The Geographical Association published a document called ‘An assessment and progression framework for geography’ at the beginning of 2016 (access it here), using this I have designed a number of rigorous assessments specifically for Key Stage Three.

Each assessment incorporates a modified version of the age related expectations outlined in the GA document of contextual world knowledge, understanding, geographical skills and enquiry. The aim of these assessments is to challenge and allow students to develop their geographical understanding, skills and synoptic links  in order to prepare them for more demanding GCSE examinations at Key Stage Four.

Each assessment from year 7 to year 9 incorporates the four national expectations for Geography outlined in the GA document (contextual world knowledge, understanding, geographical skills and enquiry), similar to new GCSE examination assessment objectives or AO’s.

The image below, refers to a free assessment which can be accessed here based on the topic of ‘Ecosystems’ whereby students must explore a variety of animal adaptations in relation to the ecosystem they live in. This will then lead to pupils creating their own animal with unique adaptations to survive in their given ecosystem. Pupils will need to illustrate and justify their selection of adaptations.


The image above is an example of this assessments success criteria in accordance to the age related expectations set out by the GA, with further differentiation based on a pathway grading system (Extended, Higher, Intermediate and Foundation). For information on this pathway grading system, please refer to a blog post COMING SOON.

Below are a number of these assessments for you to access, if you are interested in this approach:


Geographical enquiry – How does my school environment vary?

Pupils will take part in a fieldwork enquiry around their new school environment, conducting an environmental quality survey. This will then lead to pupils presenting their data, as well as discussing patterns and drawing conclusions based on their predictions and original enquiry question.


Weather and climate – Is extreme weather caused by global warming?

Pupils will explore a range of stakeholder opinions (evaluating the evidence based on fact or opinion) to inform their opinions of the creation of extreme weather events by global warming. This will lead on to a class debate, before pupils justify their interpretations using various stakeholder opinions to support their decisions.

*References – Geographical association (2016) ‘An assessment and progression framework for geography’