Aims of the Department:
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, thus 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: The year begins with a "Where in the world" unit where the girls explore their global connections, which is followed by a "Map work course". The girls then spend time examining the “Plastic Pollution Problem” and “Coastal environments and their management”. The end of the year is spent completing a country study of Ethiopia where the girls compare and contrast their lives to those living in Ethiopia.
Year 8: The year starts by studying “The rise of China”. The girls then examine “Exploitation of extreme environments” with a particular focus on Alaska and hot desert environments. In the summer term we study “Rocks, Limestone and Tourism” with a particular focus on the Peak District.
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 is linear in nature and adopts a balanced approach between physical and human geography. The topics studied include “Resource management” with a focus on energy production, “Urban issues and challenges” in low income countries and the UK, “Changing economic world”, “Cold environments”, “Ecosystems” including tropical rainforests and “Glacial and River landscapes in the UK”. As part of the course the girls will conduct two fieldwork days and we will 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.
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. Girls studying KS3 have access to Kerboodle for Geography and at GCSE the girls have access to Hodder Dynamic learning for exam question practice.
The department engages in activities outside of school and we often take 6th 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 the upper school students we run GeoSoc which discusses topical Geographical issues.
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 visit the Peak District to study the landscape and tourism
Year 10- Students visit North Wales to collect data on rivers
Year 11- Students visit London to study housing inequality
Year 12- Students take part in a fieldtrip to North Wales to study coasts and a trip to Liverpool to study rebranding.