Year 9 Geography

Unit Content

Unit 1


Students study both physical aspects of rainforests and human issues related to deforestation. The unit is largely focused on the Amazon rainforest with some reference to Southeast Asia. The complexity of deforestation is considered with examination of political, economic, social and environmental issues.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding rainforest systems and processes with a focus on adaptations
  • Understanding causes and impacts of deforestation including viewpoints of indigenous people
  • Understanding a range of strategies to manage deforestation including the need for international cooperation

Key skills developed:

  • How to draw and analyse climate graphs
  • How to research and read for specific information related to deforestation
  • How to evaluate increasingly complex issues related to deforestation

Assessment: Learning is assessed formatively at the start of Term 2 with a range of practice questions that can be self, peer or teacher assessed. This unit is then assessed summatively at the start of Terms 3 and 6 with a range of short and long questions using a variety of command words.

Unit 2


Students build on Year 8 knowledge of climate change to examine how changing climate has led to glacial and interglacial periods. Students learn about the processes that create glaciers and glacial landforms in a British landscape context. Case studies from Pakistan and Austria are studied as examples of places affected by climate change and tourism pressure.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding of glacial and interglacial periods within the Ice Age and their impact on the landscape of Britain
  • Understanding of processes that create glaciers and the resulting landforms
  • Understanding the fragility of glacial landscapes in the context of climate change and tourism pressure

Key skills developed:

  • How to apply geographical knowledge of glaciers to tourism plans
  • How to use OS map skills to interpret glacial landscapes
  • How to evaluate the suitability and practicality of strategies to cope with glacial retreat

Assessment: Learning is assessed at the start of Terms 3 and 6. The assessment will include a range of short and long questions covering both causes of, impacts of and responses to climate change.


Unit 3


Students examine the challenges of producing food sustainably for the world’s growing population. The unit covers a range of issues relating to the food industry – food miles, food security, food prices – and encourages students to consider how their food choices have consequences beyond the plate they eat it from!

Key knowledge developed:

  • Knowing key vocabulary and global patterns relating to food consumption
  • Understanding the concept of food security and impacts of food insecurity
  • Understanding strategies to increase food supply in an environmentally and socially sustainable way

Key skills developed:

  • How to describe global patterns of food supply and consumption
  • How to evaluate large-scale schemes that increase food production
  • How to plan and research enquiry questions effectively

Assessment: Learning is assessed formatively at the start of Term 4 with practice questions. It is later assessed summatively at the start of Term 6 with a range of short and long questions using a variety of command words.

Unit 4


Students investigate a range of aspects of Russia’s geography including physical characteristics, biomes and resources. The concept of superpowers is introduced and a comparison with another major global power, China, rounds off the unit.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding how climate drives the distribution of biomes across Russia
  • Understanding increasingly complex measures of development
  • Understanding the concept of superpowers and how well Russia fits the criteria

Key skills developed:

  • How to represent a range of information through maps
  • How to plot complex information using flow diagrams and choropleth maps
  • How to assess a country’s status as a superpower

Assessment: Learning is assessed summatively at the start of Term 6 with a range of short and long questions using a variety of command words.

Units 5 & 6

Tectonic Hazards

Students are prepared to engage with GCSE Geography content in this unit on tectonic hazards. Building on the earlier learning about volcanoes and earthquakes, they encounter GCSE-level coverage of physical processes and in-depth comparative case studies of earthquakes in countries at different levels of development.

Key knowledge developed:

  • Understanding the structure of the Earth and tectonic processes
  • Understanding case studies relating to earthquakes in Nepal and Chile
  • Understanding the opportunities and challenges of living in tectonic zones

Key skills developed:

  • How to explain complex physical processes and how they create tectonic phenomena
  • How to apply case study information to demanding nine-mark evaluative questions
  • How to interpret and apply unfamiliar information to exam questions

Assessment: Learning is assessed formatively through in-class practice of exam questions, and summatively in an end of unit test in Term 6.