Geography

GEOGRAPHY

Year 7:

Students start year 7 by completing a short, introductory unit called Passport to the World where they complete three country case studies: Kenya, Brazil and a country of their choice. This develops their understanding of both physical and human aspects of Geography. The Map and Geographical Skills unit follows this. Through this unit students develop core skills used in geography, for example, grid referencing and some basic data analysis skills. This unit is essential for developing skills that students will use throughout their Geography career. Under Weather and Climate, students learn about the physical processes in the atmosphere which give us weather and why climates vary across the planet. We then take a more human approach by investigating how weather affects people. During this unit students gain their first fieldwork experience as we conduct a micro-climate study round the school site. Settlement is the fourth unit. We investigate why early settlements chose specific locations and how they developed over time. We then investigate modern settlements such as Masdar City and 8 City to show how developers incorporate new technology to ensure cities are efficient and sustainable. This unit allows students be extremely creative by designing their own sustainable city. The final unit is Rivers. Again, students develop their understanding of the physical characteristics and processes which shape rivers before investigating how humans use rivers. Throughout year 7, in addition to developing their geographical knowledge, we also develop literacy, numeracy, communication and technology skills through a variety of different pedagogies. We also begin to train students in exam technique by developing their verbal reasoning and time management.

 

 

Year 8:

Population is one of the key topics covered in the first term of year 8 as population growth and migration are controversial geographical topics. Students develop an understanding of population structure related to the levels of development within countries and how this changes over time. They learn about the impact of government policies on population, for example China’s One Child Policy and investigate the causes and effects of forced and voluntary migration. We discuss several current global situations and our migration case study is Mexico to the USA. Climate Change is the second topic. During this unit students gain an understanding of the causes and effects of climate change as this will be a significant issue in their lifetime. We also investigate the most up- to- date mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate change, particularly related to geoengineering. The following unit is Economic Activity. Students develop an understanding of the different economic sectors and how their dominance within a country changes as it becomes more developed. We also investigate the causes and impacts of globalization on economies and businesses across the world. The final unit in year 8 is Coasts. Students develop their understanding of the physical processes of erosion, transportation and deposition which act on coastlines and the features created. We then investigate how humans use the coast and land-use conflicts which can arise as a result of different uses. Throughout year 8 we continue to develop skills and exam technique through the continual use of command words and exam timing.

 

Year 9:

Development is the first unit students study in year 9. Over the course of this unit students develop an in-depth understanding of: how development is measured and the ability to critically evaluate the accuracy of development indicators; how the development of a country changes over time and the influence this has on population structure; the historical and current causes of uneven global development; trade and aid and the impact of neo-colonialism and global policies. Environmental Hazards is the second unit. Students develop an understanding of the physical structure and processes of the Earth. We then investigate the causes and impacts of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and relate this to the previous Development unit with regards to vulnerability. We also investigate the most up to date mitigation and management strategies for environmental hazards. Ecosystems is the third unit. Students investigate the location of different ecosystems which builds on their understanding from the Weather and Climate unit in year 7. They also investigate plant and animal adaptations and food webs. Furthermore students investigate human influence on ecosystems and the impact of global warming and the demand for resources on rainforests, deserts and the tundra. Tourism is one of the fastest growing global industries therefore it is important students gain and in-depth understanding of it. Through the Tourism unit we consider the rise of global tourism, extreme tourism and eco-tourism as well as examining the positive and negative impacts of tourism socially, economically and environmentally on a variety of areas. By the end of year 9 students have solid foundation knowledge and the necessary skills for moving into GCSE Geography.

 

Year 10 and 11:

Students follow the iGCSE Edexcel 9-1 GCSE programme for Geography. During this course students gain a range of knowledge and skills.

Paper 1: Physical geography

Externally assessed – 70 marks 40% of the total International GCSE Content summary

  • River environments
  • Coastal environments
  • Hazardous environments

Fieldwork from one of these topics Assessment Examination of 1 hour and 10 minutes, consisting of two sections. The questions are a mixture of multiple-choice, short-answer, data-response and open-ended questions.

Paper 2: Human geography

Externally assessed – 105 marks 60% of the total International GCSE Content summary

  • Economic activity and energy
  • Rural environments
  • Urban environments

Fieldwork from one of these topics

  • Global issues (Fragile environments and climate change, Globalisation and migration, Development and human welfare).

Skills:

  • Primary data collection includes quantitative and qualitative techniques.
  • Secondary data collection includes the use of at least two different secondary data sources for your chosen environment.

Practical skills: As part of – and in addition to – undertaking the geographical enquiry, students should acquire and be able to apply the following skills: • graphical skills – compiling graphs and flow lines, using proportional symbols, annotating maps, diagrams and photographs • map skills (including use of digital maps) – using grid references, understanding scales, recognising symbols, identifying landforms and human features of the landscape • photo-interpretation skills – reading vertical and oblique aerial photographs and satellite images, including GIS • sketching skills – communicating ideas through simple sketch maps and field sketches • spatial awareness – identifying the relative locations and relationships between features.

 

Cognitive enquiry skills: Students should acquire and be able to apply the following skills: • analysis of findings – reviewing and interpreting quantitative and qualitative information using appropriate media • use of statistical skills – simple descriptive statistics, such as lines of best fit, means, medians, modes, etc. • conflict resolution skills – identifying the views of interested people (stakeholders), recognising that stakeholders may have strongly different attitudes and feelings towards a particular issue • evaluation of findings – appraisal and review of data and information to see if they are accurate and suitable for the purpose, or misleading and unreliable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Level Geography

Geography is widely recognised by world leaders and top universities as an extremely important subject in today’s fast paced, ever changing world. It allows students to develop a greater understanding of global issues and their place in a dynamic world.

Throughout the course of year 12 and 13 students will have the opportunity to complete the AQA A Level Geography course. This course consists of three components: Physical geography, Human geography and Geography Fieldwork Investigation.

Physical Geography includes: Section A: Water and carbon cycles Section B: Hot desert systems and landscapes or Coastal systems and landscapes Section C: Hazards.

Assessment for this unit: written exam- 2 hours 30 minutes which accounts for 40% of the A-level.

Human Geography includes: Section A: Global systems and global governance Section B: Changing places Section C: either Contemporary urban environments or Population and the environment or Resource security

Assessment for this unit: written exam- 2 hours 30 minutes which accounts for 40% of the A-level.

Geography Fieldwork Investigation: Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.

Assessment for this unit: 3,000 – 4,000 words assignment which accounts for 20% of the A-level. This is marked by teachers and moderated by the AQA.

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