Skip to content ↓


Year Eight Topic Two: Rivers and Coasts

This topic consists of two parts – rivers and coasts. Firstly, students will learn how rivers develop and change over their course from source to mouth. Students also study the processes leading to the formation of features along a river such as waterfalls, meanders and oxbow lakes. Students then learn about uses of rivers to humans and how we can monitor a river’s flow to predict flooding.

After rivers, students study coasts, including the formation of features such as stacks, bays and spits. Students then explore strategies used to manage and protect beaches from the elements.



Knowledge acquired:

  • Knowledge of how rivers change over their profile
  • Knowledge of how river and coastal features such as waterfalls from
  • Knowledge of how coastal erosion can be managed

Skills developed:

  • Ability to use maps and graphs to identify river and coastal features


  • Apply knowledge and understanding to make a decision on how to manage a coast

Links to previous study (where applicable):

  • Students study rivers and coasts in Key Stage 2
  • Links to Flooding, studied in Year 7

Links to future study / the wider world (where applicable):

  • Links to Physical Landscapes of the UK, studied in Year 10



Number of lessons: 14

Sequence of lessons:

  1. Water cycle
  2. Erosion and weathering
  3. Waterfalls
  4. Meanders and ox bow lakes
  5. River course
  6. Hydrographs
  7. Coastal waves and tides
  8. Coastal erosion
  9. Coastal landforms
  10. Longshore drift
  11. Coastal management
  12. Water supply and importance
  13. Glaciers

Main resources:

  • Geog.1 textbook
  • Teacher prepared PowerPoints
  • Worksheets


Method of assessment:

  • Skills assessment at the end of the unit
  • Peer marking after activities


Use of assessments:

  • Recall activities used to inform on-going teaching and learning.
  • End of topic test: used to identify areas of strength and weakness in terms of knowledge and skills.  Areas of weakness addressed throughout the remainder of the course.