“Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future”Michael Palin
The world in which we live is likely to change more in the next 50 years than it has ever done before. Our role in that change is more important than ever. Geography explains the changes and helps to prepare people. It is a subject about now and the future.
Geography gives a balanced viewpoint which is good preparation for the world of work. Employers want people with the following attributes:
- Good communication skills
- Ability to work as a team
- Ability to manage themselves
- Numeracy and literacy
- Ability to solve problems
- Computer literacy
- Special awareness
- Environmental and social awareness.
OUR DEPARTMENT AIMS
- For pupils to develop a knowledge and understanding of current events from the local area to the global.
- For pupils to investigate the Earth and its people. Enhancing pupil’s sense of responsibility.
- For pupils to study the features of the Earth – such as mountains, rivers and seas and how they were formed.
- For pupils to develop a range of useful skills such as map reading, data collection, ICT and problem solving.
From the outset we attempt to develop problem-solving based learning opportunities where pupils can develop their own ideas as fully as possible; this enables pupils of all abilities to access the curriculum, produce work of the highest levels stretching and challenging all pupils. Ample opportunity is also provided for pupils to develop their literacy and numeracy skills.
There is a high uptake of pupils at both GCSE and AS/A level, which reflects on the interest and enjoyment shown by pupils in Key Stage 3 Geography. The Geography department has provided many pupils with the opportunity to develop geographical, literacy, numeracy and enquiry skills which are skills which are transferable not only to the further study of Geography, but also to other subjects and many different types of careers. The department also provides pupils with many opportunities to participate in fieldwork, both local and overseas visits. At Key Stage 4 pupils will have the opportunity to participate in several data collection days at Cold Knapp, near Barry for coastal fieldwork and the Brecon Beacons for tourism fieldwork. At Key Stage 5, pupils will have had the opportunity to participate in residential fieldwork in either Pembrokeshire/Snowdonia. The department regularly offers overseas visits and this has included Italy and Iceland and these visits are open to pupils across the school.
GEOGRAPHY AT KEY STAGE 3
During Key Stage 3, Geography is taught as a discrete subject, following a skills based focus adhering to National Curriculum guidelines. In Year 7 pupils study the World, Map skills, Migration and Development. In Year 8 pupils begin with the study of Physical landscapes, focussing on Rivers, Floods and Flood management, Economic activities and Threatened Environments.
GEOGRAPHY AT KEY STAGE 4
The department delivers the GCSE specification produced by the WJEC introduced in September 2016. Following a course in GCSE Geography should encourage students to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent and worthwhile course of study. The course has two examinations, taken in year 11 and a fieldwork enquiry report.
Unit 1 (40%) assesses Physical and Human Landscapes, using structured data response questions and an extended written question on either Coasts or tectonic zones and their management.
Unit 2 (40%) assesses Environmental and Developmental Issues, again it uses structured data response questions to look at the core themes and has an extended written response on Environmental Challenge
Unit 3 (20%) is the fieldwork enquiry, this uses the results of two pieces of fieldwork completed by the pupils and their fieldwork notebooks to answer, as a report, questions set by the examination board, it is completed as a Controlled Assessment so some teacher support is possible.
GEOGRAPHY AT KEY STAGE 5
The AS and A level specification in geography is designed to encourage students to:
- Develop and apply their understanding of geographical concepts and processes to understand and interpret our changing world.
- Develop their awareness of the complexity of interactions within and between societies, economies, cultures and environments at scales from local to global.
- Develop as global citizens who recognise the challenges of sustainability and the implications for their own and others’ lives.
- Improve as critical and reflective learners aware of the importance of attitudes and values, including their own.
- Become adept in the use and application of skills and new technologies through their geographical studies both in and outside the classroom.
- Be inspired by the world around them, and gain employment and satisfaction from their geographical studies and understand their relevance.
The AS qualification comprises Units 1 and 2:
Unit 1: Changing Landscapes – Written examination (24%). Unit 2: Changing Places – Written examination (16%).
The A level qualification comprises Units 1 through to 5:
Unit 3: Global Systems and Global Governance – Written paper (24%). Unit 4: Contemporary Themes in Geography – Written examination (16%). Unit 5: Independent Investigation Non-exam assessment: 3000-4000 words (20%) as one written independent investigation, based on the collection of both primary data and secondary information.