At The Downs Malvern, we are fortunate to be based in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a Site of Special Scientific Interest just a 10-minute walk away. These combine to make a wonderful base for exploring the world around us.

A high-quality geography education should inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Teaching should equip pupils 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 pupils 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.

We are fortunate to have such a great site for studying Geography. The Downs Malvern is situated at the foot of the majestic Malvern Hills, which make up part of the school grounds. Not only are we in a conservation area but we also have a Site of Special Scientific Interest just a 10-minute walk away.

We believe that Geography is best learnt in the field, so we run a 4-day residential course to Cornwall every June for the pupils in Year 7. This trip links well with both the Art and Science curriculums, as well as Environmental Geography. Enquiry-based learning features strongly throughout the school, and all the pupils are encouraged to explain why geographical features are located where they are. Great emphasis is placed upon the children’s understanding of how geographical processes work, and to appreciate the geography exists all around them and helps to shape our lives. The need to understand our beautiful and complex planet and the effect of our human activities on it is increasingly urgent. From rivers to coasts, from mountains to earth-shuddering earthquakes and volcanoes, there is something for every child to engage with and embrace.

We also visit the beautiful Carding Mill Valley, nestled in the Shropshire Hills, where we carry out a fieldwork investigation on the journey and actions of a river, with the help of A-Level students from Malvern College.

Michael Strong, Head of Geography