The study of Geography focuses on the major issues facing society today. It is designed to lead students to an understanding of the nature and origin of these issues and the various ways in which they might be managed effectively. As students study Geography they gain a significant insight into the world around them and the interconnectedness of processes and patterns. Our Geography curriculum encourages students to consider issues from various perspectives and viewpoints which promotes personal, social and intellectual development. Lessons in the Geography department also teach the importance of good citizenship and stewardship of the environment as well as literacy, numeracy and ICT skills.
In Year 7 students begin to investigate the world around them by studying a variety of human and physical Geography topics. The year starts with an introduction to Geographical skills and map work which develop the basic toolkit that students will use throughout the rest of Key Stage 3. We then explore how coasts shape the landscape and consider coastal management. Students then study the changing urban world to investigate modern cities in the UK. Students will examine river processes and features and explore the complex issues surrounding river flooding. Finally, students will explore the changing UK economy, considering how the UK has adapted to a changing economic world.
The Year 8 curriculum is changing as of September 2016. In our increasingly complex world, it is essential that we equip our students with the skills and knowledge they need to understand the global affairs which we see reported on the news every day. We want Geography to be a subject in which the students can gain an understanding of these issues and be ‘skilled up’ to talk about their own opinions of these global concerns. Geographers should be global citizens and should feel that they can participate in debates and discussions about the ‘big issues’ facing not only our country, but also some of the most vulnerable countries across the world. Working with the Rodillian Trust, we have devised an exciting new curriculum which students will start in September. The first unit is linked to conflict and we will explore this concept through current case studies, visible on the news each day. We will link with History and RE to deliver this curriculum and explore different forms of media.
By Year 9 students have developed a good overview of Geography and the course becomes more focussed on how students can influence the world around them by making informed decisions. Discussion and debate play a larger role in how students are taught. Pupils are taught to be able to formulate an argument from a particular viewpoint and to justify their opinions using a wide range of sources. Pupils will consolidate and extend their knowledge by investigating global issues such as weather and climate, development and population, natural hazards, ecosystems, resources and the changing economic world. This combination of human and physical geography will ensure that students are prepared for taking GCSE Geography in Year 10.
Once students reach GCSE Geography they will have already gained the geographical skills needed in order to be successful at GCSE. Therefore, the teaching for GCSE aims to challenge pupils whilst encouraging them to continue geographical learning to an even higher level. For this academic year, Year 11 Geographers will complete their GCSE within 1 year (6 lessons a week), whilst Year 10 will complete their new linear GCSE over a 2-year period (3 lessons per week). A summary of the two courses is below.
Year 11 (AQA A)
The AQA A course will only run for the last year for our year 11 students. This is a summary of the course
Unit 1 (37.5%) – Physical Geography 37.5% (1.5 hour exam)
- The Restless Earth (including plate tectonics, earthquakes, super volcanoes and tsunamis)
- Water on the land (including river processes, river landforms, river flooding and river management)
- The Coastal Zone (including coastal features and processes, sea level change, coastal habitats)
Unit 2 (37.5%) – Human Geography 37.5% (1.5 hour exam)
- Population Change – population structures, population growth, aging populations, migration
- Changing Urban Environments – urbanisation, urban land use, MEDC and LEDC urban problems, squatter settlements, rapid urbanisation, sustainable cities.
- Development – Differences in development, Development gap, trade, debt and aid.
Unit 3 (controlled assessment) – Geographical Enquiry into tourism 25%
This piece of coursework is fieldwork based, in which students go on a fieldtrip to a chosen area and collect their own data. This is then written up and presented in a report back at school.
Year 10 (new AQA specification)
The current GCSE Specification is now out of date for our new Year 10 cohort. Along with all other Year 10 geographers across the country, they will begin a new GCSE. We are extremely excited about this. This is a summary of the new course:
Paper 1 (35%) – Living with the Physical Environment (1.5-hour exam)
- The Challenge of Natural Hazards (including Tectonic and Weather Hazards)
- The Living World (including Tropical Rainforests and Deserts)
- Physical Landscapes of the UK (including Rivers and Coasts)
Paper 2 (35%)- Challenges of the Human Environment (1.5-hour exam)
- Urban Issues and Challenges
- The Changing Economic World
- The Challenge of Resource Management (including Food)
Paper 3 (30%)- Geographical Applications (1.15-hour exam)
- Issues Evaluation (based on pre-released material)
- Fieldwork (based on fieldwork to tow contrasting environments)
Students have the opportunity to go on a residential Revision Trip in May before their GCSE exam. On this trip, students will visit the local area to use as a case study example in their exam and see the ‘real life Geography’. Intense revision sessions will also be held throughout the trip in order to benefit learning and give students the best chance of achieving highly in their exam. This trip has proved to be extremely beneficial to students in the past. Revision sessions will also be held in school in the lead up to exams.
Mrs E Barker- Head of Faculty
Mrs K Little – Assistant Headteacher
Mrs J Wray – Head of School
Mr C Wheatley
GCSE Specification (Year 11) – AQA A
GCSE Specification (Year 10) – New AQA Specification