Geography

“Geography is not just about maps, it’s about what’s inside those maps, and what’s inside the formation of those things in those maps as well as the life and culture even further behind that! It’s also about the future”

Studying geography often leads people into fascinating careers, addressing major challenges facing the world. But we often find people asking the question; Why study Geography? Here are a few reasons:

1. Look Smart

Let’s be honest: we all care about what other people think of us. That’s why our first important reason for studying geography is that it makes you look smart. Knowing basic geography can help you avoid embarrassing moments, impress a date, maybe even land a job.

But geography doesn’t just make you look smart. It actually does make you smarter, as our next reasons show.


2. Put the News in Context

How are you supposed to understand the news if you don’t know geography? Knowing geography helps put current events in context. For example, knowing that Hong Kong is a city in southern China can begin to help a person understand why it is politically different from the rest of China: it’s geographically isolated.


3. Chart the Course of History

Geography not only puts current events in perspective, it help us understand history. A person can’t understand World War II without understanding the roles of the continental Russian Winter or the English Channel. Geography shapes the course of world history. Want to better understand history? Study geography.


4. Build Navigation Skills

The most basic skill in navigation is understanding the “lay of the land.” Studying geography helps develop spatial thinking. Those skills could come in handy if you get lost driving around town or in the wilderness!


5. Travel Smart

Without a basic sense of geography, it’s impossible to get the most out of travel experiences. If you’re heading to Spain, do you want to see misty mountains, rocky coastlines, or searing-hot cities? Geography helps you decide.

6. Understand Where You Live

Geography allows you to understand the place where you live. People settle in specific places because of the landscape. For example, cities are almost always built on a river or other reliable water supply. What is the history of the place you live? How has the geography affected the area?


7. Get a Grasp on Globalisation

Globalisation has been one of the biggest forces in world history for decades. The saying “it’s a small world” reflects this change: the world is as big as it always was, but it’s just more interconnected than ever. Understanding the changes that have swept the world as a result of this interconnection is impossible without appreciating the geography on which it is taking place.


8. Make Sense of Culture

Human culture is fundamentally place-based: the land determines or influences the cuisine, clothing, architecture, even social relationships. Every aspect of a culture is affected by its geography.

Geography helps you understand and appreciate the incredible diversity of cultures around the world. Like with news, geography puts culture in context. To understand a people, you have to know something about their land.


9. Prepare for the Future

Geographic skills guide important decisions every day. From architecture to politics to business, the physical landscape frames the debates happening today that will be in the history books tomorrow.

Aims of the Department:

The geography department follow the key aims of the national curriculum which aims to ensure that all pupils:

● develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes

● understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time

● are competent in the geographical skills needed to:

● collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes

● interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

● communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length.

KS3 Curriculum:

Students in KS3 follow a broad curriculum which ensures that they become young geographers in the making. They are taught about life on Earth and how it affects them as young people.

Students in Year 7 study a range of Geographical skills (including map skills), Weather, Rivers, Natural resources and of course Tectonics and our hazardous Earth

Students in Year 8 continue to develop and build upon the geographical skills they learned in Year 7 by studying natural environments (including coasts, tropical rainforests and deserts) as well as population change and urban issues.

KS3 Geography will give students the key skills and knowledge to follow the GCSE course should they choose this option.

KS4 Curriculum:

Students follow a linear course in Geography (meaning they sit all exams at the end of the course). There are 3 assessed units within the course with geographical skills embedded in all of the units:

Living with the physical environment (35% of final grade)

● 3.1.1 Section A: The challenge of natural hazards

● 3.1.2 Section B: The living world

● 3.1.3 Section C: Physical landscapes in the UK

Challenges in the human environment (35% of final grade)

● 3.2.1 Section A: Urban issues and challenges

● 3.2.2 Section B: The changing economic world

● 3.2.3 Section C: The challenge of resource management

Geographical applications (30% of final grade)

● 3.3.1 Section A: Issue evaluation

● 3.3.2 Section B: Fieldwork

Geographical skills

● 3.4 Geographical skills

This exciting course is based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography. It allows students to investigate the link between the two themes, and approach and examine the battles between the man-made and natural worlds. Students who complete the course will have the skills and experience to progress onto A-level and beyond.

Staff:

Mrs L Kirkland – Curriculum Leader of Humanities

Mr C Coles

Mr P Wood