Geography is the study of the relationships between the Earth's landscapes, people, places and environments. It helps us to understand and explain the complex world we live in.
Geography has an important role in the understanding of current local, national and global issues, such as climate change and world trade and is increasingly recognised by governments and businesses as an important enabling subject. Geography has a wide range of transferable skills in numeracy, literacy and problem solving which not only enhances understanding of other subjects but is useful at degree level and then in to the world of work.
Geography appeals to those who are interested in understanding the world around them and to people concerned about the impact of humans on the physical environment. Transferable skills, such as team building, decision-making, IT and communication skills, which are acquired whilst undertaking an education in Geography are important in furthering prospects and creating a balanced education. It is the ability of Geography to synthesize different disciplines and subjects that makes it so unique and important. Students enjoy Geography because they can relate to it and appreciate the value of furthering their understanding of the world around them.
So, whether you have a desire to contribute to finding solutions to some of the world's most critical issues or whether you simply have a fascination for people and places, then Geography will be the subject for you.
This is the foundation year in which students are given the skills and understanding to begin their journey in to secondary education. The aim of the year is to ensure students have the core human and physical aspects of geography mastered which are then revisited throughout Key stage 3 and 4.
Introduction to Mapwork: Looking at how to read maps, take grid references and how to use maps in order to assess the physical and human geography of an area. Be able to understand symbols, read contour lines and assess the shape and use of the land from Ordnance Survey maps. Students will also use four and six figure grid references in order to locate and judge distances.
India: Looking at the physical geography of the Indian sub-continent, the physical and human geography including weather and climate, population density and looking at conditions of life within the country. Appreciating its rich and diverse culture.
The Restless Earth: A detailed look at the tectonic activity of the planet including Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis. Understanding these in relation to plate boundaries and the impacts and management of tectonic events with located examples.
Our Island Home: Looking at the physical geography of the British Isles, the changing political geography of the United Kingdom and the historical importance of migration that has made up our rich and diverse culture.
Ecosystems: To look at the range of ecosystems on the planet, from what lies beneath a stone to the globe itself. To look at the importance of managing ecosystems in terms of the rainforests and the importance of doing so for the future.
Rivers: Looking at how and why rivers form. Their role in the hydrological cycle and the range of land forms they create through processes of erosion, transportation and deposition. The use of rivers in terms of how they can be exploited and managed.
Flooding: Look at the problems and issues that arise when rivers exceed their carrying capacity. Use hydrographs to show how a river responds to water within the system and how through careful management of the basin a river can be modified to be less prone to flooding.
Weather and Climate: Students are introduced to the processes and controls on weather and climate looking at the role of energy from the sun, different pressures on the Earth’s surface and how this can lead to a range of different atmospheric conditions. They will look specifically at the mechanics of rainfall and depressions and anticyclones and major controls on the UK weather.
Our Warming Climate: A unit to ensure students fully appreciate this issue and understand the complexities of the linkages within ‘global warming’. To look at what can be done at the individual, local, national and international level in order to mitigate the effects of this phenomenon.
Types of Energy: A unit which examines the wide range of energy sources on the planet from fossil fuels to non-renewables and assesses the advantages and disadvantages of each. The unit concludes by investigating the appropriate energy mix for local, national and international situations.
Africa: An investigation in to the cradle of humanity. Through examples at many scales, students will look at the human and physical geography of the continent. Country case studies will be used to show contrast in wealth, life styles as well as looking at economic and cultural issues.
Coasts: Students are to look at this vital contact point where the land meets the sea. They shall look at the processes of erosion, transportation and deposition brought about by waves and the consequent creation of specific landforms. They will conclude by looking at how coastal erosion can be managed and the cost/benefits of doing so.
Tourism: Look at the growth of the global tourist industry and its effect on the LDC and MDC world. Students will look at the impact of tourism in the economy of the United Kingdom and look at the effect of tourism over time on the social and economic development of an area using Benidorm in Spain as an example. Students will compare this with effects on The Gambia of a recent but sustained growth in tourism. Students will finish this unit by looking at sustainable tourism and how to develop in a more equitable way for both the environment and those living and working in the area.
