Geography is the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. In the broadest sense, Geography is an education for life and for living. Learning through geography – whether gained through formal learning or experientially through travel, fieldwork and expeditions – helps us all to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, informed and responsible citizens and employees.
Students study a wide range of geographical tropics spanning both physical and human geography. In Y7 they learn about the ‘Terrific Thames’; its hydrology, use as a resource, risks and developments. This is followed by the application of geography to the study of crime which is followed by a study of weather and climate using en enquiry based learning approach. In Y8 students study a short unit on Asia – its peoples, environments and cultures; and we assess its growing influence on the world. This is followed by a study of cold environments which teaches students about the climate, ecosystems and landscapes of these regions as well as the challenges they are facing. In the Spring term students study a unit entitled 7 billion and counting… which tracks the growth of the world’s population, how populations change over time and their growing demand on the planet’s resources. We end the year investigating modern day empires in an era of globalisation, embedding a series of lessons on Africa, seeking to unravel its mysteries and misunderstandings and enquiring why Africa appears to be so left behind in development. In Y9, we study Restless Earth, a unit on the causes, effects and solutions to natural hazards followed by a unit called Rich World, Poor World which discovers why some parts of the world are more developed than others and how the development gap can be narrowed. We then investigate cities of the future, drawing together all we have learnt into a synoptic unit. Students then undertake a mini enquiry unit where they decide how to invest $65 billion to improve the Top 10 world’s challenges. The year culminates in a coastal geography unit, simulating GCSE Controlled Assessment.
GCSE Geography follows the AQA B specification and develops content and skills learnt at KS3. It is split into three units:
1) Managing Environments in the 21st Century
This is a unit which is split into physical and human geography. The first section is coastal geography; a unit in which students learn about the processes, changes and risks at the coast and learn about a variety of management options from hard engineering to managed retreat. The second section is urban geography where students learn about trends of urbanisation, the pull of cities and the varying challenges this represents. Students learn how cities at different stages of development manage these challenges, attempting to be more sustainable.
2) Hostile World and Investigating the Shrinking World
This unit explores extreme environments from polar to tropical to desert – their distribution, ecology, human interaction and challenges. This is followed by an investigative unit into the global economy – bringing us closer and closer together but creating disparities of wealth in the process.
3.) Controlled Assessment
Students study an issues-based topic on water security which is assessed by an 800 word essay. The second piece is a fieldwork investigation into the urban environment.