What is Geography?
Geography is the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live. It is a subject which can combine the social and natural sciences. Human geography concerns the understanding of the dynamics of cultures, societies and economies, and physical geography concerns the understanding of the dynamics of physical landscapes and the environment. Geography puts this understanding of social and physical processes within the context of places and regions – recognising the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world, and the links between them. Understanding the causes of differences and inequalities between places and social groups underlie much of the newer developments in human geography. Geography is, in the broadest sense, an education for life and for living. Learning through geography – whether gained through formal learning or experimentally through travel, fieldwork and expeditions – helps us all to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, informed and responsible citizens and employees.
In the geography classroom all students are encouraged to be involved in lessons and contribute. We value every pupil’s opinion but insist on it being informed. We foster a culture of asking questions but to accept uncertainty and appreciate that there isn’t always a clear answer or even a single answer. We avoid oversimplifying complex issues and make pupils aware of stereotypes and generalisations. We help pupils appreciate an understanding of Geography is necessary to understanding and participating in the world at large, whether they choose to continue to study geography further or not. We develop a pupil’s empathy towards other people through better understanding of peoples’ motivations. We explain where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected whilst challenging students to make good progress and ensuring a climate of enthusiasm and enjoyment pervades the classroom making it a lively and interesting place.
The Geography Curriculum
Y9, 10 and 11 option groups have 3 one hour lessons a week. Pupils will be following the new WJEC GCSE Geography A course. Assessment of this syllabus consists of three exams. Two theory papers and a skills based exam focussed on fieldwork techniques.
The first exam is worth 35% total marks and covers the core topics of UK landscapes and physical processes such as those occurring in our rivers and along our coasts, the links between our rural and urban areas and tectonic hazards and landforms.
The second exam is worth 35% of total marks and covers the core topics of weather, climate and ecosystems and world resource and development issues as well as the environmental challenges that face us locally and globally.
The third exam replaces the old controlled assessment and is worth 30% of total marks. Pupils will be tested on their ability to represent geographical data using a range of cartographical and graphical techniques. They will be asked to analyse a variety of maps, graphs, photographs, data sets and show their ability to use a range of statistical skills.