Geography — Year 8


Geography Overview

Term 1: How is China managing its population?

China has a falling birth rate, but it hasn't always been this way. With the largest population in the world, China has had to take drastic and sometimes stark action to manage its population. This unit looks at the human and physical geography of China with particular reference to the one child policy and recent Hong Kong Security laws.

Students weigh up the effectiveness of the One Child policy at different scales; local, regional and national.


a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.


an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Human Rights

a right which is believed to belong to every person. E.g the right to water, the right to a free trial.

One Child Policy

The one-child policy was a population planning initiative in China implemented between 1980 and 2015 to curb the country's growth by restricting many families to a single child.

Population Pyramid

A population pyramid or "age-sex pyramid" is a graphical illustration of the distribution of a population by age groups and sex; it typically takes the shape of a pyramid when the population is growing.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Students will gain a deeper understanding of the concept of population and demographics.

Create a supportive community:

Students will gain an appreciation for differences between democracy and communism and the value of free speech.

Term 2: Our Sustainable World

Sustainability is one of the most important areas of geography. To be sustainable requires meeting the needs of the present, without jeopardising the needs of the future. To take sustainability seriously requires us to examine our ideas about growth, social equality, consumption, and "standard of living". In this unit of work, students get to grips with the concept and explore it through different examples; food, cities and lifestyle.

Students will evaluate a sustainable city project to suggest whether it is truly sustainable or not.


Meeting the needs of the present without getting in the way of the needs of future generations

The global commons

Areas of land, air or sea which are shared by people but not owned by anyone

Non-renewable resource

Coal, Oil or Gas which are non-renewable

Renewable energy

A type of energy which does not rely on fossil fuels but instead relies on naturally occuring energies; solar, wind etc.

The tragedy of the commons

Where a shared resource, which has no rules, is over used by people to the detriment of all people.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Students will consider their own lifestyle and weigh up their own contributions towards a sustainable future.

Create a supportive community:

Students will develop an awareness of their role in global citizenship in the context of sustainability.

Term 3: Glaciers over time

Students study an important link between glaciers and geology. This unit makes the link between the topics of glaciation and contemporary climate change. Having gained an understanding of how glaciers work from lesson two, students should be able to see quite easily why glaciers are monitored by scientists to track global warming.

The majority of the module is focused on glaciers and glaciation, but two of the lessons deal specifically with aspects of geology and geological time. Throughout the module, students should be encouraged to make links between the two topics wherever possible. From a teaching point of view, glaciation and geological time make a good pairing given the relatively long timescales over which glacial processes operate, especially when viewed in relation to Ice Age changes; and students should find study of the two topics mutually reinforcing.

Students will undertake an end of unit assessment that has a range of short and long answer questions. They will need to know the features of glaciers, why they are important and the impact that glaciers have on the landscape.


A mass of ice which moves under its own weight or due to gravity

Alpine Glacier

A glacier which starts in mountains and flows downwards

Ice Sheet

A glacier which is formed in land masses found in extremely cold environments; e.g Antarctica and Greenland

Zone of accumulation

The start of a glacier where new ice is created from snowfall

Zone of ablation

The snout of a glacier where ice melts (the end of the glacier)

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Students will begin to understand the concept of geological time. This is important when considering our place on earth and our own significance in the context of life on earth.

Create a supportive community:

Students will begin to make connections between the significance of sustainability and climate change and the importance of glaciers to our global community. They will begin to understand the role which glaciers play in sea level rise.

Term 3: River and coastal hydrology in the U.K

This module looks at the concept of hydrology; how water moves and shapes our landscape and coastline. We look at the water cycle and how water is transported from the sea to land and the effects of water on the land. Concepts of erosion, transportation are explored in river systems and at the coastline and how these work to create distinct landforms. We look at the importance of understanding hydrology and how significant events can have severe impacts on humans on the land (flooding) and at the coast (storms).

Students will be assessed through an extended writing piece which requires them to understand the physical processes of erosion and how they link to the formation of a landform.

Water cycle

The way in which water is moved from sea to earth and back again; evaporation, condensation and precipitation


The gradual wearing away and breaking down of material


the branch of science concerned with the properties of the earth's water, and especially its movement in relation to land.


Where material carried by water is 'put down' and released under low energy conditions

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Students will develop an understanding of geographical systems and processes at different scales.

Create a supportive community:

Students will be making judgements and developing a sense of empathy around a flood event. What are the impacts on people? What can we do as a community in the future to stop people from being impacted?

Term 5: The Amazon Rainforest - A fragile environment

Students will understand the climate of the tropical rainforest, and how humans, plants and animals adapt to live in these environments. The module then focuses on how human influences are changing our rainforests around the world, and whether we can develop the rainforest sustainably.

Students will be assessed by a written assessment that looks at looks at their place knowledge.


Interdependence between countries means that they are dependent on one another in some way.


An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms, as well as weather and landscape, work together to form a bubble of life.


Biodiversity refers to the variety of living species on Earth, including plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi.


adaptations allow plants and animals to survive in the conditions of the rainforest.


The human action of clearing a wide area of trees.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Students will start to understand their connection with natural resources as well as their fragility.

Create a supportive community:

Students will develop a sense of empathy whilst working in groups and problem solving.

Term 6: Fieldwork - a trip to a river or coastal environment

Building on their knowledge and understanding from Term 4 - our students will be looking at investigating the the impact which water has on the land. Depending on the state of play with Covid, students will either travel to Minehead where they will be evaluating the effectiveness of sea defences. They will collect different types of primary data including beach profiles and sediment analysis. Should Covid persist, we may scale things back to a local river and explore the Trym Valley and surrounding river. Students will collect primary data on the speed and velocity of the river. Students will build on their knowledge from Year 7 by conducting statistical analysis on their data (mean) and using scatter graphs to plot and evaluate trends between variables. Students will look to increase their independence further by gathering further secondary evidence to add to their fieldwork investigations and draw stronger conclusions. Students may also being to reflect on their fieldwork against the Bradshaw model.

The whole inquiry will be assessed including methods, data presentation, analysis, conclusion and evaluation.

Primary Data

data that you have personally collected eg. EQS or Beach profile

Secondary Data

data that has been collected from someone else eg. house prices or wind direction.

Data presentation

how you display your data in a visual format e.g. Line graphs for a beach profile

Data Analysis

how you break down the different data sets and compare them to identify trends or findings relevant to your aim. It can be done numerically, for example looking at the median rate of long shore drift.


you critically appraise the usefulness and accuracy of your methods and the certainty of your findings in your investigation.


Do you accept or reject your initial hypothesis based on the evidence you have collected?

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Students will develop a greater sense of inquiry and afforded more independence in asking and answering investigative questions.

Create a supportive community:

Students will be working in groups, potentially in an environment away from school.