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Geography

Geography

With global average temperature predicted to increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial times around 2040, rising geo-political tensions across the world, and population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, there is arguably no more important time to study Geography.

The Geography department combines a strong academic ethos with a vibrancy of approach to enable pupils to become well-informed and critical-thinking Geographers who understand our changing world in all its fascinating complexity.

The Geography department is situated on the top floor of the Clapham Building where we have three large classrooms, a Sixth Form classroom, and an augmented reality iSandbox in the foyer which is used as an additional teaching and learning space. There is also the Vision Studio on the same floor which gives access to Virtual Reality headsets for exploring the world through Google Earth.

 

Years 7 – 9

In Years 7 and 8, pupils learn about a range of local and global challenges to establish a solid foundation of geographical understanding and skills for future study. The topics covered include the East Anglian coastline, tectonic hazards, global population, the Arctic, globalisation, energy production and oceans.

The Year 9 course provides an introduction to GCSE Geography with pupils learning about the challenges of human development and the issues and management of ecosystems including hot deserts and tropical rainforests.

 

GCSE (AQA)

Geography GCSE gives pupils a greater awareness of the most pressing issues of our time, from changing climate to resource shortages, and how they can be addressed. In learning about a range of topics pupils travel the world from the classroom, exploring case studies in the United Kingdom, newly emerging economies and lower income countries. They will also develop valuable skills of observation, analysis and critical thinking. Whether using the augmented reality iSandbox to model the effects of river erosion or exploring Lagos in Virtual Reality, pupils find the experience of GCSE Geography engaging and enriching.

Course Content

  • Living with the physical environment: The challenge of natural hazards, The living world, Physical landscapes in the UK
  • Challenges in the human environment: Urban issues and challenges, The changing economic world, The challenge of resource management
  • Geographical applications: Pupils must demonstrate skills of data manipulation and interpretation. They also undertake one human and one physical geography fieldwork enquiry by collecting primary data on field trips.
  • There are three written examination papers and no coursework.

 

A Level

A-Level Geographers learn how to see the world as a whole as they understand connections between diverse physical systems and human populations. Pupils engage critically with contemporary real-world issues ranging from the consequences of globalisation to responses to hazards, and from water insecurity to climate change. Pupils explore a wide range of places and apply their geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to make sense of the world around them. A Level Geography also equips pupils with research and writing skills that will prepare them for university study. During the course pupils carry out an extended field work investigation of their own choosing and design to test their research and writing skills. Geography is an enjoyable, stimulating and, at times, challenging A Level which helps pupils develop a more in-depth understanding of the world and acquire a range of skills which will prove valuable whatever their future path.

Course Content

  • Dynamic Landscapes: Tectonic processes and hazards, Glaciated landscapes and change
  • Physical Systems and Sustainability: The water cycle and water insecurity, The carbon cycle and energy security
  • Dynamic Places: Globalisation, Regenerating places
  • Human Systems and Geopolitics: Superpowers, Health, human rights and intervention
  • Towards the end of the course pupils learn how to analyse a geographical issue within a place-based context that links to the three synoptic themes: players, attitudes and actions, futures and uncertainties.
  • There are three written examination papers and a coursework project which accounts for 20% of the A Level.

 

Field Trips

Field trips are a vital component of Geography, providing pupils with the opportunity to carry out first-hand research through fieldwork and develop analytical and evaluative thinking. The Geography department runs a programme of field trips, with Year 7 investigating the rocks that made Cambridge, Year 8 spending a week in Snowdonia, GCSE Geographers visiting Epping Forest and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and Sixth Form going to the Lake District for their residential field trip.

There is an active Sixth Form Geographical Society which gives pupils the opportunity to explore and debate current geographical topics in greater depth by creating podcasts in the Vision Studio.

Where we come from, what we do, what we eat, how we move about and how we shape our future are all directly the province of the geographer. More than ever we need the geographer’s skills and foresight to help us learn about the planet — how we use it and how we abuse it
Sir Michael Palin CBE, Former Royal Geographical Society President
Staff
  • Mr Peter Hicks – Head of Geography
  • Mrs Charlotte Chatwin
  • Mr William Earl
  • Mr Josiah Herbert
  • Dr Claire Kennedy

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