.  This unit covers a range of physical geography topics set within a local context. We planned our scheme of learning to take students from the geology of our area through to weather and climate and physical processes, ending with a field visit to Watchet on the Somerset coast.  Having decided what we wanted to teach in each lesson we used Progress in Geography to support this. We dipped into different chapters, using the geological timescale and types of rocks section from pages 24-25, information about air pressure and weather systems from pages 70-73, sections on the water cycle, weathering and erosion from pages 104-106. We integrated sections from the related PowerPoint presentations into our own presentations and used some of the worksheets to provide extra support and challenge where needed.

Progress in Geography prepares our students well for their GCSE and the future.  The content is challenging, making the step up to the reformed GCSEs less daunting.

Powerful knowledge is included in the text and geographical skills are developed as students work through the tasks.  The sections on development and Africa take a very up to date approach, confronting students’ misconceptions head on and referring them to current resources such as the excellent Dollar Street."

What resources do The King Alfred School use to teach Key Stage 3 Geography?

Progress in Geography Student Book >

Teaching and Learning resources >

Workbooks >