Developing a
dartboard style
approach to
curriculum planning
• Teaching throughout Key Stage 3 is divided into 6
themes e.g. My World, Amazing Places, Water World
• These themes are revisited in years 8 and 9 with the use
of different units e.g. for the theme My World, unit titles
could include Mapping and making connections in Y7,
My environment in Y8 and My global footprint in Y9
• The six themes and 18 units provide the structure for the
delivery of your key stage 3 geography course
• The key is that each time a theme is revisited during the
key stage, it is done so through a different unit which
builds on existing knowledge and understanding, but is
more challenging and demanding to enable and support
The process
Choose themes that are relevant to your school and your students. The
most effective way to do this is through departmental discussion and
consultation with students
Broad themes e.g. Dangerous World or Changing World will allow for the
development of creative units. Unit titles are more specific e.g. crime,
natural disasters
Order units within a theme to structure study from Y7 to Y9. When ordering
units think about the complexity of the unit and what you want students to
be studying at certain points of the year and at certain points of the key
Once the structure is in place, schemes of work can be written for each of
the units, taking each year group in turn
At the beginning of the key stage, students should be aware of the six main
themes and how their course of study will fit together.
Each time a new unit is introduced and throughout its teaching, reference
should be made to the overarching theme to give students an
understanding of how all the units fit together and how all the themes come
together to form their key stage 3 geography experience
Is this the most effective planning
model for us?
Some questions for the department to
• Will structuring the geography curriculum into themes allow us to
teach the specific units we want to?
• Do we have some existing resources that could be developed to fit
into this planning model?
• How would our students benefit from learning geography using this
• Does this model have the flexibility to cater for our students’ needs?
• Does this model have the flexibility we need to build in topicality?
• Do we think this is an effective method to implement the new
curriculum changes?

Developing a dartboard approach to curriculum planning