Geography

StudySUBJECT INTRODUCTION

The Geography Department is dynamic, creative and challenging. Geography is taught by the new Head of Department Mr Arnold and, subject specialist, Ms Collins.

All pupils learn through a curriculum that includes greater emphasis on sustainable development, higher level thinking skills and the use of homework tasks. Throughout Key Stage 3, GCSE and ‘A’ Level, pupils study how our world has changed from the past to the present and how it may change in the future. This is achieved through the study of a range of topics.

THE CURRICULUM

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 pupils are taught twice a week and focus on a range of human and physical topics.  In Year 7 pupils are taught Map Skills, The Geography of Britain, Africa and Rivers. Geography in Year 8 includes Development, Trade, Cold environments, the issues surrounding Climate Change and Settlement. In year 9 pupils study Development in China and Brazil, Natural Hazards, Coasts and Tourism.  Pupils are assessed every half term through a range of decision making and knowledge based tests.

Topics covered

Year 7:

  • Autumn Term: 
    • What is geography (Human/ Physical/ Environmental) 
    • Maps and map skills 
    • Using maps to compare - Richmond v Brixton
    • The route to enquiry - a study of secondary school
  • Spring Term: What is the UK?
    • Maps - Physical features (coasts/rivers/relief/weather)
    • Maps- Human features (cities/infrastructure - roads, airports, etc)
    • Historical development (political/economic/social)
    • British values and Brexit
  • Summer Term: The Indian sub-continent
    • Mapping - Physical & Human
    • The Raj in comparison to Modern India (political/economic/social studies)
    • War & Terrorism (Kashmir, Bangladesh)
    • Nepal - Mt Everest, Earthquakes, Tourism, Gurkha Culture in the UK

Year 8:

  • Autumn term: Polar Regions
    • Mapping the route of Explorers to both poles
    • Examine the ecosystems 'what would the explorers see and experience?'
    • Impact of tourism on the Antarctic
    • Who owns the poles? Why do we argue over them?
    • The impact of climate change on the poles (albedo effect, desalination of oceans, thermal expansion, loss of ecosystems)
  • Spring term: Russia
    • Map - Physical & Human
    • Russian biomes and soil science
    • Where is the Aral Sea going?
    • Collapse of a superpower (map of USSR v Russia, causes systems of government, cause of collapse, consequences of collapse)
    • Russian Resources and Power (Crimea, EU, Ukraine)
    • Perceptions of Russia in culture from James Bond
  • Summer term: Africa
    • Map - Physical & Human
    • African Biomes (how and why are they different to Russia? What is the Sahara Desert like? What are is the Rainforest of Central Africa like?)
    • Agriculture, drought and desertification
    • Population density and migration
    • Urban issues created through rural to urban migration
    • The spread of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Conflict in Africa - Historical borders, religious quarrels, tribal fights, blood diamonds

Year 9:

  • Autumn term: The USA
    • Map - Physical & Human
    • Growth of an economic superpower and the American Dream
    • The dream gone wrong - collapse of Motor City
    • Coming to America - A study of migration
    • Factory Farming - Climate changing farts
    • Obesity - the disease of the rich?
    • Fracking is the Future
    • Something in the air - Drought, Hurricanes, Tornadoes
    • Something under foot - Earthquakes and the Yellowstone Caldera
  • Spring term: SE Asia
    • Map - Physical & Human, fault lines
    • Causes, effects and consequences of: Flooding in Bangladesh; Cyclone Nargis, Typhoon Haiyan; Boxing Day Earthquake & Tsunami; Bichuan Earthquake - a lesson in landslides; Fukushima Disaster - nuclear power on a fault line?
    • The Asian Tigers - Development
  • Summer term: The Middle East
    • Map - Physical (particularly hydrocarbons)
    • Human & political history
    • Black gold - how does oil shape the region? The haves and have nots
    • Water scarcity - the journey of the Euphrates and Tigres
    • Religious tensions - The creation of the state of Israel
    • How have superpowers shaped the Middle East?

 

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

Geography is an optional subject and taught over three periods a week.  Pupils follow the OCR specification B. The qualification is made up of 3 components:

Key Geographical themes (50%)

Sustainable Decision Making Exam (25%)

Fieldwork Focus (Controlled Assessment) (25%)

This controlled assessment requires pupils to use fieldwork to investigate one question or hypothesis at a local scale. Primary data collection must take place within the investigation. Pupils complete this primary data collection independently. Pupils will submit an extended piece of work prepared under controlled conditions. The investigation task is set by the examination board and changes each year. Class time is dedicated to this process at the end Year 10/beginning of Year 11.

Pupils are regularly assessed over the two years on their knowledge and decision making skills.

