Geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places, people and the environment.
It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world and how society, the economy and environment combine to bring about change. Geography explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It also examines natural resources and their sustainable use
Students receive three hours per fortnight in Geography. All sets are mixed ability.
The Geography units of study follow a variety of human and physical topics on various scale i.e. local, through to global.
Year 7 Topics: Map Skills (UK); Settlements and Mega Cities; Rivers and Flooding; A Restless Earth; Africa
Year 8 Topics: Coastal Environments; Energy and Resource Management; Population; China; Weather, climate and climate change
Year 9 Topics: Tourism; Crime and Conflict; GCSE (Skills); Urban Futures (GCSE) Changing climate (GCSE)
In Geography students are assessed in four key areas:
- Making Judgements
Students are taught key geographical processes and concepts across a range of scales and within different environments and settings. These ideas are developed through the study of case studies with specific focus placed on their knowledge of the UK.
Students are encouraged to identify the application, relationships and the social, economic and environmental impacts of key processes and ideas. An emphasis is place on seeing the inter relationships between topic areas.
Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge and understanding to a variety of different situations and settings. The analysis and evaluation of data and geographical information is used to support students in making informed decisions. A strong emphasis is placed on sustainability of ideas.
Students develop a variety of communication skills including: map skills, debate, discussion as well as geographical analysis and interpretation. Emphasis is also placed on the use of current technologies including GIS (Geographical Information Systems).
Students will be set a range of activities in the form of extended projects and fortnightly tasks. Literacy specific homework will also be set to encourage wider reading and vocabulary extension
Students follow the OCR B syllabus
They study 8 units along with a Fieldwork and Geographical Exploration Unit. Each unit focuses on the relationships between people and their environments, studying current issues, challenges and the problems relevant to today’s world.
The 8 units are:
Our Natural World
- Topic 1: Global Hazards
- Topic 2: Changing Climate
- Topic 3: Distinctive Landscapes
- Topic 4: Sustaining Ecosystems
People and Society
- Topic 5: Urban Futures
- Topic 6: Dynamic Development
- Topic 7: UK in the 21st Century
- Topic 8: Resource Reliance
Students are able to build their factual knowledge, explore inequalities that exist for people around the world, and develop their own attitudes and values. The course also encourages strong cross-curricular links.
Skills and Progression Routes
On completion of the course, students will have developed a number of skills including:
- Forming opinions and understanding the opinions of others
- Debating issues and current affairs
- Analysing sources
- Discussing key issues relevant to the world of today
- Learning about the world in which we live
- Understanding how we can secure the future of our planet
- Investigating the links between human, economic and environmental topics
Progression Routes & Career Opportunities
Geography subjects bridge the gap between the arts and sciences. It includes elements of History, Biology, English, Business Studies, Geography, Law, RE, Citizenship and ICT – keeping longer-term options open. Geography can lead to any number of careers including: accountancy; journalism; hotel and leisure management; the police; veterinary science; law; archaeology; pilot and banking and many more!
Field work is a compulsory element of GCSE Geography. This will be completed during a compulsory residential fieldtrip undertaken in Autumn Term of Year 11. Students will then complete a human and physical investigation which will be examined externally within an examination.
The cost of this is heavily subsidised by the School and a parental contribution of approximately £150 is requested. Field work will be examined in all three GSCE written papers, so students are unlikely to pass the exam if they do not take part in the field trip.
Geography | Pearson Edexcel
Geography A Level is a 2 year academic course which covers a wide range of contemporary topics. Students will learn through a variety of methods including an independent investigation led by a fieldwork research question.
The course studied builds on a variety of skills and is an excellent route to further education and employment. Geography is synoptic and draws upon themes and ideas from a variety of disciplines. Students will look at the players who are involved, attitudes and actions from these players and futures and uncertainties.
Areas of Study
Tectonic Processes and Hazards and Coastal Landscapes and Change:
Tectonic Processes and Hazards: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and secondary hazards such as tsunamis – represent a significant risk in some parts of the world. This is especially the case where active tectonic plate boundaries interact with areas of high population density and low levels of development. Resilience in these places can be low, and the interaction of physical systems with vulnerable populations can result in major disasters. An in-depth understanding of the causes of tectonic hazards is key to both increasing the degree to which they can be managed, and putting in place successful responses that can mitigate social and economic impacts and allow humans to adapt to hazard occurrence.
Coastal Landscapes and Change: Coastal landscapes develop due to the interaction of winds, waves and currents, as well as through the contribution of both terrestrial and offshore sources of sediment. These flows of energy and variations in sediment budgets interact with the prevailing geological and lithological characteristics of the coast to operate as coastal systems and produce distinctive coastal landscapes, including those in rocky, sandy and estuarine coastlines. These landscapes are increasingly threatened from physical processes and human activities, and there is a need for holistic and sustainable management of these areas in all the world’s coasts. Study must include examples of landscapes from inside and outside the UK.
