Geography

    KS3:

    In Geography at KS3, we aim to develop the students’ key skills in preparation for GCSE. We assess the students once per half term across twelve skills using levels W- to 9. The full level descriptors can be found here.

    Geography Assessment Descriptors 2016

    Year 7:

    In year 7, students start with a topic about their local area called ‘Our Place’, exploring a range of aspects of their personal and local geographies through a range of different maps, including their own. We take the students out on their first field-trip of secondary school towards the end of the first term and allowing the students to develop their investigative skills. The students are assessed this term on their map work, graph work, investigation and decision making skills. If you wish to support your child in this topic, we encourage you to spend time looking at and reading a range of maps. A fun activity is to get your child involved in planning a trip out including the use of a hard copy or digital map in navigating from A to B.

    Our second topic of the year is ‘Biomes’. We study four major world ecosystems and students will choose one of which to research in depth. This topic includes a cross-curricular project with art where the students work as part of a team to create a small version of their chosen biome inside a shoebox. The students are assessed this term on their graph work, their ability to describe patterns and again, their decision making skills. If you wish to support your child in this topic, we encourage you to spend time looking for environmental stories in or on the news, especially those about animals. A day trip to the zoo will also help your child to visualise some of the animals that live in the different biomes of the world.

    Our last topic in year 7 is ‘Volcanoes’ and we ask the question, ‘are volcanoes friends or foe?’ The students study the science behind volcanic eruptions and consider the impacts of volcanoes on the people who live near them. We assess the students using one formal test followed at the end of the term with a team presentation where the students attempt to sell a house near to a volcano. If you wish to support your child in this topic, we encourage you to watch the news and take particular interest in any major volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis. Students may wish to research past tectonic events and should try to identify the causes, effects and the human responses to these events.

    Year 8:

    All students continue to study Geography in year 8 with their first topic, ‘Rivers’. The students examine the features and processes of rivers as well as examining the threat of floods in the UK and beyond. The students are assessed using one formal test followed at the end of term with an extended writing assignment on floods. If you wish to support your child in this topic, we encourage you to watch the news and take interest in any floods occurring within the world. The Thames Barrier is a great place to visit if you are taking a trip to London when trying to understand how the UK tries to manage the threat of flooding.

    Our second topic of the year focuses on ‘Ghana’ and development. The students will develop an understanding of what it is like to live in a developing country and consider the causes and effects of poverty in this African country. Students are assessed on their decision making and comparative writing skills during this topic. If you wish to support your child in this topic, we would encourage you to challenge your child to fully explain their decisions in everyday life. This will help them to become more adept at developing their explanations and in particular, using evidence in their persuasive arguments.

    The last topic of KS3 is ‘The Geography of Conflict’. This is a cross-curricular topic, which is designed to suit students taking both Geography and History at GCSE. Following introductory lessons, we study the causes and effects of a range of conflicts including the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict and the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Students are encouraged to develop their own ethical views about conflict, therefore beginning to use the moral judgements needed during their RS GCSE. If you wish to support your child in this topic, we would encourage extra-curricular reading, particularly books focused on children’s experience of war. Some popular choices are:

    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    One More River by Lynne Reid Banks

    GCSE

    Students who choose to take Geography at GCSE follow the Edexcel Geography A syllabus. The course is assessed through three final exams at the end of Year 11:

    Paper 1 – The Physical Environment Paper 2 – The Human Environment Paper 3 – Geographical Investigations
    1 hour 30 minutes

    37.5% of the qualification

    94 marks

    1 hour 30 minutes

    37.5% of the qualification

    94 marks

    1 hour 30 minutes

    25% of the qualification

    64 marks

     

    Topics studied:

    ·Changing UK Landscapes (rivers and coasts)

    ·Weather hazards and climate change

    ·Ecosystems, biodiversity and management

    Topics studied:

    ·Changing Cities

    ·Global development

    ·Resource management (water)

    Topics include:

    ·Coasts

    ·Urban areas

    ·UK challenges

     

    The experience of fieldwork helps students to develop new geographical insights into the two contrasting environments required for this GCSE qualification and to apply their geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to the coastal environment and urban landscape. Students are required to take part in two trips during the course, one day-trip to London and one residential to the coast.

     

    A-Level

    We currently offer Geography A-level to those students in year 12 and 13 and follow the Edexcel A-level syllabus. Students study for the following exams:

     

    Unit 1 – exam at the end of year 12 Unit 2 – exam at the end of year 12 Unit 3 – exam at the end of year 13 Unit 4 – exam at the end of year 13
    Topics include:

    ·World at risk – Natural hazards and Climate Change

    ·Going Global – Globalisation and Migration

     

     

     

    Topics include:

    ·Crowded Coasts

    ·Unequal Spaces

     

    This topic includes compulsory fieldwork. Students take part in trips to London and the Dorset Coast.

     

     

    Topics include:

    ·Energy Security

    ·Water Conflicts

    ·Biodiversity under Threat

    ·Superpower Geographies

    ·The Development Gap

    ·The Technological fix?

    Students must choose from six optional topics to study and research. This unit includes compulsory fieldwork which should be taken into consideration when selecting the topic.