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Geography KS3 Curriculum FAQs

Timeline of changes

Q: When did the new National Curriculum come into effect?

A: The revised National Curriculum and new Key Stage 3 Programme of Study came into effect at the start of the 2014 autumn term.

Main changes

Q: What's new?

A: There’s a higher profile for:

  • core knowledge
  • locational knowledge
  • physical geography and earth science topics: Glaciation, Rocks, Weathering, Soils, and the Geological timescale are all specified

Specified regions

Q: What regions are specified for study in KS3?

A: There’s a requirement to study a region in Africa and a region in Asia. A list of continents, regions, and countries is detailed – Africa, South and East Asia (including China and India), the Middle East, and Russia.

Flexibility

Q: Is there any further guidance on what I should teach?

A: No, there isn't any further guidance; teachers are seen as the curriculum makers, and are expected to decide what is taught under the Programme of Study headings. The topics specified in the Programme of Study are considered the essential core.

Assessment

Q: What’s happening to assessment?

A: The old National Curriculum Levels are gone – the DfE has stated there’s no intention to replace them, and the expectation is that teachers will sort new assessment criteria or levels that work for them.