Leeds East Academy



Curriculum Intent - Geography

“The world as we know it is not 'given' and it can and it will change” – Lambert et al. 

Powerful Knowledge

Powerful knowledge in geography is not simply telling students what to think, but rather giving them the tools to learn how to think. In other words, it is important that our students are not just learning about facts, but are gaining a comprehensive and truthful understanding of these facts. As geography teachers, we know it is our responsibility to ensure every single one of our students have access to powerful knowledge and that we can actively promote the participation of all students in a powerful geography education which is appropriately ambitious, engaging and excellent. This is because, as Michael Young (2011), asserts: “For children from disadvantaged homes, active participation in school may be the only opportunity that they have to acquire powerful knowledge and be able to move, intellectually at least, beyond their local and particular circumstances.”  

To provide a basis to build a geography curriculum that fully embeds powerful knowledge within it, we have utilised the principles from Alaric Maude’s (2015) research into powerful knowledge to underpin this into every part of our curriculum: 

  • To provide students with new ways about thinking about the world.  
  • To provide students with powerful ways of analysing, explaining and understanding different aspects of our world.  
  • To provide students with power over their own geographical knowledge. Students will be equipped with an understanding of what makes geographical knowledge distinctive – and truthful.  
  • To enable students to follow and participate in debates on significant local, national and global issues.  
  • To develop students’ knowledge of the world.   

Our curriculum will be carefully planned and constantly reviewed to ensure that powerful knowledge, as outlined in Maude’s research, is fully embedded to ensure that every student at Leeds East Academy has a curriculum offer within geography that is appropriately ambitious, engaging and excellent. 

Curriculum Features

Geography education at LEA aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to be successful global citizens. The curriculum is designed to allow students to appreciate Geography as an academic subject that is dynamic and constantly evolving. Through the curriculum we offer, students will understand how the world works and gain insight on how this will change in the future. Students will learn about their own personal space and place, but they will be able to appreciate that the world is diverse with different environments, people, cultures and economies throughout. Students will therefore develop an ‘open-mindedness’ from this curriculum which will go a long way in being tolerant, well-rounded individuals who celebrate the diversity within their local areas as well around the world. Lessons will go beyond students’ everyday experiences so they can develop a comprehensive view of the world. This will equip students with the skill of explaining geographical concepts beyond their own personal experiences. They will also be given the tools to think about the social, economic and environmental futures for a range of places beyond their own personal experiences.  

Cross Curricular & Wider Experiences

Geography is unique in that it requires the skills associated with both STEM and humanities academic disciplines. Students at LEA will be able to develop skills learnt in Maths and Science, as well as skills associated with English and History. As such, Geography has a unique and crucial place in a well-rounded, varied and comprehensive curriculum.  

In addition to lessons, students at LEA have multiple opportunities throughout their school experience to conduct Fieldwork. This is a key part of a Geography Curriculum which promotes geographical knowledge and understanding by bridging the divide between the classroom and the real world. 

For any further information regarding the geography offer at Leeds East Academy, please contact Ms Devenish - devenish.j@whiteroseacademies.org