Geography

The geography team consists of: -

  •          Mr Hutchinson (Head of Department)
  •          Mr Tomsett (KS4 co-ordinator)
  •          Mr Sutton (Head of Humanities Faculty)
  •          Mrs Elliss (Deputy Headteacher)
  •          Mrs Ashton
  •          Miss Bourne
  •          Miss Kelly
  •          Miss Simpson
  •          Mrs Inns

KS5

At KS5 Year 13 are studying the AQA specification and we look at both the physical and human geography in equal amounts from modules like tectonic hazards to the emergence of world cities across the globe. Students have the opportunity to complete two fieldwork investigations over the two year course, the first going on a fieldtrip to Juniper Hall in Surrey to look at river characteristics of the River Tillingbourne. The second in A2 looks at succession of vegetation in a deciduous woodland in Turkey wood in Amersham.

In Year 12 we have just embarked on the new A Level course that AQA have designed.  This involves studying physical modules like water and the carbon cycle, coastal environments, and tectonic and storm hazards.  The human modules are development and globalisation, contemporary urban environments, and changing places.  As part of their course they are expected to complete 4 fieldwork days. 

KS4

At KS4, Year 11 are studying the OCR B specification. The OCR B course gives a broad overview of the human and physical processes in our world, from the local to global scale. Physical modules include: rivers, coasts, and natural hazards. Human modules include: population, settlement, economic activity and development. Students also complete a 2000 word fieldwork focus write up during Year 11.

Our Year 9s and 10s are embarking on the new, AQA Geography GCSE. Similar in many ways to OCR specification, this course seeks to embed more regional Geography and delve deeper into synoptic nature of the places we study. The course involves the following modules:

Year 9 = map skills, development, tourism issue evaluation, UK physical environment, coasts, ecosystems and river landscapes.

Year 10 = urban challenges and issues, river landscapes, cold environments and plate tectonics

Students will also be expected to undertake two days’ worth of fieldwork one a predominantly physical enquiry and one a human enquiry, this will be tested through an examination in Year 11 worth 30%.

Foundation

At the Foundation level Year 7 will have three lessons over the two week period and Year 8 will have one lesson per week. The topics that we study at Year 7 are Poles Apart, a look at the North Pole and Antarctica, map skills, tropical rainforests, settlement, extreme weather and an independent study on China and India. In Year 8 students study European migration, rivers and flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes and an independent study on the Middle East and Russia.

Assessment

Foundation = All students are expected to complete one milestone and one extended piece of writing per module.  Both of these pieces will have a DIRT activity linked to improving their work.  They will also have spelling tests and map tests to test their SPAG and map skills.  Homework will be on a weekly basis for yr7 and fortnightly for yr8.

KS4 = All students are expected to complete one milestone (past exam question) and two past exam questions per module.  All three of these will have a DIRT activity linked to improving their work.  In addition students will be set additional examination style questions from their past paper packs for class or homework but these may not always have DIRT related activities linked with them.  They will also have spelling tests, map tests and a Quiz for learning test.  Homework will be on a weekly basis.

KS5 = All students are expected to complete two milestones (past exam question) 4 past exam questions per module.  All six of these pieces will have a DIRT activity linked to improving their work.  In addition students will be set additional examination style questions from their past paper packs for class or homework but these may not always have DIRT related activities linked with them.    They will also have spelling tests and map tests to test their SPAG and map skills.  Homework will be set weekly by each classroom teacher.

Support

KS4 and KS5 - every Wednesday we run a ‘Geography Gym’ session from 3-4pm in H8 to help students with any questions or problems with their class or homework.  This is also a good opportunity to check anything that a student has not understood from their lesson.

Extra-curricular Opportunities

-       Geography Club is run on a Wednesday 3-4pm in H5 by a team of sixth formers.

-       Yr7 Animal Roadshow in class time

-       Yr9 human fieldwork day (TBC)

-       Yr10 physical fieldwork day to River Tillingbourne in Dorking (Field study centre: Juniper Hall)

-       Yr12 fieldwork across Reading investigating the urban heat island effect

-       Yr13 independent fieldwork assignment (TBC)

-       In the past we have run enrichment trips to Iceland and to China.

What skills do students acquire?

Geography is a subject that enables students to describe, explain, analyse and evaluate the world around them in both the physical and human areas that we study. We look at topical issues and evaluate what different groups of people would think about the situation and understand the role of decision makers in shaping our own environment. Geography will strengthen students’ extended writing skills and how they support their points in these written pieces. It will also strengthen students’ ability to interpret and analyse graphs, maps, photos, models, and how to write up a geographical investigation.