Mrs Humanities

teacher . blogger . friend

Getting GCSE ready


Personally I believe and teach in a way that key stage 3 is simply setting the foundations for key stage 4. You could essentially say I’ve planned a 5 year scheme of learning, where students revisit knowledge and skills via a variety of topics, believe it’s linked to spiraling (I’ve not researched it but someone mentioned it recently).

After looking at recent assessments and discussions with students I’ve completely scrapped the scheme of work I had in place for year 9 for term 5 and 6. Instead I’ve set about creating a scheme of work that gap fills to ensure all of my year 9’s are prepared for the next stage of their learning.

The scheme of work will revisit a lot of what we’ve covered in year 7 and 8 as well as what we’ve covered in year 9 so far.

Students will be issued with a learning ladder that clearly outlines what they need to be able to do for the different bands; Bronze, Silver and Gold. Students will have to demonstrate their understanding and mastery of the bronze before moving onto silver and/or gold.

Students will be guided as to which band they are aiming to master based upon targets, however as always I will encourage them all to aim for gold.

The learning ladder will look something like this….

learning ladder

The ladder starts with essential map and atlas skills which takes in some aspects of physical geography followed by essential human geography linked to skills such as description and explanation. The final part of the learning ladder focuses on the recall of key terminology; this section has been based upon my gap analysis of the work undertaken over time and is essentially the areas where misconceptions have arisen, challenges have been faced or just general forgetfulness has taken place over time.

I want to ensure that their prior learning is recapped and embedded before the summer holidays (and the 6-week brain drain takes place) to make it that little bit easier in September when they start the GCSE course.

It gives me the opportunity to fill any gaps in student knowledge, particularly as a number of new students have joined throughout the year and allows me to ensure students have a secure understanding of what I believe are the foundations needed for GCSE Geography.

My plan is to make it as independent as possible with the resources available for students to work through at their own pace, completing and revisiting as they feel fit.

I’d like to put all the resources such as helpful PowerPoints onto a website for students to access in class and at home but not entirely sure where to start seeing as WordPress is blocked on the school network. So any recommendations are greatly welcomed.

So there it is, my little gap filling idea.

Now onto the lesson planning….

If you do anything similar I’d love to hear about it.




Author: MrsHumanities

Teacher. Blogger. Friend.

4 thoughts on “Getting GCSE ready

  1. Pingback: Resource – Filling the Gaps Ks3 to GCSE | Mrs Humanities

  2. Hi

    I’ve just read your ‘GCSE Getting Ready’ post and love the bronze to gold matrix. I was wondering what ‘content’ do you cover at ks3, in light of this approach and your Year 9 re-think? I’m having a similar clear out at ks3 and want to prepare for GCSE. I’ve started with a year 9 Bowness enquiry using the SAMS 1 geographical applications paper, which was very successful. Less content, lots of skills and application. Many thanks. Graham Cooke. Windermere School


  3. Hi,
    just read your GCSE Ready blog. Great as usual. You mentioned putting things on another website for the students to access. I’ve got free account with Schoology and Edmodo for all my students and upload resources there. They are BOTH free. I use both for different groups and classes depending on their ability. Just sign up with them for a demo and trial.
    Thought this might be of use.


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