We aim to encourage pupils to appreciate the value of the study of Geography and its relevance to them in their daily lives so that they are empowered to make greater sense of the fast changing world in which they live, becoming better-informed, educated citizens.
Geography is taught to all students in Years 7-9 and covers a wide range of physical, human and environmental topics. We aim to engender enthusiasm for the subject through a wide range of learning activities inside and outside of the classroom. Geography offers a mix of theoretical and practical learning and the subject allows our students to develop excellent transferrable skills, including ICT, report-writing, completing enquiries, essay-writing, communication and presentation skills and personal skills such as time management and independent study. We are a thriving department with enthusiastic students, and we aim to create geographers of the future by making use of high-quality resources. We use fieldwork to enhance and reinforce learning in the classroom.
Key Stage 3
Geography at Key Stage 3 is a diverse curriculum that covers Physical, Human and Environmental Geography.
Year 7 -students develop skills that will equip them in future years, including map work, source interpretation and presenting ideas in different formats. The topics studied include:
What is Geography?
Polish migration to the UK
Our warming planet
Year 7 fieldwork opportunities - Year 7 Adventure Geography residential in Brecon Beacons
Year 8- The topics studied include:
Development: Developing Waterloo project
Weathering, erosion and rivers
The Tropical Rainforest
Year 8 fieldwork opportunities - *White Scar Caves (Ingleton), Local coastal study
Year 9 - The topics studied include:
The Global Fashion Industry
Resources and the environment
Year 9 fieldwork opportunities - *Visit to Windermere in the Lake District to conduct tourism enquiry
Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
Pupils who wish to establish a broad and balanced curriculum at key stage 4 should consider the unique value of Geography as a subject for study in any option scheme since the subject forms an ideal bridge between the Arts and Sciences.
The course followed is AQA Specification B – a course devised to incorporate many contemporary aspects of geographical study undertaken at a variety of scales, local, national and global, for example the challenges for planners in effectively managing the opportunities and problems in burgeoning urban areas in the countries of the developing world, such as China.
At the end of Year 11 students will be required to sit two equally weighted written papers.
Paper 1 is called ‘Managing Places in the 21st Century” and specifically is concerned with the geography of urban and coastal environments.
Paper 2 is called ‘Hostile World and Investigating the Shrinking World’ and specifically involves the study of four natural hazards, (earthquakes, volcanoes, tropical storms and wildfires) whilst the ‘shrinking world’ is looked at through various aspects of the study of tourism as an industry.
The third element of the course is known as ‘Controlled Assessment’ (i.e. under direct supervision). This will comprise of a locally based fieldwork investigation (worth 15% of the total GCSE mark) and research into a topical Geographical issue (worth 10% of the total GCSE mark). AQA decides “the titles” that can be studied in any one year.
Since the introduction of Controlled Assessment, the department has undertaken a three day / two day stay at a Field Study Centre (Preston Montford near Shrewsbury/ Blencathra in the Lake District) in order to collect and process the data for the local fieldwork investigation, and the work is subsequently finished in school under conditions of ‘High Control’. The research into a geographical issue is always themed around ‘Energy’ or ‘Water’ and undertaken completely in school.
The scheme of assessment for AQA Specification B.
The modular course is structured as follows:
Unit 1: Managing Places in the 21st Century
Written paper – 1hour 30 minutes
(37.5% of total GCSE marks)
Unit 2: Hostile World and Investigating the Shrinking World
Written paper – 1hour 30 minutes
(37.5% of total GCSE marks)
Unit 3: Local Investigation including Fieldwork and Geographical Issue Investigation (25% GCSE)
Pupils opting to take the subject will be part of an experienced department determined to bring out the best in each individual in a classroom environment which aims to be both stimulating and challenging.
Key Stage 5 (A Level)
The study of Geography at A Level is considered pivotal to a fuller and more enriched understanding of our ever-changing world. The taught material focuses learning on the processes of change taking place in both the physical and human environments, whilst exploring the important connections which exist between them. The study of Geography facilitates a deeper appreciation of the causes, impacts and issues raised by changes over space, (be it local, regional, national or global) and time, (short term / long term). Intrinsic to what is taught and how it is taught, are the opportunities given to students, where appropriate, to explore their own values and attitudes towards change as well as those of others, including decision makers.
Pupils’ success in Geography at GCSE will provide a solid foundation to study the AS and full A Level course. There are compulsory core topics to be studied within the context of both Physical and Human Geography. However, the specification also allows centres to choose topics of study from a list of options provided, thus allowing teachers the opportunity to engage in those aspects of the subject they feel will be of most interest to their students. These topics were occasionally touched upon at GCSE, but the course will embrace a number of new topics not previously encountered.
Geography has, of course, a practical side to it and students opting to follow the course will be involved in the completion of some fieldwork. However, within the current specification for AS / A Level pupils no longer have the former option of completing a piece of internally assessed individual Coursework. Instead, fieldwork and other specified research skills, are now assessed within the context of the exam papers set for Modules 2 (AS), and 4 (A 2).
The Geography Department has a track record of high achievement at A Level. Whilst there are many ingredients that feed into success, we believe strongly in the positive impact of having the best possible ‘team spirit’ in each year group. We believe that, students enjoying the rigours of learning about the subject, enjoying learning with supporting and challenging each other, ultimately make the biggest advances. At the same time, students must have a healthy working relationship with their teachers, who will, amongst other things, direct, support and critically assess work and progress. They demand increased effort when called for and look to encourage and push each individual to achieve the very best grade that he or she can.
The course followed is that offered by AQA. There are four modules (units) of study – two at AS Level and two at A2 as specified below:
AS Geog 1: Physical and Human Geography
(Combining both Core and Optional Topics)
35% of marks. 2 hour exam.
AS Geog 2: Applied Geography
(This paper assesses fieldwork and other Geographical skills).
15% of marks. 1 hour exam.
A2 Geog 3: Contemporary Geographical Issues
(Three units of study from a choice of six covering key topics, physical and human, within the subject).
30% of marks. 2½ hour exam.
A2 Geog 4: Evaluation of a Geographical Issue
(An issue evaluation exercise based on advance information provided to candidates prior to the examination. It can come from any part(s) of the specification).
20% of marks. 1½ hour exam.
AS and A2 modules are taken in the summer term. Further details about the course are available in a separate booklet.
Fieldwork opportunities : AS - Rivers study Tongue Gill, Grasmere
A2 - Regeneration in Liverpool - Peel Holdings, Albert Dock and Liverpool 1
*Counter-urbanisation - Tarporley (Cheshire)
* Retail change- Trafford Centre
Humanities Hub (Wednesday lunchtime) - where themes such as ethical fashion, Fairtrade, Human Rights and cultural diversity are explored and various projects are undertaken for each of the themes studied.
Revision classes for Year 11, AS and A Level groups (weekly leading up to exams and in Easter Holidays)
A Level groups attend AQA AS and A2 revision conferences in Manchester