Illustration 2: Skills in Years 9–10 geography

Curriculum overview

Geography is a broad subject that requires students to show competencies in a range of areas, not just reading maps! Map creation and interpretation, graphing, communication and writing, and decision-making skills have always been key tools for geographers. However, with the multitude of ways data can be represented today, geographers increasingly need to be competent in a range of areas.

The Australian Curriculum: Geography (and its various HASS-based iterations) provides achievement standards that describe the skills that are expected of students at each year level.

Learning goals

The illustration-specific learning goals are:

  • creating and interpreting maps and graphs
  • representing data visually
  • undertaking field sketching
  • creating and interpreting surveys
  • gathering information
  • interpreting aerial and satellite imagery
  • writing and communicating findings
  • analysing written, visual, tabular and other information
  • making decisions.

Geographical understanding and context

Units in Year 9
The Australian Curriculum: Geography describes two units of study in the Year 9 curriculum: 

  • Biomes and food security: Opportunities are provided for students to undertake a range of skills while they examine this issue. Early in the topic students will be involved in map creation and interpretation as they examine the global distribution of the world's biomes and its relationship to climate. Students will gather and analyse information as they begin to examine global and regional issues of food production and consumption, and food security.
  • Geographies of interconnections: This unit will also involve map interpretation as students examine the global distribution of production and consumption of goods and services. Analysis skills will be required as students begin to examine the complex relationships and flows that exist in global trading markets.

Units in Year 10
The Australian Curriculum: Geography describes two units of study in the Year 10 curriculum:

  • Environmental change and management: As students examine environmental change related to a environment, they will need to interpret aerial and satellite imagery for evidence of impacts in the field. Students will need to gather and analyse information on the causes and impacts of their selected environmental issue.
  • Geographies of human wellbeing: Graph interpretation and construction will be required when students are comparing different levels of development across the globe. Students will need to understand different economic, environmental and social indicators and their influence on development and wellbeing. Some initial analysis skills will be required as they begin to understand the relationships between the indicators and wellbeing, and these skills will develop as students begin to make decisions related to these issues.

Teaching approaches

Geographical skills are the things that make a geographical inquiry tick, and students will employ different skills during different stages of a geographical inquiry.

It is important to note that geographical skills should not be exclusively used within a geographical inquiry. Geographical skills can be used to further develop higher-order thinking skills and students' learning in the knowledge and understanding strand of the Australian Curriculum: Geography.

Almost all of the geographical skills outlined for Years 9 and 10 in Exemplar skills and resources – Years 9 and 10(PDF) will be used at some stage in the year.

What you need

Exemplar skills and resources – Years 9 and 10 (PDF) provides a list of geographical skills that will be used at some stage in the year for both Years 9 and 10. It also provides examples to assist in using geographical skills. A detailed list of resources is provided for each section.