In geography we aim:
- To develop an understanding of the human and physical world in which we live, in order to instil global responsibility and citizenship.
- To develop an understanding of different cultures, levels of development and ways of life.
- To develop cross-curricular themes, relating geography to other disciplines in terms of knowledge, expertise and skills.
- To encourage field study skills in order to experience geography first hand.
Geography is compulsory for girls in Years 7-9 and becomes an option in Years 10 and 11. It is a popular choice for both GCSE and A-level study.
Year 7: Enquiry and Research-Based Learning is used to provide a strongly student-centred approach to teaching and learning which enhances students' learning experiences. The year begins with a topic on ‘Where would we be without the rest of the world?’ where the girls explore their global connections and consider questions such as, “Should I buy a pair of Lee Cooper Jeans?” A Map work course is then completed to equip the girls with the skills they will need throughout their geographical studies. The girls then spend time examining the Coastal environments and tackle questions such as “Why does this house cost £1?” and “What is the best way to manage coasts?” In order to give girls the opportunity to study the interaction between human and physical geography the end of the year is spent studying the Plastic Pollution Problem.
Year 8: The year starts by studying China through Enquiry and Research-Based Learning. Questions which are tackled include “Could you cope with the climate of China?” “Why are people migrating to Chinas cities?” “What challenges do China’s megacities face?” and “Should China have built the three gorges dam?” The girls then examine Exploitation of extreme environments with a particular focus on Alaska and cold environments. In the summer term we develop the girls fieldwork skills by conducting an investigation into “Where should we put a new outdoor seating area?” which helps students to develop their presentation, analysis and evaluation skills.
Year 9: In Year 9 we embark on the GCSE course to give the girls a flavour of the GCSE content which enables them to make an informed choice about studying the subject at GCSE. The year is spent studying the Natural hazards topic which includes studies of plate movement, earthquakes, tropical storms and weather hazards. In the summer term we spend time studying the issue of climate change; in particular its causes and impacts.
Year 10 and 11: The course followed at GCSE is the AQA Specification and girls are issued with a copy of the AQA Geography approved textbook. The course adopts a balanced approach between physical and human geography. The physical geography topics studied include, Cold environments, Ecosystems including tropical rainforests and Glacial and River landscapes in the UK. The human geography topics studied include, Resource management with a focus on energy production, Urban issues and challenges in low-income countries and the UK and the Changing economic world. As part of the course the girls will conduct two fieldwork days to develop a range of Geographical skills. There is also an “Issue evaluation” as part of the course.
Sixth Form: The course followed is the OCR A-level Geography and the girls are issued with a copy of the OCR approved text. The human topics studied are: Changing spaces Making places, Global migration and Human rights. The physical topics studied are Coasts and Earths life support systems. In the Geographical debates paper the students study Disease dilemmas and Hazardous earth. As part of the course the students also complete an independent investigation into a topic of their choice.
The department is housed in its own specialist area with access to computers, a projector (in all rooms), and an interactive whiteboard. The library is well-stocked with Geography resources including textbooks, periodicals and DVDs. Resources for all year groups can be found on the individual firefly pages for each topic they study.
The department engages in activities outside of school and we often take sixth form students to local universities for relevant lectures. At KS3 we run the Worldwise club and attend the local Geographical Association’s Worldwise Quiz. For all students we run the Eco School club where girls in all years are encouraged to assess the school’s performance on a number of criteria, identify changes which can be made, implement them and evaluate them. We are very pleased to have achieved the Green flag award and we will continue to ensure that we uphold this award and work towards Project Zero for making the science block carbon neutral.
Fieldwork is an integral part of the Geography curriculum, fieldwork allows pupils to see in reality what they have learnt in the classroom, build teamwork skills and learn valuable data-collection techniques.
Year 7- Students complete local fieldwork investigating the plastic pollution problem in Chester
Year 8- Students survey the micro climate in the school grounds
Year 10- Students visit North Wales to collect data on rivers
Year 11- Students visit North Wales to investigate the impacts of tourism
Year 12- Students take part in a fieldtrip to North Wales to study coasts and a trip to Liverpool to study rebranding.
Year 13 - Students complete two days of independent fieldwork on a topic of their choice.