China: An investigation in to arguably the world’s next superpower. Through examples at many scales, students will look at the human and physical geography of the country. Case studies will be used to show contrast in wealth, life styles as well as looking at economic and cultural issues. Students will gain an understanding of the different ideas of how commerce should be undertaken, communism versus capitalism.
Global Issues: Students are to complete the year by looking at the future challenges and issues facing the world. They will understand that humans are making more demands on the Earth than it can support and they will through reflection and research understand their ecological footprint. They will attempt to formulate plans to reduce the global, national and personal effects of such pressures.
Development: Looking at the growth of the global economy, the advantages and disadvantages of such growth and the effect on the individual and the wider world. Students will understand their comfortable position in the world hierarchy and understand the importance of tackling the development gap.
GCSE/Skills: In preparation for GCSE, students will begin to undertake both topics and tasks that will give them a head start for the full GCSE to follow. Skills including examination style questions and practice will be undertaken. Students’ numeracy and literacy will be deepened.
Students will be undertaking the two year linear OCR GCSE (9-1) Geography B and will cover the following areas of study:
Our Natural World (35% of total GCSE)
Global Hazards: looking at weather and tectonic hazards. Causes, effects and management.
Changing Climate: Looking at the economic, social and environmental impacts of global climate change.
Distinctive Landscapes: Looking at upland, lowland and glaciated landscapes in the UK focusing on rivers and coasts.
Sustaining Ecosystems: Looking at polar, coral reefs, grasslands, temperate and tropic forests and hot deserts.
People and Society (35% of total GCSE)
Urban Futures: Looking at the growth of world and mega cities and their effect and challenges on Advanced Countries, Emerging and Developing Country and Low-Income Developing Countries.
Dynamic Development: Looking at why some countries are richer than others and whether the Low-Income Developing Countries will remain poor.
UK in the 21st century: Looking at the population changes within the UK since 2001 and look at how employment and the economy have changed and will change in the future. Is the UK losing its global significance?
Resource Reliance: Looking at the issues facing the world in terms of feeding and resourcing the predicted 9 billion by 2050.
Fieldwork: Students will be given a range of field work opportunities including two statutory one day trips to give them the required contrasting topics, locations and fieldwork skills tested in both Our Natural World and People and Society.
Geographical Exploration (30% of total GCSE)
Students will be tested on all the topics above but using unseen country contexts and the geographical skills honed through fieldwork.
Students will be undertaking the two year linear OCR A Level Geography (H481) and will cover the following areas of study;
Physical Systems (22% of total A Level)
Landscape Systems: The study of coasts focusing on the role of waves, geology and sediment in landform formation and how the coast can be managed.
Earth’s Life Support Systems: Focusing on the water and carbon cycle, how these operate and how they can be managed.
Human Interactions (22% of total A Level)
Changing Spaces, Making Places: Looking at contrasting local scale places looking at socio-economic, cultural, built and natural characteristics of these and how these change over time.
Global Connections: Global Systems focussing on Global Migration, looking at and understanding the movement of people across the world and the benefits and challenges of such a movement for countries at different levels of development.
Global Governance: focussing on Human Rights, looking at the ideas of what constitutes human rights, women’s rights and how human rights are policed within the global system.
Geographical Debates (36% of total A Level)
Hazardous Earth: Looking at continental drift and plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes and the effects and management of these events.
Disease Dilemmas: Looking at the patterns and causes of disease around the world, their effects and management and the role of governments and transnational corporations in lessening the damage they cause.
Independent Investigation (20% of total A Level)
Students are to undertake an investigation in to an area of particular interest to them related to any area of the specification. They will use the Lake District residential as the data collection point for this and may do additional fieldwork themselves. It is expected that they shall produce a report of between 3000 and 4000 words.