Our department’s vision is that teaching and learning in Geography imbues our students with a sense of curiosity and fascination about the people, places and environments around the world, which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Students are engaged and inspired to see themselves as global citizens by exploring their own place in the world. They consider their values and responsibilities and recognise how actions at the local scale relate to the global scale. We aim to to equip students with a toolkit of skills in order to enable them to link the content of lessons to real world situations. The curriculum is designed to build up over time critical analysis skills; enquiry skills; being empathic to other people’s views; and interpreting varying forms of evidence.
KEY STAGE 3
The Year 9 course brings together and builds upon the geographical skills started in the Middle Schools. During the Autumn Term we learn about the physical, human and environmental features of the UK. Followed by a study of the issue of globalisation and how it affects students’ lives.
In the Spring Term students then explore the causes and consequences of Weather and Climate around the world. This is followed by the topic of Development, with a focus on the country of Tanzania. In the Summer term the students complete a case study on Brazil’s physical and human features. The course then concludes with the topic of crime and how geographical skills can explain the patterns of where and why different crimes takes place.
KEY STAGE 4
Students in Year 10 and 11 follow the AQA specification. This course is based on a balanced framework of physical Geography, human Geography, practical fieldwork and decision making skills. This qualification is linear (students sit all their exams at the end of the course in Year 11). It is assessed by three exams: Paper 1 (35%); Paper 2 (35%) and Paper 3 (30%). There is no separate higher or foundation tier, and no NEA or coursework.
Paper 1 consists of three physical geographical topics. Firstly, ‘the challenge of natural hazards’ topic includes studying earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical storms as well as the more widespread challenge of climate change. Secondly, in ‘the living world’ topic students explore the importance of tropical rainforests and hot deserts. Thirdly, in ‘physical landscapes in the UK’ students analyse the processes which shape rivers and coastlines.
Paper 2 consists of three human Geography topics: In ‘the challenge of resource management’ topic students examine how the supply of food varies around the world. In ‘urban issues and challenges’ students compare the problems and opportunities for people and the environment in a city in the UK and one in another country. In ‘the changing economic world’ students explore the issues around poverty, a case study of a low income country, the changing economy of the UK and the role of global businesses and trade.
Paper 3 consists of three parts. Firstly, it assesses students’ core Geographical skills such as map reading, graph analysis and statistical techniques. Secondly, it assesses their understanding of the role of fieldwork. Thirdly, it assesses their decision making skills based on a resource booklet which is it pre-released by the exam board to students 12 weeks before the exam. In Year 10 and 11 students have two compulsory day-trips, one is a river study near Worcester and the other is a local tourism study in the Cotswolds. These fieldtrips are assessed in Paper 3.
KEY STAGE 5
Students in Year 12 and 13 follow the A-level AQA Geography specification. This is a linear qualification (examined at the end the course in Year 13). There are two written exams and a non-examined assessment (NEA).
Unit 1 (physical Geography) is worth 40% of the total grade. It consists of three topics. ‘Water and carbon cycle’ topic considers the different flows and stores of water and carbon. There is a focus on the role of climate change on water and water cycles and deforestation. The ‘hazards’ topic covers the causes, effects and responses to earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, tropical storms and wildfires. The ‘coastal landscapes’ topic analyses the physical processes which shape coastlines and how human manage them. It includes a case study of coastal management in the UK and overseas.
Unit 2 (human Geography) is worth 40% of the total grade. It consists of three topics: the ‘global systems and global governance’ explores the impact of globalisation, immigration, global trade and international organisations such as the UN. There is a focus on Antarctica and international environmental agreements regarding it. The ‘changing places’ topic studies the factors which give places a unique character. Students use a local case study, such as Evesham; and a more distant case study such as Notting Hill in London to explore how these places have changed over time in in terms of population, local economy, the environment and culture. The ‘contemporary urban environments’ topic examines the the causes and effects of population movements such as urbanisation and urbanisation, urban regeneration, and environmental policies in urban areas. Student contrast two case studies of cities in high and low income countries.
All the exams include 4 marks short answers, 6 marks skills based questions, 9 and 20 mark extended writing questions.
Unit 3 is the non-examined assessment (NEA). It is a written investigation (coursework). The write-up can be done both inside and outside of lessons and students are expected to work independently, teachers are allowed to be give general advice and guidance. It is worth 20% of A-level.
Students are given the opportunity of for long weekend residential field trip in the Spring term to practise fieldwork skills in preparation for the NEA. In previous years we have visited Devon and Dorset coastlines.
In Year 9 there is an opportunity for out of class learning through an optional field trip to Cadbury World in the Spring term, where students take part in a workshop about fair trade products.
In Year 10 students are offered an optional overseas residential school trip to Europe. In recent years we have visited Sorrento and the Bay of Naples in southern Italy on a volcano study and Amsterdam in the Netherlands looking at tourism.
The Geography department enters two teams each year to the Worcestershire Geographical Association Schools Quiz, the competition is for Year 9 and 10 students.