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 “Map work course”, followed by an examination of “Rivers and the causes and consequences of flooding”, concluding with a county study of the UK.
Year 8: Three units are studied. The year starts by studying “The rise of China”. The girls then examine “Exploitation of extreme 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. The topics which are studied are “Natural hazards” which includes studies of plate movement, earthquakes and tropical storms. We also study the issue of climate change and finish the year with a study of ecosystems, in particular the Amazon rainforest.
Year 10 and 11: Girls are issued with a copy of the AQA Geography approved text. The course followed is AQA Specification. 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, “Cold environments” and “Glacial and river landscapes in the UK” and the “Changing economic world”. 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 Power and boarders”. The physical topics studied are “Coasts and Water and carbon cycles”. 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, projector (in all rooms), interactive whiteboard, and remote weather station. The library is well-stocked with Geography resources including textbooks, periodicals and DVDs. Girls studying KS3 and GCSE have access to Kerboodle for Geography and their text book is in an iPad format.
The department engages in activities outside of school and we often take 6th form students to local Universities for relevant lectures. For lower age groups we run the 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 map based fieldwork
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 Liverpool to study differences in two contrasting socio-economic areas
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 spend 2 days completing an independent investigation for their A-Level course.
The department also offers a regular overseas fieldwork programme. In 2008 over 40 girls visited Sorrento and the Bay of Naples in a joint venture with the Classics Department. A field trip to Morocco took place in April 2013. In 2015 the department visited Iceland land of fire and ice, with 60 girls.