Geography

Staffing

The department is staffed by two experienced and highly qualified specialist teachers.

In 2016 at GCSE we achieved a 100% pass rate with 74% A*-C and 44% A*/A.  At A2 we achieved 100% A*-C and 100% A-D at AS.

Courses

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students have two lessons of Geography each week (50 mins x 2). The curriculum aims to build basic geographical skills using map and numerical skills. We introduce independent research, develop their use of ICT and try to focus on literacy in year 7. In year 8 students should be able to describe and explain processes with the use of geographical terminology. They will also incorporate case study details to enhance written work.

By year 9 there should be some evidence of analysis and evaluation in their work. By the end of key stage 3 they should be able to synthesise their learning, identify the interconnections, and have a broader understanding of the world around them. We take students on a day trip to the Crystal exhibition in year 9 to support their learning of sustainability and world cities.

GCSE

The Geography GCSE to be examined in 2018 is AQA. Topics include: Tectonics, Weather, Climate change, Ecosystems, Rainforests, Hot deserts, Coasts, Rivers, Urban issues, Economic geography, resource management and water management. There will also be an issue evaluation paper out in March for unit 3. Geography GCSE is 100% exam, there is no longer a controlled assessment at GCSE, and instead students will answer exam questions on the fieldwork. We aim to hold the residential field trip (human and physical) at the end of year 10.

GCSE Assessment break down

Paper 1 (Physical)

88 marks/ 35%

1 hour 30 mins

Paper 2 (Human)

88 marks/ 35%

1 hour 30 mins

Paper 3 (Geographical applications)

76 marks / 30%

1 hour 15

A Level

The new specification for AQA A Level will be examined as a 2 year course in 2018.  This is 70% exam and 30% Fieldwork project. A fieldwork project has been added to A Level (worth 30%). We aim to carry out this residential fieldwork at the end of year 12.

Assessment

Assessment is an important part of learning in geography. Regular assessments are carried out every few weeks in key stage 3, with a bigger assessment every half term to monitor student progress. This is closely monitored against individual targets and formal records are kept in accordance with school policy. This includes continuous assessment each lesson, end of topic tests, homework projects, group presentations and formal examinations.

Key Stage 3 assessments will be recorded in their folders and at the front of the exercise books.  At GCSE regular informal assessment will take place for examination practice. Once again regular assessment of examination tasks will take place. This will be a mix between timed exam condition tasks and homework tasks.

Extra-curricular

It is important that Geography students are keeping up to date on the news and what is happening around them. We would advise students keep update on the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Guardian websites/ channels. Unreported World (25 minute documentaries on Channel 4/ 4oD) are extremely insightful. The BBC Bitesize Geography website is also useful for both KS3 and GCSE students. For further reading please see me Miss Grewal who is happy to loan further reading books upon request.

There is also a volunteering club at the local food bank for year 11 students on a Wednesday after school.  3.30-5.30 for the Autumn/Winter term.