Globalisation: Globalisation and global interdependence continue to accelerate, resulting in changing opportunities for businesses and people. Inequalities are caused within and between countries as shifts in patterns of wealth occur. Cultural impacts on the identity of communities increase as flows of ideas, people and goods take place. Recognising that both tensions in communities and pressures on environments are likely, will help players implement sustainable solutions.
Shaping Places: Regenerating places: Local places vary economically and socially with change driven by local, national and global processes. These processes include movements of people, capital, information and resources, making some places economically dynamic while other places appear to be marginalised. This creates and exacerbates considerable economic and social inequalities both between and within local areas. Urban and rural regeneration programmes involving a range of players involve both place making (regeneration) and place marketing (rebranding). Regeneration programmes impact variably on people both in terms of their lived experience of change and their perception and attachment to places. The relative success of regeneration and rebranding for individuals and groups depends on the extent to which lived experience, perceptions, and attachments to places are changed. Students begin by studying the place in which they live.
The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity & the Carbon Cycle and Energy Security:
The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity: Water plays a key role in supporting life on earth. The water cycle operates at a variety of spatial scales and also at short- and long-term timescales, from global to local. Physical processes control the circulation of water between the stores on land, in the oceans, in the cryosphere, and the atmosphere. Changes to the most important stores of water are a result of both physical and human processes. Water insecurity is becoming a global issue with serious consequences and there is a range of different approaches to managing water supply.
The Carbon Cycle and Energy: A balanced carbon cycle is important in maintaining planetary health. The carbon cycle operates at a range of spatial scales and timescales, from seconds to millions of years. Physical processes control the movement of carbon between stores on land, the oceans and the atmosphere. Changes to the most important stores of carbon and carbon fluxes are a result of physical and human processes. Reliance on fossil fuels has caused significant changes to carbon stores and contributed to climate change resulting from anthropogenic carbon emissions. The water and carbon cycles and the role of feedbacks in and between the two cycles, provide a context for developing an understanding of climate change.
Anthropogenic climate change poses a serious threat to the health of the planet. There is a range of adaptation and mitigation strategies that could be used, but for them to be successful they require global agreements as well as national actions.
Human Systems and Geopolitics:
Superpowers: Superpowers can be developed by a number of characteristics. The pattern of dominance has changed over time. Superpowers and emerging superpowers have a very significant impact on the global economy, global politics and the environment. The spheres of influence between these powers are frequently contested, resulting in geopolitical implications.
Global Development and Connections: Globalisation involves movements of capital, goods and people. Tensions can result between the logic of globalisation, with its growing levels of environmental, social and economic interdependence among people, economies and nation states and the traditional definitions of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. International migration not only changes the ethnic composition of populations but also changes attitudes to national identity. At the same time, nationalist movements have grown in some places challenging dominant models of economic change and redefining ideas of national identity. Global governance has developed to manage a number of common global issues (environmental, social, political and economic) and has a mixed record in its success in dealing with them. It has promoted growth and political stability for some people in some places whilst not benefiting others. Unequal power relations have tended to lead to unequal environmental, social and economic outcomes.
Synoptic Themes: assessment of geographical skills, knowledge and understanding within a place based context linking players, attitudes and actions, and futures and uncertainties.
Independent Investigation:The student will undertake an independent investigation, producing a written report of 3000–4000 words.
The student will define a question or issue relating to the compulsory or optional content which they have studied.
The student’s investigation will incorporate fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and own research and/or secondary data.
The report will evidence independent analysis and evaluation of data, presentation of data findings and extended writing.
The report is internally assessed and externally moderated.
It is worth 20% of the student’s final grade.
Students will need to partake in fieldwork, in order to complete this requirement of the course.
Paper 1: Written examination 2 hrs 15 mins (30%)
Paper 2: Written examination 2 hrs 15 mins (30%)
Paper 3: Written examination 2 hrs 15 mins (20%)
Non-examined assessment: Independent fieldwork investigation (20%)
Geography is a facilitating subject. This means that the skills learnt during the study of geography open up a wealth of opportunities. Geographers will develop skills in numeracy and literacy as well as critical evaluation, developing reasoned arguments, decision making, problem solving, research, teamwork, communication, IT, time-management, creativity and self-motivation. Due to these skills alongside a deep understanding of the way the world works, geographers are amongst the most employable graduates.
An A level in geography opens up any career path including:
- Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care
- Construction, Planning and Built Environment
- Education and Training
- Journalism and publishing
- Leisure, Travel and Tourism, Social Sciences
- Business and Administration
- Government and politics
- Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
Students will participate in one residential field visit as part of the Independent investigation. Attendance to this fieldwork is compulsory due to the exam board requirement to complete an Independent fieldwork investigation worth 20%. Students will go on their fieldwork to Dorset for 4 days. An approximate cost for this trip is £100 which is heavily subsidised by the school. However, this could change dependent upon the cost set by the FSC (Field Studies Council).