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A GCSE ready Geography student will be able to develop a sense of place and interpret their surroundings in order to gain a better appreciation and passion for understanding the variety of physical and human conditions on the earth’s surface. Their love of Geography will breed confidence in developing major skill areas such as map and fieldwork skills; cross-curricular skills such as ICT, literacy and numeracy, as well as an increasing awareness of the world around them and the idea of sustainability. Our geographers will become global citizens and show a keen awareness of the geography around them and empathy for their fellow humans, regardless of background or geographic location.

Our geographers are curious and want to develop a wide interest and knowledge beyond their immediate experiences. They confidently use images and information to help them gain an understanding of people and concepts that they acquire from various media. We provide our geographers with a wide variety of fieldwork opportunities at a range of scales, from examining local habitats to exciting international destinations.  The dynamic nature of Geography provides us with opportunities to stretch and challenge all our pupils with up to the minute learning. Our geographers are exposed to a plethora of desirable and transferrable skills, which will open up employment opportunities for them in the future.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7 we are now implementing the “Mastery” agenda where students are able to practice their geographical skills and develop new ones.  The course is designed as follows:

The course

Students start the year working on Geographical Skills where they learn how to be geographers. We look at skills such as map reading, using photographs and how to compare places.  Students are assessed frequently on their level of understanding of the materials covered. 

Students then explore how the world was created and how human beings became the dominant species.  We then study the human and physical geography of the United Kingdom looking at the natural features and the similarities and differences in the places where people live.
Next we explore how glaciers have shaped and changed the landscape before moving onto a study of Africa looking at the features and people of the continent and focus in depth on the Horn of Africa comparing it to the UK.
Finally we look at how rivers have shaped and changed the planet.

What homework is set?

Homework is frequently set.  There can be a range of homework such as online quizzes to test understanding, mini-projects and revising material for formal assessment 

Year 8

The main aim is to reinforce, describe and explain the skills of year 7 and then to develop synoptic explanation skills (multiple causes of one outcome or chains of events). Management and sustainability are also introduced. This allows students to access level 6 or higher.

The course

Year 8 starts with tourism. We study why tourism develops and the advantages and disadvantages to the host location. We then look at eco-tourism to see if tourism can be sustainable if managed correctly. Tourism is studied both in the UK and overseas. The formal assessment involves students planning a tourist resort in the Amazon Rainforest.
We then move on to Physical Landforms. Students study how the sea, rivers and ice have created our landscapes. This ranges from the creation of waterfall, caves and arches through to the glacial valleys of the mountainous areas in the UK
Next, we study the Geography of Crime. We examine how certain environments can encourage/deter crime and how by ‘target hardening’ an area it can be made more crime resistant. Students are assessed by designing a crime proof house and producing a plan for an estate to reduce crime levels both by engineering and improving social conditions in the area.
Finally, we cover the Geography of Water Supply. We look at how much water is wasted in the UK and what can be done to stop this. Students then examine the issue of what to do with waste water. We then compare water usage in the UK with Ghana (where our twin school is located). In the assessment students are expected to compare and contrast the two locations and produce plans to improve water availability in Ghana and water efficiency in the UK.

What homework is set?

Homework is frequently set and is given to the students in the form of homework booklets of which there is one for each topic.

Year 9

In Year 9, the main emphasis is to cement the skills learned in Years 7 and 8 and to develop skills of Local Action, Global Effect and the ability to contrast different events in different parts of the world. Students are also expected to be able to think how events can be managed and develop their own ideas for sustainable actions in the future.

The course

As this is some students’ last formal education in Geography, there is a real focus on living in a ‘global village’ and how their choices can impact on the whole planet.
Topic 1 is Hazards. We examine how volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis are created and the effects these can have on peoples’ lives. We then investigate what humans can do to manage these hazards and why different areas respond differently.
We then move onto a human hazard, the spread of HIV/AIDs. This covers the causes of HIV/AIDs, how it spreads and how it can be prevented. We then examine if there are patterns between poverty and HIV/AIDs and why these patterns exist. This is done in the form of an independent research topic. Using all the knowledge they have gained, students are then asked to produce a TV advert for South Africa to be shown during half time in a major football match to a target audience of young men. This whole project is assessed.
Students then look at two extreme environments, rainforest and polar regions. We study the key features of the eco-systems and how human activity is damaging the areas. We also look at the Native American tribes in the Amazon. We study how we can manage these areas both on a local scale and show an understanding that actions in the UK can impact areas thousands of kilometres away. The assessment, ‘Why the Amazon matters to me?’, gives our students the chance to show an understanding of why it is important to preserve the forest and what action they can take.
Finally, we look at development. We discover why some parts of the world are poorer than others and what can be done to improve these imbalances. We study how people in the UK can help the less developed countries, ranging from long term aid to selecting ethically traded goods in shops.

