Head of Geography: Mr A Jennings
Head of Faculty Mr M Scott
The aims of the Geography Department are to:
- Stimulate interest and enthusiasm for all aspects of Geography.
- Enable pupils to achieve their full potential in Geography.
- Help pupils to understand the world they live in.
- Develop an awareness of possible consequences of human activity.
- Provide students with opportunities to study geography in the ‘outdoor classroom’.
All students receive three hours of geography per fortnight at Key Stage 3, five hours at Key Stage 4 and nine hours at AS/A2 level.
Every year group are given the opportunity to enhance their understanding of the subject through field trips. These include the Royal Geographical Society, Hollyfield Hall working farm, Walton-on-the-Naze coast, Epping Forest, Stratford, and the Natural History Museum.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)
We offer a varied and interesting approach to geography based on the National Curriculum. Geography is concerned with interrelationships between people, landscapes, economic, and ecological systems. It is hoped that by studying geography, pupils will develop an interest in the subject, an enquiring mind, and a concern for the future of the planet upon which they live. Students begin their GCSE course at the end of Year 9.
Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
The new AQA GCSE covers four units, incorporated into three exams at the end of Year 11:
Paper 1 = ‘Living with the physical environment’ (35%)
Paper 2 = ‘Challenges in the human environment’ (35%)
Paper 3 = ‘Geographical Applications’ (30%)
Paper 3 includes an ‘issue evaluation’ where students use pre-seen material which will be provided twelve weeks before the exam. It also requires students to write about their fieldwork experiences. They therefore attend a fieldtrip to carry out a physical and human geography investigation.
The fourth unit (Geographical Skills) will be embedded throughout the exams. There is no coursework component.
Geography is an extremely popular subject for GCSE as it provides valuable skills, especially for later employment. Promising KS3 grades, the desire to succeed and commitment to hard work will be expected.
Key Stage 5 (A Levels)
The AQA A Level course is taught with one examination sat at the end of the two years. It offers a natural progression from the GCSE, offering an ‘issues’ and ‘impacts’ approach to contemporary geography. The course includes physical and human concepts:
Water and carbon cycles
Hot desert systems and landscapes or Coastal systems and landscapes or Glacial systems and landscapes
Hazards or Ecosystems under stress
Global systems and global governance
Section B: Changing places
Section C: either Contemporary urban environments or Population and the environment or Resource security
Questions are: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response and extended prose.
A Level students undertake a fieldwork component to expand their geographical skills. This is a 3000-4000 word individual investigation, worth 20% of the A-Level. Students will be fully supported with this investigation, which will be based on a question or issue relating to content taught as part of the course.
Outlined below are the core texts, websites and support materials advised for independent study:
- KS3 BBC class clips – Secondary Geography
- KS4 CGP Revision Guide available from the department £3.50 (this is essential)
- KS4 Textbook AQA GCSE Geography textbook by Oxford University Press: ISBN: 978-0-19-836661-4 https://www.amazon.co.uk/GCSE-Geography-Student-Book-Gcse/dp/0199135495
- All Years: Map Zone https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/mapzone/
- All Years: Royal Geographical Society https://www.rgs.org/HomePage.htm
- All Years: Geographical Association http://www.geography.org.uk/
- Revision Apps (for phones/tablets/computers)