‘Geography is a living, breathing subject, constantly adapting itself to change. It is dynamic and relevant. For me geography is a great adventure with a purpose.’ – Michael Palin
What will I study?
Geography aims to promote an appreciation and understanding of the world through a vibrant curriculum. There is a balance between human and physical topics in each year group, which seek to emphasise the power and wonder of the natural world as well as the significance of the built surroundings, the economy and political decisions in creating a diverse environment.
Topics are studied on a variety of scales to enhance students’ understanding of the local area and the UK, as well as countries around the world, from which comparisons can be drawn. We aim to promote a diverse range of skills, from map reading, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and source work to literacy and data handling.
Year 7 topics:
- Rivers & Coasts
- Resources & Energy
- Weather & Climate
Year 8 topics:
- Population & Development
- Restless Earth
- Urban Environments
- Rocks & Ice
The key British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of others are woven into Geography in both Key Stages. In Geography, students often compare our society to other societies around the world and draw comparisons, for example when comparing China’s ‘one child’ policy to the liberties we enjoy, or when considering how we treat migrants and asylum seekers with the respect they deserve. Social, moral, spiritual and cultural themes pervade the curriculum, through examining our own values, appreciating the views of others, working collaboratively and learning more about other parts of the world.
How will I be assessed?
There are two assessments associated with each unit of work – one mid-unit test, and one end of unit assessment. You will be given a band for each assessment you do so that you can track your progress throughout the year. You will be given feedback for each assessment so that you know what you did well, as well as helping you to understand how you might develop and improve your understanding and skills for future assessments.
Your exercise book will be marked regularly so that your teacher can make sure you are also progressing during lessons. Your spelling, punctuation and grammar will be marked, ensuring you have life-long literacy skills. Peer and self-assessment are also used in lessons to help you to understand how to make reasoned judgements about the quality of work you produce. Understanding this enables you to consider what good quality work looks like as you produce it.
How can I stretch my learning?
The best way to understand geography is to experience it – who doesn’t enjoy a day out or a holiday? By getting out and about in your local area you will spot key geographical processes taking place in front of you. Why not take a walk along the banks of the river Calder or Wyre, spotting meanders and flood risk? Or, spend an afternoon in Blackpool evaluating the sea wall and considering the impact that tourism has on the built environment. Even a simple walk through Burnley town centre can help you to think about how traffic problems could be resolved.
You should also try to watch television differently. You could tune in to some of the amazing documentaries that are produced, showing the farthest corners of the world, or delve into national issues or global injustices. Particularly good examples are Planet Earth and Unreported World. Equally, you might watch some of your favourite television shows from the perspective of a geographer – for example you may consider issues relating to urban areas while watching Coronation Street!
Good literacy skills are key to every students’ success. By reading any sort of literature you will not only understand the value of good punctuation and grammar, but your vocabulary will be extended. This will help you to express yourself more fluently, and you will be better able to structure your ideas. Some good geography books include the Horrible Geography series.
BBC Bitesize (KS3) http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zrw76sg
Geography All The Way (KS3) http://www.geographyalltheway.com/ks3_geography.htm
Internet Geography (KS3) http://geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/ks3/index.html
What will I study?
AQA Geography Specification A
Geography equips students with a wide range of skills that employers and higher education providers want to see in young people. Geographers can make reports, handle data, ask questions, find answers, make decisions about important issues, analyse material, organise themselves and think creatively and independently. Geography teaches us about people, instilling tolerance and understanding of different cultures as well as developing young people’s curiosity. GCSE Geography is a sound base from which to progress to A Level study and beyond.
The GCSE curriculum offers a range of topics that appeal to different types of learners. Both human and physical geography topics are covered in Years 9, 10 and 11 and these build on the skills and knowledge gained in Key Stage 3. Lessons are active and promote discussion and dialogue on issues that are relevant beyond ‘classroom’ geography. Fieldwork is conducted in an urban location and a more natural environment, where students use practical research and data collection skills to collect and analyse information in the classroom in preparation for their examinations.
Paper 1: Living With the Physical Environment
- Section A – The Challenge of Natural Hazards
- Section B – The Living World
- Section C – Physical Landscapes in the UK
Paper 2: Challenges of the Human Environment
- Section A – Urban Issues and Challenges
- Section B – The Changing Economic World
- Section C – The Challenge of Resource Management
Paper 3: Geographical Applications and Skills
- Issue Evaluation
- Geographical Skills
How will I be assessed?
You will sit three exams at the end of Year 11. Papers 1 and 2 are each worth 35% of the GCSE, and Paper 3 is worth the final 30%. The course is exam-based only; there is no controlled assessment element.
You will be regularly tested to ensure that you are making progress towards your targets and to ensure revision strategies and exam skills specific to Geography are in place before your final examinations. Test questions are taken from past exam papers to make the process relevant to you and an accurate reflection of your ability. You must engage with assessments and feedback in order to progress and improve. Exercise books will also be marked regularly and you must respond to any feedback given. If you miss a lesson for any reason it is your responsibility to catch up with any missing work.
How can I stretch my learning?
- Make sure you respond to feedback given to you by your teachers and listen to advice on how to improve your work. Make sure you revise effectively for your assessments so that you are prepared to write about any aspect of your knowledge.
- Students who read regularly, generally achieve higher in school. This is because they use the rules of spelling, punctuation and grammar more effectively and have a fuller vocabulary, meaning they can express themselves fluently. Regular readers also structure their ideas clearly. You may wish to look in A-Level textbooks so that you gain a more detailed and advanced knowledge of the topics that we cover in class.
- Watch news programmes and documentaries that show the real-life implications of the geography we study in class.
- Take part. Come to the ‘Geography Drop-In’ sessions after school and ask any questions you have and do some extra revision and exam practice.
- BBC Bitesize (GCSE) http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/
- Geography All The Way (GCSE) http://www.geographyalltheway.com/
- Internet Geography (GCSE) http://www.geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk/gcse/
Key contact name, role & email
Mrs H Klee
Curriculum Leader – Humanities