Why study Geography?
Because Geography Matters ! Geography is not only up-to-date and relevant, it is one of the most exciting, adventurous and valuable subjects to study today. So many of the world’s current problems boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them. Geography not only gives better spatial awareness so that we know where things are but deals with the big issues today. It is the only subject that gives the full picture on sustainable living, fairtrade, poverty, the spread of disease, the future of energy resources, causes of migration, urban regeneration, food miles, floods, droughts, hurricanes and hazard management. It changes daily as the world changes and therefore is the most relevent subject to your life.
So what is Geography all about?
Geography is unique as a dynamic and ever changing subject. It distinguishes itself with its study of human and physical patterns and the interaction of people and their environment in shaping the landscape. It also makes a wider contribution to the curriculum in the skills and personal development and also the moral, social and cultural development it fosters. Geography is an essential component in preparing young people for life in the twenty-first century. As the pace of change quickens, communications get faster and challenges to the environment multiply, a knowledge and understanding of geography and the skills it provides is more vital than ever.
Geography is consistently one of the most popular free option choices at Key Stage Four in the school, which states a lot about the quality of teaching, learning and motivation within the department. Staff are dedicated to ensuring that pupils reach their full potential and to creating a vibrant and inspirational environment for learning.
There is a positive ethos, reflecting the department’s commitment to high achievement with effective teaching and learning which is reflected in the high standard of external examination results.
Key Stage Three
At KS3, schemes of work are designed to deliver a broad and interesting range of content and to develop a range of geographical skills.
In Year 7 Students learn about how they are connected to the world in ‘Making Connections,’ and ‘Our Wonderful World.’ From this students will make ‘A Landscape In A Box’ and develop their wonder of the Wider World. Map skills are interspersed through the units and these are developed later through the Key Stage.
In term two, students embark on a cross-curricular project on Fairtrade and what it means in combination with RS and History. This leads to development in student knowledge of sustainability and their carbon footprint and the ‘Geography of My Stuff.’ In this unit we look at where our everyday items come from and the impacts this has on global people and the Environment.
The year ends in the study of “The Rise and Rise of China” investigates the factors which affect and effect the rapid changes in contemporary China, offering students opportunities to investigate traditional geographical principles in the context of place-specific knowledge. Based on these investigations, and critical consideration of sources, students will be able to form grounded opinions and re-evaluate their views of contrasting cultures in the context of their own lives and experiences.
In Year Eight topics focus on the “Earth our home” promoting physical studies of weathering, erosion, rivers and limestone. Students will understand about Britain’s climate and how our weather is formed, and how all these factors often culminate in major flooding. Students go deeper in to their awareness of sustainability issues and link this to globalisation, tourism and diversification.
In Year Nine the focus is upon preparing students for the GCSE course. Students study Coastal and Tectonic Processes and their resulting environments in depth. This is then followed by the issues of urbanisation – with an emphasis on sustainability, which further leads to development of G.I.S. skills and data interpretation.
Key Stage Four
The GCSE Geography course builds upon areas already studied in Key Stage 3 which gives students a solid base from which to start. The topics on this AQA B course covered over the two year course are …
Unit 1 – Managing Coastal and Urban Environments (37.5 % – 90 minute exam)
A. Managing The Coastal Environment
With over four billion people living in coastal areas and numbers growing rapidly the need to manage these areas is critical. You will explore key questions such as:
Why are coastal areas a valuable economic and environmental resource?
How have physical processes created the coastal landforms that exist today?
Why are decisions made to manage coastal areas?
How can the management of coastal areas be increasingly sustainable?
B. Managing The Urban Environment
By 2020 over 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. In developing
countries large numbers of people are moving to cities in the hope of improving their quality of life. This rapid urbanisation creates challenges for urban planners in relation to housing, services and the environment. But how can this be managed ?
You will explore key questions such as:
How can urban growth create challenges?
How are inequalities being reduced in urban areas in developed countries?
What are the opportunities and challenges created by urbanisation in developing countries?
How can urban living be increasingly sustainable in our future?
Unit 2 – Investigating a Hostile and Shrinking World (37.5 % – 90 minute exam)
Our world is increasingly full of dangers, yet people still live in hazardous areas. We live around plate boundaries; on volcanoes; in the paths of tropical storms and in areas prone to huge wildfires. We have to be able to understand the causes of these hazards in order to prepare for and respond to them.
You will explore key questions such as:
What are the causes & effects of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and how do people prepare & respond to them?
What are the causes and effects of tropical storms and wildfires and how do people prepare for and respond to them?
The rapid growth of tourism impacts on people and places and requires careful management in order to ensure that it is sustainable and therefore does not damage our environment for good.
