Geography

Geography is the study of the world – our subject matter is almost without limit, so what defines us as geographers is our approach to study and learning. Geographers see the world differently. We are interested in what makes places unique and what makes them interdependent; we are interested in the issues that threaten people, environments and landscapes and what alternative futures might look like. We seek to make sense of the world around us by looking for patterns and connections, studying processes and relationships, evaluating problems and solutions in a world that can appear messy and confused.

In our curriculum we set out to broaden our students’ horizons and open our students’ eyes to the wonder, beauty, power, dynamism and diversity of our planet; and we expect them to reflect on their own sense of place and place in the world.

We set out to convey the relevance, significance and topicality of Geography to our students’ lives and the lives of people they will never meet; and we expect them to develop a concern for the local and global environment and empathy with people around the world.

We set out to spark our students’ curiosity about the world around them; and we expect them to critically question and systematically investigate, becoming increasingly confident about researching their own questions.

We set out to challenge our students’ thinking and attitudes; and we expect them to develop their own views and values about issues that affect our changing world and be able to make informed decisions.

We set out to instil in our students the importance of knowledge and understanding of people and places, patterns and processes, challenges and change; and we expect them to pursue their learning with purpose and commitment in order to achieve excellence, accuracy and rigour.

We set out to prepare our students for their future by helping them to develop a broad array of skills and enabling them to be effective lifelong learners; and we expect them to take a positive approach to creating a fulfilling future for themselves and a sustainable future for our world.

Geography Surveys

Year 7

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BCH5QQY

Year 8

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TJRH8HB

Year 9

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TJXTL3S

During Years 7 to 9 students are taught a variety of key geography skills, including the use of atlases and maps and research using the library and the Internet. Geography is a topical and contemporary subject and students are encouraged to broaden their knowledge of and enthusiasm for Geography by taking time to read newspapers and developing their interest in current affairs. More details of the topics studied at KS3 can be found in the curriculum booklet below.

Year Core concepts Topics
7 Place, space and scale Moving on – migrationBritain in the worldGeography of chocolate

Map skills

Amazing places

8 Process and diversity Tropical rainforestsKenya – on safariDesert environments

The rise of China –population and industry

Moor to sea – landscapes  and rivers

Climate change and alternative futures

Crime and GIS

 

9 Interdependence and sustainability Natural hazards and riskEarthquake activityWeather hazards

Managing resources

 

Year 11 students follow the AQA specification A. The course is divided up into six teaching units, covering a wide range of interesting topics.

Physical Geography topics studied are:

• Rocks, Resources and Scenery

• The coastal zone

• Restless earth (volcanoes and earthquakes)

Human Geography topics studied are:

• Changing urban environments

• Tourism

• Population change

Students study a mix of physical and human topics in year 10 and in year 11 and sit two 1 ½ hour exams at the end of year 11. At the start of year 11, students begin their controlled assessment task which is based on a local fieldwork investigation. The focus for this changes each year, but is likely to be based around the tourism or urban environments topic. The controlled assessment task is a written report worth 25% of the overall grade.

There is a strong emphasis on linking Geography with jobs and careers. Geography provides an excellent knowledge base from which to pursue many Post-16 courses. Transferrable skills, such as ICT and numeracy, are utilised on a regular basis. Literacy is a very strong feature and is our key to ensuring good results. In addition, subject-specific skills link with many aspects of the workplace.

We aim to provide a learning environment in which students can feel confident and positive about their abilities and enjoy their lessons. We do this by providing a variety of teaching/learning experiences and by careful monitoring of students. Students really enjoy learning Geography, and are very successful in the subject.

Year 10 students follow the new AQA (9-1) specification. The geography course is all about developing a better understanding of the world we live in. Topics of study are contemporary and relevant and include natural hazards, climate change, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of meeting our needs for food, water and energy supplies. Students are encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.

The course is divided into 3 units with an exam for each one:

Living with the physical environment – natural hazards; river and coastal environments in the UK; tropical rainforest and hot desert ecosystems.

Challenges in the human environment – urban issues in the UK and in low income countries; global variations in economic development and quality of life; management of food, water and energy resources.

Geographical applications – a critical thinking and problem solving task based on the physical and human themes above and questions focused on two fieldwork investigations completed during the course.

Year 13

Students follow the legacy AQA specification. The course is divided into four units across the two years.

AS

Unit 1: Physical and Human Geography

  • Rivers, floods and management
  • Coastal environments
  • Population change
  • Health issues
  • Examined through a 2 hour written exam in June with a mix of structured short and extended answers

Unit 2: Geographical Skills

  • A range of basic, investigative, ICT, graphical, cartographical and statistical skills
  • Examined through a 1 hour written exam in June with structured questions on skills and fieldwork

A2

Unit 3: Contemporary Geographical Issues

  • Plate tectonics and associated hazards
  • Ecosystems: change and challenge
  • Contemporary conflicts and challenges
  • Examined through a 2 ½ hour written exam in June with structured short and extended questions, plus an essay

Unit 4a: Geography Fieldwork Investigation

  • Students undertake their own fieldwork study which gives the opportunity to extend an area of the subject content in more detail
  • Examined through a 1 ½ hour written exam in June with structured short and extended questions based on candidates’ fieldwork investigation and fieldwork skills.

 

The A level course builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills that students have developed at GCSE and helps to prepare students for further study in higher education.

Year 12

Students follow the new Edexcel (2016) specification outlined below.

Area of study 1 – Dynamic Landscapes
Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and HazardsTectonic processes, a study of the causes of tectonic hazards, the impact of tectonic activity on people, andresponses to tectonic hazards.

Topic 2: Landscape Systems, Processes and Change

An integrated study of processes, landforms and landscapes. A study of one landscape system and the physical

and human processes influencing change over time and space.

Choose one from:

• Option 2.1: Glacial landscapes and change

• Option 2.2: Coastal landscapes and change

Area of study 2 – Dynamic Places
Topic 3: GlobalisationA study of globalisation, its causes and consequences for different people and places.Topic 4: Shaping Places

A study of how and why places are shaped and changed, the meanings and identities attached to different places

and the consequences for different people.

Choose one from:

• Option 4.1: Regenerating Places

• Option 4.2: Diverse Places

Area of study 3 – Physical Systems and Sustainability
Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water InsecurityWater cycle, human and natural factors that impact on water cycling, consequences for water security and futurewater conflicts.

Topic 6: The Carbon cycle and Energy Security

Carbon cycle, human and natural factors impacting on carbon cycling, the consequences for ecosystems and

management strategies.

Topic 7: Climate Change Futures

Exploring the links between the carbon and water cycles through climate change.

Area of study 4 – Human Systems and Geopolitics
Topic 8: SuperpowersSuperpowers, the reasons for shifting economic and political power, the impacts of superpowers, influence ofsuperpowers in governing the global commons.

Topic 9: Global Development and Connections

Choose one :

• Option 8: Health, Human Rights and Intervention

• Option 9: Migration, Identity and Sovereignty

 

If you have any queries please talk to a member of the Geography Department or email Mr M Kelly (Head of Department) kelly@heles.plymouth.sch.uk

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