Geography

StudySUBJECT INTRODUCTION

Head of Department: Mr Coates

Staff Contact Details: Ms Williams

Our vision: To foster a thirst for geographical knowledge; develop skilled geographers and; enhance understanding of the world and their place in it.

Geography is dynamic, creative and challenging, the department aims to replicate that in class for all students. Through endeavour for excellence, we challenge our students to take what they know and build on it; expand it; and continually critique it.

All students learn through a curriculum that emphasises the need for a foundation of geographical knowledge of place, space and scale. We then develop higher level thinking skills to apply this knowledge to aid our interpretation of, and critique, our world. Throughout Key Stage 3, GCSE and ‘A’ Level, students 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 students have three hours of geography every two weeks. Our focus is on different regions of the world and we examine human and physical topics. Students are assessed every half term through a variety of assessment styles, including open book extended writing tasks, exam style closed book papers, poster and presentation assessments.

Topics covered

Year 7:

Autumn Term: 

  • The Birth of the Earth – from the ‘Big Bang’ theory through to early humans
  • Geographical Skills – exploring our local environment through maps and other geographic skills

Spring Term: 

The UK

  • Physical and human geographies of the UK (relief, rivers, weather, cities etc.)
  • Population distribution within the UK
  • An urban comparison between Richmond and brixton

Route to Enquiry

  • Students will design and carry out a fieldwork study in school, utilising skills such as data presentation, analysis and drawing conclusions

Summer Term:

The Indian sub-continent

  • Mapping - Physical & Human
  • Population distribution and structure of India
  • The impact of British colonialism
  • The impact of outsourcing and sweatshops on India
  • Nepal - Mount Everest, Earthquakes and Tourism
  • The River Ganges from source to mouth - Physical and Human Geography of the river

Year 8:

Autumn term:

The Polar World

  • What is it like at the Poles? Climate and landscapes
  • Who lives there? Humans and other adapted species
  • Mapping the route of explorers in Antartica
  • Impact of tourism on the Antarctic
  • Who owns the poles? Why do we argue over them?

Climate Change

  • The natural and human causes
  • The impacts on people and the environment
  • The responses - mitigation and adaptation

Spring term:

Russia

  • Map - Physical & Human
  • Collapse of a superpower (USSR v Russia, causes systems of government, cause of collapse, consequences of collapse)
  • Contemporary Russia - employment, the role of Putin, espionage, doping, The Footbal World Cup and cyber warfare
  • Russian resources and power (Ukraine, Crimea and the EU)

Summer term:

Africa

  • Map - Physical & Human
  • Development - indicators and barriers
  • Contemporary Africa - Tourism, mobile phones, slums
  • Deserts and Desertification
  • Geographies of disease in 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 facts
  • Obesity - the disease of the rich?
  • Fracking is the Future

Spring term:

The Middle East

  • Map - Physical (particularly hydrocarbons)
  • Conflict in the Middle East - Human and political history - Covering Israel Palestine, ISI and Yemen - concluding with a group research project and presentation
  • Resources of the Middle East - water scarcity, the drug trade and oil

Summer term: 

Natural Hazards

  • Map - Physical & Human, fault lines
  • The structure of the Earth and plate tectonics
  • Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes
  • Case studues to study impacts and mangement - Haiti and Christchurch Earthquakes
  • Tropical storms - formation, impact and responses - Typhoon Haiyan
  • Tornados and wildfires

To find out more about homework requirements, please visit the Homework section of this website.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

Geography is an optional subject and taught over five periods every two weeks.  Students follow the AQA specification. The qualification is made up of 3 components:

Living with the Environment (35%)

Challenges in the Human Environment (35%)

Geographical Applications (30%)

Students are regularly assessed over the two years on their knowledge and application.

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 pattern 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 cities 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
  • Desertification causes and solutions
  • Case study of a hot desert

Challenge of resource management:

  • Significance of food, water and energy for social and economic well-being
  • Global inequality of supply and distribution of resources
  • UK resources (food, water, energy) create opportunities and challenges
  • Food – surplus/deficit and the challenges of supply
  • Case studies of food generation in HIC/LIC countries

Fieldwork:

  • Introduce the skills and structure of Geography fieldwork enquiries
  • Undertake fieldwork projects in Richmond Park and Stratford

Glacial landscapes in the UK:

  • Ice was a powerful force in shaping the physical landscapes of the UK
  • Distinctive glacial landforms
  • Glaciated upland areas and their opportunities

Changing economic world:

  • Global variation in economic development
  • Strategies to reduce the development gap
  • Example of tourism as a way to reduce the development gap
  • Case study to show the impacts of rapid economic change
  • Economic futures of the UK
  • How the UK’s economy has affected employment patterns

Hazards:

  • Defining a natural hazard
  • Types of natural hazard and risk
  • Plate tectonic theory
  • Primary and secondary impacts of tectonic hazards
  • Responses to tectonic hazards
  • Atmospheric circulation model
  • Global distribution of tropical storms
  • Cause, effect and responses to tropical storms

Issues Evaluation:

  • Students study a ‘Pre-released’ resource booklet which they will be examined on in Paper 3. The topic of the resource is different each year. In the past in has covered deforestation, waste management and the impacts of tourism.

To find out more about homework requirements at GCSE, please visit the Homework section of this website.

Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level

At A Level students follow the AQA 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 AQA 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 AQA 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:

Year 12

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

Hazards

  • The concept of hazard in a geographical context
  • Volcanic hazards
  • Seismic hazards
  • Tropical storms
  • Fires in nature

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

Non-examined Assessment

  • 4000 word, independent research project

Year 13

Water and Carbon Cycles

  • Systems and frameworks
  • The Cryosphere, Atmosphere, Lithosphere and Hydrosphere
  • Water, carbon, climate and life on earth

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

ENRICHMENT

The Geography department is currently expanding its extra-curricular opportunities for students. At KS4 & KS5 we undertake fieldwork as part of our chosen course. In Year 10 students will undertake two days fieldwork, one day carrying out a rivers study in Richmond Park and one looking at urban regeneration in Stratford. In Year 12 we go on a 3-day residential trip to North Wales, introducing fieldwork skills and reviewing content knowledge, especially on the Glaciers topic.

Our KS5 students are also proactive in attending events across London that support our course. The Royal Geographical Society host lectures most weeks that our students attend.

Careers

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.

Exam boards

KS4

Exam Board: AQA Geography

Course Code: 8035

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035

Specification:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035

Past papers:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035/assessment-resources

KS5

Exam Board: AQA Geography

Course Code: 7037

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/as-and-a-level/geography-7037

Specification:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/as-and-a-level/geography-7037

Past papers:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/as-and-a-level/geography-7037/assessment-resources

Textbooks and Revision Resources

KS3

  • BBC Bitesize
  • Junior Week
  • National Geographic
  • BBC Focus
  • Springwatch
  • Countryfile

KS4

KS5

 

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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