‘Geography is a living, breathing subject, constantly adapting itself to change. It is dynamic and relevant. Geography is a great adventure with a purpose. So many of the world’s current problems boil down to geography, and we need the geographers of the future to help us understand them.’
In today’s rapidly changing world, geography enables students to engage with current affairs, helping them to build an understanding about the processes that have shaped our planet. Global warming as it affects countries and regions, food and energy security, the degradation of land and soils from over-use and misuse, the spread of disease, the causes and consequences of migration, and the impacts of economic change on places and communities. These are just some of the challenges facing the next generation, which geographers must help solve and through its study, geography can foster an enjoyment and passion for such key topics.
Facilities and Accommodation
Geography is predominantly in one subject specific classroom and has access to a suite of laptops for frequent independent learning activities that utilises ICT. It integrates the opportunity to utilise the latest technology such as GIS eg. Google Earth. There are also opportunities to complete practical work outside of the classroom and learn by active investigation through fieldwork.
In Year 7, Geography is taught for 2 hours a week. Students are encouraged to consider today’s rapidly changing world through engaging with current affairs and develop an understanding about the processes that have shaped our planet. The subject content covered in Year 7 includes a range of topical issues. Students study ‘Amazing Africa’, A local urban study, ‘Changing China’, Global development and fair trade and Weather and climate. Interwoven into each topic is a range of core geographical skills such as scale, interpretation of sources such as maps, diagrams, globes and aerial photographs. Assessment focuses on these core skills and develops students’ short and long answer response. Throughout Year 7 Geography aims to inspire curiosity and fascination about the world and its people and equip students for effective learning at KS3 and beyond as they build the foundations for success.
In Year 8 students study Geography on a rotation with other humanities subjects, there are 4 hours of humanities lessons a week.
There are 2 topics we study:
- Comparing countries – Students will study Nepal, Brazil and Japan in-depth to compare the human and physical differences between these 3 fascinating countries. They will also study megacities of today and understand their growth, development and future sustainability.
- Hazards – Students will study a range of natural hazards including tectonic hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis and meteorological hazards such as flooding, droughts and hurricanes. This enables plenty of opportunity to link their learning to current and topical real world events
In Year 9 students have one lesson of Geography a week throughout the year.
- World Biomes
- Global futures; including climate change and world epidemics
Exam board: Edexcel B
GCSE Geography comprises of 3 Units
Unit 1: Global Geographical Issues – Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Topic 1: Hazardous Earth
- Topic 2: Development dynamics
- Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world
Unit 2: UK Geographical Issues – Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Topic 4: The UK’s evolving physical landscape – including Coastal change and conflict and River processes and pressures.
- Topic 5: The UK’s evolving human landscape –Dynamic UK cities.
- Topic 6: Geographical investigations – including a physical rivers fieldwork investigation to Carding Mill Valley and a human fieldwork investigation to Birmingham.
Unit 3: People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions– Written examination: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Topic 7: People and the biosphere
- Topic 8: Forests under threat
- Topic 9: Consuming energy resources
All units are assessed by exam at the end of Year 11.
Homework is set regularly and there is an expectation that it is completed on time and to a high standard. It involves a range of activities such as researching a recent topical geographical event or answering practice exam questions.
Geography provides a number of enrichment opportunities through fieldtrips and fieldwork in the school grounds. For example, Year 7 complete a study into their local area based on fieldwork in the surrounding area. Year 10 spend a day conducting human fieldwork in Birmingham and physical rivers fieldwork to Carding Mill Valley to support their geographical investigations component of Paper 2. Year 12 visit the coast for coastal fieldwork and they consider coastal landscape systems, processes and change and how coastal towns have been regenerated. They also make visits to the University of Birmingham for master classes on climate change and to support their geographical investigation.