Geography

Geography enables us to understand the world around us, both our human and natural environments, and to appreciate landscapes and people, the interactions between them, and the formative processes.
 
There are few subjects as current and relevant to every individual, and few as broad in scope of both learning and skills development. From the volcanic eruptions that ground our planes and the tsunamis and floods that kill thousands, to the seven billionth person on the planet and how to feed them all, geography provides the understanding.
 
As an investigative and analytical science, geography addresses issues such as: what is the internal structure of the Earth? What are the processes that have shaped it?  What are the results?  What is globalisation and is it sustainable?  How can we continue to supply the world’s biggest megacities?  Is climate change our biggest threat, and can we do anything about it?
 
Curriculum
 
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9):
 
During Key Stage 3 students have three lessons a fortnight in Year 7, 8 and 9.
 
Students are assessed once every half term on each topic below.
 
Year 7 topics currently include:
 
Fantastic places and skills (An introduction to geography)
Who do you think you are? 
Africa
Weather and Climate
Changing my world 
 
Year 8 topics include:
 
Water supply
Rivers and flooding
Population
Coasts
Amazonia
 
Year 9 topics include:
 
Glaciers
Globalisation
Natural hazards (atmospheric and tectonics)
Urban environments
 
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)
 
GCSE (Exam Board: AQA)
 
Geography is a very popular option at GCSE with multiple classes of students in each year group.  Students have five lessons of geography a fortnight at GCSE and follow the AQA course which covers the following topics:
 
The challenge of natural hazards
Urban issues and challenges 
Economic World 
The challenge of resource management
Coasts
Rivers
Living World 
At the end of each topic we assess with exam questions to enable us to accurately monitor progress and understanding. 
 
Three exam papers are completed at the end of Year 11; Unit 1 which covers the ‘physical’ topics and Unit 2 which covers the ‘human’ topics.  Skills such as numeracy and map reading are incorporated throughout the course and feature in Unit 3 along with questions on students’ fieldwork experience. 
 
Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13)
A Level (Exam board: AQA)
 
Geography is a popular subject at A level.  The course requires students to achieve at least a grade B in geography at GCSE in order for them to be able to access the course at this level.
 
We follow the AQA exam board which covers the following topics:
 
Water and Carbon Cycle
Coastal System and Landscapes
Hazards
Global Systems and Global Governance 
Changing Places
Population and the Environment 
 
Curriculum area staff
 
Miss A Esland (Curriculum Leader)
Mr J Littlejohns (Assistant Curriculum Leader)
Mr H Jackson
Mr D Pollitt (Assistant Headteacher)
Miss S Tullett
 
 
Excursions, trips and other interesting projects
 
Trips
 
We run a residential educational visit to Iceland every two years with Sixth Form students to see spectacular geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls and glaciers.
 
We also run a residential educational visit annually to Dorset.  We take a group of Year 10 students down to Dorset for three days, to study Durdle Dor and Lulworth Cove, tourism in Weymouth and to collect data on the River Wey for the students' controlled assessment.
 
Day trips vary according to what current exhibitions are running and how we can fit them into our projects however, in the past we have also taken students to the Olympic site, the Natural History Museum and Denham Country Park.  
 
Projects
 
We regularly ask students to get involved in helping us to organise events and promote geographical awareness across the school, such as ‘Fairtrade Fortnight’ and Oxfam’s ‘Water Week’.
 
In November we are looking to take some Year 13 students to a mock climate change conference organised by the Intermediate Change Organisation.
 
Homework and Assignments
 
At Key Stage 3 students typically have 30 minutes in Year 7 and 8 and one hour in Year 9. 
 
At GCSE they have at least one-and-a-half hours per week and five hours at A Level.
 
Past Examination Results
 
Summer 2016
 
GCSE - 53% A*-C, 9% A*-A
A Level - 80% A*-B, 80% A*-C
 
Useful Websites and Resources
 
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/
http://www.usgs.gov/natural_hazards/