Topics covered

Rivers:

  • Long and cross profiles of rivers in each course
  • Processes of erosion, transportation and deposition
  • River landforms and a case study of a UK river
  • Human and physical causes of flooding
  • Hard and soft engineering
  • Example of a UK flood management scheme

Urban issues:

  • Global patter of urban change
  • Factors affecting the rate of urbanisation and megacities
  • Case study on the opportunities and challenges faced by either LIC/NEE
  • Distribution of population and major cities in the UK
  • Case studies of major UK city and urban regeneration
  • Urban sustainability

Living world - Ecosystems:

  • Case study of small scale UK ecosystem
  • Distribution and characteristics of biomes
  • Rainforests (physical characteristics, adaptations and biodiversity)
  • Economic and environmental impacts of deforestation
  • Case study of a tropical rainforest

 

Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level

At A Level students follow the OCR specification. The syllabus offers students a revitalised perspective on Geography.

The programme of study we have planned looks at contemporary real-life issues in world Geography. The OCR specification is based on the belief that Geography is about:

  • exploring the principles, concepts and processes that describe and explain geographical phenomena and landscapes;
  • spatial awareness, location and a sense of place;
  • developing knowledge and understanding of both physical and human geography;
  • achieving an understanding of the complex inter-relationships between people and environment.

In addition it attempts to:

  • ensure topics have relevance to the modern world and the challenges and opportunities engaging young people today;
  • ensure individual/group research/investigation (including fieldwork) retains a significant role in the subject
  • maintain a link with previous OCR specifications so as to allow use of existing teaching and learning resources/approaches

Pupils also develop a variety of geographical skills, which broaden and deepen existing knowledge and be employed with a greater degree of independence.

Topics covered in Year 12

Autumn Term:

  • Global Systems and Governance
    • ?Globalisation
    • International Trade
    • The United Nations, World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund etc.
    • Global Commons - conflict for resources
    • Antarctica Case Study
  • Water and Carbon Cycles
    • Systems and frameworks
    • The Cryosphere, Atmosphere, Lithosphere and Hydrosphere
    • Water, carbon, climate and life on earth
Spring Term:
  • Changing Places
    • The nature and importance of places
    • Relationships and Connections
    • Meaning and representations
    • Representations of place and the use of quantitative and qualitative sources
    • Place studies
  • Glacial Systems and Landscapes
    • Intro to glacial systems
    • The nature and distribution of cold environments
    • Processes involved in glacial landscapes and glaciers
    • Human occupation and development

Summer term:

  • Non-examined assessment
    • A geographical enquiry of your choice based upon your studies so far. Outcome will be a 3000-4000 word report.

The AS specification has 2 units:

Unit Content Time Marks Choice % of A level
Managing Physical Environments
  • Rivers Environment
  • Coastal Environment
  • Cold Environment
  • Hot arid and semi-arid Environment
1.5h 75

Section A: 2 from 4 short answers Qs

Section B: 1 from 4 essays, choosing a topic not answered in Section A

25
Managing Urban Environments
  • Managing urban change
  • Managing rural change
  • The energy issue
  • The growth of tourism
1.5h 75

Section A: 2 from 4 short answers Qs

Section B: 1 from 4 essays, choosing a topic not answered in Section A

25

 

Topics covered in Year 13

Autumn term:

  • Population and the environment
    • The conflict between people and nature
    • Health and well-being
    • Population change
    • Principles of population ecology applied to human populations
    • The future of global population

Spring term:

  • Hazards
    • The concept of hazard in a geographical context
    • Volcanic Hazards
    • Seismic Hazards
    • Tropical Storms
    • Fires in nature

Summer term:

  • Revision and Skills

 

The A2 specification has 2 units:

Global issues (30% of total mark) Geographical Skills (20% of total mark)
Environmental issues: Economic issues: Geographical skills:

Either:

Earth Hazards

Ecosystems and environments under threat

Climatic Hazards

Either:

Populations and resources

Globalisation

Development and inequalities

  • Fieldtrip and data collection
  • Investigation and data analysis
2.5h written exam (90 marks) 1.5h written paper, partly based on own research (60 marks)

ENRICHMENT & EXTRA-CURRICULAR

A diverse range of exciting fieldwork opportunities that support and enhance the curriculum are offered, including residential visits. Year 12 pupils spend four days in Iceland investigating the physical geography of the country. Year 7 pupils visit the River Pang and investigate river landforms and practise collecting primary data. In Year 8, pupils visit the London Docklands Museum to explore this ever-changing city that we live in. To prepare pupils for the GCSE, targeted pupils in Year 9 visit The Crystal, an exhibition on Sustainability. At the end of Year 10, pupils spend two days investigating coastal landforms and processes for their controlled assessment.

LIFE AFTER CHRIST'S

Geography at Advanced Level in the Sixth Form is a successful option. Local colleges also offer BTEC courses in Travel and Tourism at Key Stage 5. Careers that geography is particularly useful for include planning, surveying, teaching, environmental protection and numerous types of job within the construction and energy sectors.

LINKS & RESOURCES

There are a number of ways that you can find out more about studying Geography.

These include:

  • Teachers at your school
  • Students who are already studying the subject
  • Web sites like the BBC’s Newsround are good and accessible sources of up-to-date information, particularly for students in Year 7, 8 and 9.
  • Develop geographical skills by planning journeys and routes on the OS Mapzone.
  • CCEA
  • Geographical Association
  • Royal Geographical Society
  • Careers advisor
  • Library
  • UCAS or CAO for details on entry requirements for university courses
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