Geography

Geography at Richmond Park Academy is an exciting and engaging subject which aims to inspire in all students a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world in which we live and it allows students to understand issues at both a local and global level. We believe that it is essential for students to explore both physical and human processes enabling them to become informed and responsible citizens in our ever-changing world.

As Geography is an ever-changing subject, students can expect investigate contemporary issues, both in the local area and further afield, and are encouraged to explore these issues outside of the classroom as well. Whichever level of study at Richmond Park Academy, Geography develops a vast array of skills which students can apply within other subjects as well as in the wider world.


Geography is an ever-changing subject and we would encourage students to regularly read around the subject. There are a range of documentaries which we would encourage students to watch to extend their subject knowledge. The attached reading list may also provides some interesting books for students to read.

Teachers

Ms L Bicknell - subject leader

Ms E Croft

Ms O Hansom

Mr M Lamb

Ms H Smith

Key Stage 3

Students in Year 7, 8 and 9 have one 80-minute lesson of geography per week.

Each unit at Key Stage 3 is centred around an enquiry question. They study the following units:

Year 7

What skills do I need as a geographer?

This unit develops students OS map skills such as four and six-figure grid references, direction and scale and map symbols. They will explore map projections and complete some fieldwork on the school site.

Should we preserve Antarctica?

Students explore the physical geography and human use of this continent and well as understanding the causes and impacts of climate change and how it can be prevented.

Why is plastic a problem?

This unit looks at the issue around plastic and its impact in the oceans and food chains, finally looking at solutions to the issue of plastic.

How does a river change as it moves downstream?

Students will understand the physical processes on a river, formation of landforms and causes, impacts and management of flooding, including recent examples of flooding.

How is the UK changing?

This unit looks at the physical and human features of the UK, the changes to the UK economy and how current issue in the UK could affect the country in the future.


Year 8

Is our understanding of the world wrong?

Students will explore data about the world and challenge our perceptions of the world, developing their geographical skills to evaluate the current global data.

Is 7 billion too many?

This unit focuses on population growth, causes of migration and the impacts of this. They will look at the impacts of large populations and the pressure this puts on resources.

Can we protect the rainforest?

Students will explore the physical characteristics of the tropical rainforest and understand the human impacts (deforestation) on this ecosystem then considering how we can manage it sustainably.

Is our weather becoming more extreme?

This unit what causes the weather, investigating microclimates by completing fieldwork in the school site and looking at the causes of extreme weather and understanding how this is changing.

Will Asia dominate the 21st Century?

Students will explore the challenges and opportunities in this vast continent and explore the rise of countries in Asia, considering where these fit in the global picture.


Year 9

Why are some countries more developed than others?

The unit explores an understanding of development, the causes of the development gap and strategies used to reduce the development gap.

Why are some natural hazards more dangerous than others?

Students will explore the causes of some natural hazards, looking at patterns and trends, as well as understanding the impacts on countries at different levels of development and how these hazards can be managed.

Should we stop using global brands?

This unit explores the drivers behind globalisation, understanding how we are interconnected through the products we use and the impacts this has on the UK and the countries making these products.

Will Africa remain the most underdeveloped continent?

Students will explore this vast continent, understanding the varied levels of development and the opportunities and challenges in African countries and what this means for the continent.

Homework:

Students are set one piece of homework per week which should take them at least 30 minutes to complete.


Key Stage 4


Exam board: AQA

Geography at GCSE is a balance of physical and human geography units and investigates the link between them. Students will study a range of case studies, both in the UK and beyond, studying and comparing countries at different levels of development. They will also understand their role in society by exploring different viewpoints, values and attitudes.

The course is split into physical and human units and students will complete two pieces of fieldwork as part of their examination. They will study:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment

Assessed with a written exam of 1 hour 30 minutes, 88 marks, 35% of GCSE grade

Section A: Natural hazards (33 marks) – including earthquakes, tropical storms, extreme weather in the UK, climate change.

Section B: Ecosystems (25 marks) – small scale UK ecosystem (Epping Forest), case studies of two global ecosystems (tropical rainforests and hot deserts).

Section C: Physical landscapes in the UK (30 marks) – river and coastal landscapes within the UK.

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment

Assessed with a written exam of 1 hour 30 minutes, 88 marks, 35% of GCSE grade

Section A: Urban issues and challenges (33 marks) – patterns of growth of urban areas, case study of Lagos and London.

Section B: The changing economic world (30 marks) – global variations in development, case study of Nigeria and the UK.

Section C: The challenge of resource management (25 marks) – this unit explores the global inequality in supply and consumption of resources, focussing specifically on water.

Paper 3: Issue evaluation

Section A: Issue evaluation (39 marks) – students are issued with a pre-release booklet 12 weeks before their exam on an issue which incorporates content from across the topics studied in papers 1 and 2. Time will be spent reviewing the booklet and preparing students prior to the exam.

Section B: Fieldwork (37 marks) – this paper is a mixture of unfamiliar fieldwork and their own fieldwork. Students will be exposed a range of fieldwork techniques which will then be applied to other examples posed by the exam board. They will complete two pieces of fieldwork as part of the course to include a physical piece (river studies in Richmond Park) and human piece (regeneration of the Olympic Park). The exam will ask students to explain, evaluate and justify the methods and results of the fieldwork they have completed.

All papers will contain a combination of question types including multiple choice, short answer, open response and extended response.

Students at GCSE have two lessons of Geography a week. There are a wide range of resources available to support students with their GCSE available on Google Classroom. They also have access to Seneca Learning and GCSE pods to support their revision.

Homework: students will receive homework every lesson, which should take 20-30 minutes.


Key Stage 5

Exam board: AQA

Geography at A Level explores a balance of physical and human units which reflect a range of issues in the world today; these allow students to explore the processes operating in different places, their impacts and ways in which these can be managed. The course will challenge perceptions and develop analytical and evaluative skills; students will also develop their investigative skills through the NEA unit.

The students study three units over two years:

1. Physical Geography (40%, written exam of 2½ hours)

· Water and carbon cycles

· Coastal systems and landscapes

· Hazards

2. Human Geography (40%, written exam of 2½ hours)

· Global systems and governance

· Changing places

· Contemporary urban environments

3. Non-Examined Assessment (NEA, 20%)

This is a Geography Fieldwork Investigation carried out in year 12 /13 which consists of an independent investigation (coursework) of 3,000-4,000 words which focuses on an element of the course content using data collected in the field.

Students at A Level have three lessons of geography every week and are expected to complete at least five hours of independent study a week.