Key Stage 4

We offer Geography as an option for students in Key Stage 4, as part of the Route 2 and Route 3 English Baccalaureate.

The course

Year 10  - Students have started the updated GCSE.
This is the new GCSE and is split as follows:-
Paper 1 – Living with the Physical Environment – 35% of GCSE
90 minute exam for 88 marks (inc SPaG).  There will multiple choice, short questions and essays.
• The Challenge of Natural Hazards – Tectonic and Weather 
• The Living World – Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests, Hot Deserts
• Physical Landscapes in the UK – Coasts and Rivers
Paper 2 – Challenges in the Human Environment - 35% of GCSE
90 minute exam for 88 marks (inc SPaG).  There will multiple choice, short questions and essays.
• Urban Issues and Challenges
• The Changing Economic World
• The Challenge of Resource Management – Resource Management in general and food specifically.
Paper 3 – Geographical Applications – 30% of GCSE
75 minutes for 76 marks (inc SPaG).  There will multiple choice, short questions and essays.
Issues evaluation – You will be given a pre-release booklet 12 weeks before the exam and asked to process this information.  Under examination conditions you will be required to answer questions on this material.  You can have an unmarked copy with you.
Fieldwork – During the course of the year you will be required to produce two geographical investigations.  These must cover both human and physical geography.  Under examination conditions you will be asked to explain your predictions, data collection, health and safety management, methods used to present and interpret the information and your overall conclusions.  You will also have to evaluate your study looking for strengths and weaknesses. 
Geographical Skills – You will also be assessed on map reading, place knowledge, use of graphs and charts, numerical skills, producing sketches, reading and interpreting newspaper articles etc.  These skills can also be assessed in context in paper 1 and 2.

Year 11

This GCSE course is split into 3 sections:
Section What is involved? How is it examined and when?
Physical Geography Students study 3 units
• Coastal Environments
• Glacial Landscape
• Plate Tectonics Students will sit 2 exams at the end of Year 11.  They are both worth 37.5% of the entire course.
Human Geography Students study 3 units
• Population Change
• Tourism
• Urban Environments 

Controlled Assessment

This is the replacement for coursework.  Students will be taught all the necessary skills to undertake a piece of Geography fieldwork.  After a data collection trip students will then write up this work in controlled conditions in class. Students will prepare for and write up this work at the end of Year 10 and the start of Year 11.  It is worth the final 25% of the course.
Our students will not just learn out of a book. They have a wide variety of lessons ranging from videos, computer research, debates, role plays and even model making.
All of the Geography teachers are approachable and willing to give extra help if our students are stuck. We offer lots of extra help and a full revision programme during the course.
Pupils have access to lots of help at home including an online textbook and many resources.

What homework is set?

Homework will be set regularly to back up knowledge learned in class. It could include research, practice questions and preparing presentations.

How are students assessed?

Our students are formally assessed by two examinations and a controlled assessment (see above for details). They are also regularly assessed by their subject teacher through homework tasks, practice examinations and other work.

What can students go on to do after this course?

Many students choose to continue their studies and we have one of the largest and highest achieving A-Level Groups in the school. Our results are consistently outstanding. Within The Consortium, it is also possible to study Geology and Earth Science.
Colleges, universities and employers will be very impressed with Geography qualifications. It shows that the candidate has a broad knowledge of the world and lots of skills they can use, including computer skills, research techniques, analysis and presentation of data, and debating and literacy skills.
Geography can be used in lots of jobs, such as journalism, tourism, engineering, economics and business, weather forecasting, military careers, environment careers and even law.