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Guide to the national curriculum for geography

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Introducing the key stage 3 national curriculum for geography



The National Curriculum for England

The geography Programmes of Study

Key stage 3 geography ‘at a glance’

  • The current National Curriculum for England was launched in September 2014. It applies to maintained schools in England only – NOT to academies or free schools.
  • Geography is a statutory subject throughout key stages 1-3.
  • The requirements, set out on the Programmes of Study (PoS), are concise and set out only the core knowledge that students should acquire. The PoS do not specify approaches to teaching, nor explain how to put the content into a teaching and learning sequence.
  • There is emphasis on locational and place knowledge, human and physical processes and some technical procedures, such as using grid references.
  • Fieldwork, the use of maps and written communication are key skills required.
  • Schools are free to devise their own curriculum and assessment system. There are no Level Descriptors, as existed before 2014.
  • Wales has its own curriculum and process of review. The National Literacy and Numeracy Framework (NLNF), which affects key stage 3 from September 2013, requires all teachers to embed literacy and numeracy skills within their subject teaching with the aim of raising achievement throughout Wales.

Our KS3 curriculum bundle from the journal Teaching Geography offers advice and guidance for planning for key stage 3 for the 2014 National Curriculum.

For further reading, we recommend this article about the changing nature of geography curriculum and assessment in England


Geography curriculum – Frequently Asked Questions


The national curriculum reform timeline


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