Oak updates

27 March 2024

Introducing our secondary geography curriculum partners

Graeme Schofield

Geography Subject Lead

Graeme Schofield is our geography subject lead at Oak. Prior to joining Oak, Graeme taught for 18 years in state secondary schools. During this time, he worked as a head of geography for 11 years and led whole-school reform of curriculum and assessment.

Continuing to develop our geography curriculum

Our focus is on lowering workload and supporting teachers to increase their expertise. Over the coming year we’ll be creating a new secondary geography curriculum and a full set of teaching resources. These will complement our new primary geography curriculum and resources which we’re creating in partnership with the Geographical Association. Our secondary resources will all be designed to better support your planning, in-class teaching and help you develop your own curriculum.

Our fantastic partners reflect the diverse range of educational providers and expertise across the country.

We are one of many teaching resource and curriculum suppliers, and I am delighted that we can improve this offer so that teachers have an even better choice of foundation materials to build upon in their classroom.

Curriculum partner

I’m delighted to confirm that we will be collaborating with the Geographical Association (KS3) and Geography Southwest (KS4) to shape our secondary geography curriculum.

As an existing partner on our primary geography curriculum we know well the wealth of expertise and experience that the Geographical Association bring. The association has fostered a community of professional practice with well over a century of innovation behind it and an unrivalled understanding of geography teaching.

They also have an extensive membership base, embracing the whole range of teachers across the sector from every age group and every type of school, with an important focus on building a curriculum founded on strong principles informed by educational research, using careful sequencing and coherence.

We are thrilled to be also collaborating with Geography Southwest in the creation of new resources to support teachers and students studying GCSE Geography.

Geography Southwest is an award-winning website providing free resources to support geography teachers and students from primary through to university.

Geography Southwest works with many universities and professional organisations (for example, the University of Southampton’s National Oceanography Centre, Forestry England, the University of Plymouth, the Environment Agency and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council) in promoting existing resources and creating new ones. Geography Southwest co-hosts an annual geography conference in Bristol in June.

Geography Southwest is a highly respected organisation that has created a range of high-quality curriculum resources. The organisation is well connected in the world of geography publishing and its team of highly experienced authors will enable the creation of first-class resources.

We are looking forward to working with both partners.

Subject experts

Working with our curriculum partners is just the start of the process. To make sure we can meet the wide-ranging needs of schools from across the country, we’ve also recruited subject experts to provide independent feedback. We will be confirming our expert group members very soon.

Our geography curriculum principles

Our first set of new lesson planning and teaching resources for KS3 and KS4 will be available from autumn 2024, with full curriculum packages by summer 2025.

As a subject lead, I will ensure that the new curriculum resources reflect our geography guiding principles, to ensure every geography teacher has access to brilliant teaching resources and every pupil has access to high-quality provision.

Our guiding principles are a rigorous guide so our new curriculum is cohesive and enriching. In primary and secondary geography, this will mean our curriculum plans include:

  • A focus on four interrelated areas of substantive geographical knowledge: locational, place, processes and skills
  • Linking substantive and disciplinary knowledge to develop key geographical concepts (which include: place, space (including spatio-temporal change), scale, interconnection and interdependence, physical and human processes, environmental impact, sustainable development, cultural awareness, cultural diversity and interpretation) together with capacity for ‘spatial thinking’ and ‘thinking geographically’
  • Integration of geographical knowledge including map skills, geographic information systems (GIS), aerial and satellite imagery (Earth Observation)
  • Embedding of geographical knowledge to achieve automaticity by application to novel situations in case studies and fieldwork

One of our overarching curriculum principles is diversity, and this will be a focus for subject expert groups.

Our overall curriculum approach

These geography-specific principles dovetail with our overall approach to curriculum design, and how we hope teachers can use Oak, as explained by Emma McCrea, our Head of Curriculum Design. You can also find out more about the new partners and subject experts we’re excited to be working with.

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