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Why Geography?

Why learn Geography?


‘You can travel the seas, poles and deserts and see nothing.To really understand the world you need to get under the skin of the people and places. In other words, learn about geography. I can’t imagine a subject more relevant in schools. We’d all be lost without it.



                                                                           Michael Palin, actor, writer, traveller


Geography underpins a lifelong ‘conversation’ about the earth as the home of humankind. Geography therefore contributes to a balanced education for all young people in schools.


Geography is not a narrow academic subject for the few. It is fundamental for everyone. It starts very early, when a young child encounters and begins to discover the world. Geography can nourish and enrich a whole lifetime of learning.

Geography fascinates and inspires: the beauty of the earth, the terrible power of earth-shaping forces – these things can take us out of ourselves. Geographical investigation both satisfies and nourishes curiosity.

Geography deepens understanding: many contemporary challenges – climate change, food security, energy choices – cannot be understood without a geographical perspective.

Geography serves vital educational goals: thinking and decision making with geography helps us to live our lives as knowledgeable citizens, aware of our own local communities in a global setting.

Geographers are skilful: using maps and mediated images of people and place, numerical data and graphical modes of communication and getting to grips with the geographic information systems that underpin our lives, make geographers skilful and employable.


A high-quality geography education should inspire in students a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip students with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As students progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.

Skills we learn in Geography


Many students do not realise that geography equips them with a broad range of skills and knowledge, enabling them to make sense of the world. The skills learnt in geography include: 


   synthesising and communicating information

   problem solving

   managing data


   using a variety of new technology

   thinking critically and creatively

   planning and organising

   research and report writing

   independent inquiry. 


By applying these skills and looking at things geographically, students can understand and work out the best solutions to problems and issues.

Aims of Geography at Braidwood School


The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all students:


  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes


  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time


  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:

        • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes

        • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

        • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.