You will explore key questions such as:
What opportunities does the growth of the tourism industry create for places?
How does tourism create challenges and conflicts?
How can the tourist industry promote sustainable development?
Unit 3 – Controlled Assessment (25%)
This consists of two pieces of work undertaken at school only.
C.A.1 is a field trip write up of only 1200 words (worth 15%).
C.A.2 is an internet research question that is 800 words long (worth 10%).This piece of work requires you to undertake both primary and secondary research that you can use in examined conditions to write a report approximately 1,200 words in length. This report will be worth 15% of your final GCSE grade.
There will be two tiers of entry: Foundation Tier = C-G Grade
Higher Tier = A*-D Grade
Exam questions are either point marked or level marked.
1 mark will be given for each correct point / statement / fact given in an answer. If the question is worth 1,2 or 3 marks it is likely to be point marked.
Level 1: Basic (0-2 marks)
Knowledge of basic information – Simple understanding
Little organisation; few links; little or no detail; uses a limited range of specialist terms
Reasonable accuracy in the use of spelling, punctuation and grammar
Level 2: Clear (3-4 marks)
Knowledge of accurate information – Clear understanding
Organised answers, with some linkages, occasional examples; has a good range of specialist terms where appropriate
Considerable accuracy in spelling, punctuation and grammar
Level 3: Detailed (5-6 marks)
Knowledge of accurate information appropriately contextualised and/or at correct scale
Detailed understanding, supported by relevant evidence and examples
Well organised, demonstrating detailed linkages and the inter-relationships between factors
Clear and fluent expression of ideas; uses a wide range of specialist terms where appropriate
Accurate use of spelling, punctuation and grammar
Assessment of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG)
Spelling, punctuation and grammar will be assessed via two 8 mark questions in each section
Three marks will be allocated for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar in each of these questions
The performance descriptions are provided below
Threshold performance (1 mark)
Candidates spell, punctuate and use the rules of grammar with reasonable accuracy in the context of the demands of the question. Any errors do not hinder meaning in the response. Where required, they use a limited range of specialist terms appropriately.
Intermediate performance (2 marks)
Candidates spell, punctuate and use the rules of grammar with considerable accuracy and general control of meaning in the context of the demands of the question. Where required, they use a good range of specialist terms with facility.
High performance (3 marks)
Candidates spell, punctuate and use the rules of grammar with consistent accuracy and effective control of meaning in the context of the demands of the question. Where required, they use a wide range of specialist terms adeptly and with precision.
Lesson Notes, Podcasts & Revision
The VLE has lesson resources, notes, podcasts, “I am learning” and revision guides to help students and parents get support through the course.
Geography staff can be contacted for help outside of school hours, see the Key Contacts list on the Contact page.
How will I know how I am doing?
In Geography you will be set individual targets that will help you to develop your skills and understanding. You will receive regular feedback about your work when you complete homework, during class based work sessions and in your regular review points.
Meeting the needs of all students
Gifted individuals are challenged to develop their own skills, knowledge and understanding. Older pupils have access to recent national publications from National Geographic and the Geographical Association along with access to AS and A Level resources.
Students are given opportunities to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding in a variety of contexts. For example, in year 7, gifted pupils who can already use six-figure grid references effectively on 1:50,000 OS or 1:25,000 OS maps, are given the opportunity to use this skill with a map of different scales,1:10,000 or 1:1250, which requires them to use and cope with scale changes in measuring and interpreting symbols.
Gifted pupils are given opportunities to work on their own or with others of similar ability to devise and follow their own plans and ideas, test ideas and problems, explore different ways of depicting feelings, values and attitudes, take risks without prior knowledge of outcomes, and change ideas en route to accommodate new influence.
What are the advantages of studying geography for a career ?
Geographers are taught a wide-ranging combination of skills drawing in ideas from many sources. This ability to view issues from a wider perspective is appropriate for working in many different areas. The nature of peoples’ working lives is changing. It is less likely that someone will spend all their life in one company or organization (the so-called job for life). If your career path is to be varied you will need to develop transferable skills and you will need to be flexible. Geography fosters these qualities and provides a firm base for life-long learning.
Over recent years, staff and students alike have been fortunate enough to take part in numerous trips to locations ranging from York, Ingleton, Whitby and in 2009,2011 & 2013 the department have visited the amazing country of Iceland. Below are just a few highlights ..
We also use online learning in KS3 and KS4. We use our VLE (Virtual Learning Environment – Moodle) to deliver and develop pupils learning both in and out of school hours.
Mapzone Have fun with maps with the Ordnance Survey! This site has games, competitions and even help with homework – maptastic!