The Geography Department encourages students to develop a sense of place, both locally and globally.
Geography helps to cultivate an understanding of the physical and human processes which shape our world. Our students will gain an awareness of environmental issues and an empathy towards other countries and cultures. This we believe helps to produce well-informed, confident and responsible global citizens.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 Course Content
Year 7: 1. Rivers and Geographical Investigations. 2. Exploring Antarctica. 3. Personal Geographies and Map Skills. 4. Amazing Australia. 5. Climate Change and Energy Resources. 6. Urban & Rural Landscapes.
Year 8: 1. Incredible India 2. Climatic Hazards. 3. Biomes and Biodiversity. 4. Africa and Development. 5. Processes in Cold Environments. 6. Skills for Success: Decision Making & Team Work
Year 9:1. China. 2. Plate Tectonics. 3. Local Urban Field Study. 4. Superpowers. 5. Equality and Poverty. 6. GCSE Part 1.
Key Skills developed: map work skills, fieldwork enquiry techniques, graphicacy, spatial awareness through a study of place, application of key concepts, presentation and organisation, GIS mapping and Information Technology.
Assessment is both formal and informal with one levelled assessment each half term. Books are marked regularly and peer marking is also used to give students a picture of their achievement and progress.
Home learning will be set once a week and will take the form of preparing and reviewing work for lessons as well as gaining the opportunity to finish assessments.
Key Stage 4
We study the Edexcel B GCSE specification. This includes looking at Global Geographical issues, UK Geographical issues and people and environmental issues.
It is a linear course and assessment takes place at the end of Year 11 in the form of three written examinations. End of unit tests will take place at the end of each unit in class time and books will be marked regularly.
Set most lessons involving research and skills based tasks alongside exam question practice and preparation.
Key Stage 5
We study the Edexcel ‘A’ level specification. This includes both physical and human elements, including hazard risk, globalisation, diverse places, superpowers, migration and sovereignty water and coasts.
Assessment takes place in the form of regularly marked essays and exam questions with an (internally set) end of Year 12 exam and the final three written ‘A’ level exams at the end of Year 13. Students’ final marks also incorporate a piece of independent fieldwork to be written up formally and submitted to the exam board.
Students are required to write essays at home as well as carry out extra independent research.
The Geography Department offers both day and residential fieldtrips to all year groups. In Year 7 we visit the River Lea in Wheathampsted for our river study; in Years 8 and 9, our studies are based locally in St Albans; in Year 10, we offer a trip to Epping Forest as part of the Rivers coursework and in Year 11 we visit Stratford in London for the Human fieldwork element of the GCSE. In Year 12, we take students to Swanage in Dorset and in recent years we have offered trips to Iceland and Sicily.
Stretch & Challenge
Where can Geography take you? We have a significant number of students who go on to study Geography at university each year. Amongst those that took this path over the last few years, students went to Birmingham University, Sheffield University, Exeter University and Leeds University. Other students have successfully applied for Geography related degrees, such as international development, Urban Planning and Geology. Geography is a broad subject which has been identified by the Russell Group of Universities as a ‘facilitating subject’ which may lead to you having a much wider choice of options when applying for university.
How parents can support their child’s learning
Parents can help at home by checking the student planner each week to be aware of home learning and end of unit tests. All tasks can be enhanced by extra research and reading using the library links and recent newspapers and internet reading. We encourage independent research during lessons and this should be encouraged at home.
‘A’ level Independent investigation: