What we are trying to achieve with students
An interest in the world around us, an appreciation of the natural environment and an understanding of how we can create a sustainable world in the future.
The courses we run
KS3: A wide range of interesting topics including ‘2012 Olympics’ in Year 7, looking at London and a sustainable Olympic games; ‘Paradise Lost’ in Year 8, looking at the impact of tourism in Thailand and ‘The Geography of Crime’ in Year 9 focusing on a local area investigation. We use many interactive resources created by the Geographical Association and published on their Geography Teaching Today website.
KS4: Edexcel B. This comprises 75% exam (three exams sat in the summer of Year 11) and 25% controlled assessment which is completed in Year 10 following on from a fieldtrip to Reading. Pupils study a range of topics including ‘Making a living’, ‘Water World’ and ‘Battle for the Biosphere’.
KS5: Edexcel. Units studied at Year 12 include ‘World at Risk’ and ‘Going Global’. Students sit the ‘Global Challenges’ exam in the January of Year 12 and ‘Geographical Investigations’ in the summer of Year 12. In Year 13 pupils conduct independent research for one exam. The other exam is the ‘Contested Planet’, examining issues such as ‘Water Conflicts’, ‘The Development Gap’ and ‘Energy Security’. By following this specification, our Geographers are learning about contemporary and relevant issues facing the world today.
Gifted and Talented Students
Subject Specialist geographers may display one or more of the following attributes:
- An ability to apply geographical enquiry to an issue
- A well developed spatial awareness, understanding the relationship between places
- An ability to present complex information visually, in a skilled way, linking text with images
- An ability to summarise complex relationships, whilst distinguishing between known/uncertain relationships
- An ability to make connections between geography, the sciences and arts
- An ability to draw on attitudes/values, and to assess strengths of arguments and make judgements about them
- An ability to evaluate solutions to plans and issues , and explore the merits of each solution
Items of particular interest
- The department has received the Key Stage 3 Secondary Geography Quality Mark Award in recognition of excellence in teaching and learning in Geography. This is awarded by the Geographical Association.
- Our GCSE Geographers were successful in coming first in the Geography Association ‘World Wise Quiz’ last summer in the Lake District – well done to all who participated!
- In October 2010, the Geography department was chosen by Teachers TV to be a case study for ‘Great Teaching Ideas’. Both Mr Cowling and Miss Walters were filmed teaching Year 8 and Year 9.
- In March this year, Year 10 Geographers visited Reading to carry out fieldwork in preparation for their controlled assessment.
- At the end of the Spring term, Year 12 Geographers went on a trip to Cornwall where pupils studied coastal erosion and management, as well as the ‘rebranding’ of Cornwall. They visited the Eden Project, Newquay, Lobb’s Farm and St Austell to see how Cornwall has reversed economic decline.
- In the Autumn and Spring terms, the Geography and Science department co-led a ‘sustainability day’ where Year 7 pupils got the chance to experience a range of activities promoting sustainability, including going inside a giant ‘earth balloon’ and taking readings from the newly installed energy meter.
- Matt Phillips and Anna Tuddenham, Year 13, were invited to speak at Institute of Education in London at a convention for Geography academics on what Geography meant to them. Well done to both of them!
- The Geography department has welcomed a number of external speakers throughout the academic year, organised by the sixth form run ‘Geography Society’. These have included Director of Plan A & Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer, Richard Gillies (parent of Sophie in Year 13) and Rita Gardner from the Royal Geographical Society. Similar talks will be organised over the coming year.
Recommended Revision Resources
There are revision guides available for Edexcel B Geography listed below which you can purchase from Amazon:
My Revision Notes Edexcel B Unit 1 Dynamic Planet, Hodder Education
My Revision Notes Edexcel B Unit 2 People and the Planet, Hodder Education
Past paper exams can be downloaded from the Edexcel Website
http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/gcse09/geography/b/Pages/default.aspx (apart from 2012 papers).
Click on the images below for a enlarged photo