Geography

Geography

Geography:

There has never been a better or more important time to study geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, geography is one of the most relevant subjects a young person can choose to study. The Geography Department tries to develop pupils’ passion for the world. Studying geography provides knowledge and transferable skills that reward them personally and advance them professionally. Geography at St Mary’s involves a variety of IT, field and classroom analytical approaches including techniques such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and fieldwork, which are an integral part to most courses.

Extra-curricular activities and visits:

The most effective place to experience true geography is outside the classroom. Therefore the Geography Department at St. Mary’s offers a wide and varied range of fieldtrips. In year 7 we stay closer to home and explore the microclimates of our school. In Year 8 we aim to take our students to investigate their local shopping area in Leyland to investigate whether it is a ‘home town or clone town’. Our year 9 pupils in the summer term visit the Flyde coast to investigate the effectiveness of coastal engineering strategies. For GCSE we offer a visit to Liverpool, which is linked to the GCSE aspect or Urban Geography within the UK.

In addition to this, every other year the Geography department offers an international trip to pupils. Previous trips have included Iceland and Italy. St Mary’s is also an accredited centre for the Duke of Edinburgh’s award, which is run through the geography department.

Facilities:

Geography is taught in two designated classrooms based within in the humanities faculty. We enjoy a wide range of resources including interactive whiteboards, visualisers, a well-resourced stock of current textbooks and the use of nearby computer suites.

Assessment:

Pupils are assessed on knowledge of locations, places, processes, environments and different scales Along with their understanding of: concepts and how they are used in relation to places, environments and processes; the interrelationships between places, environments and processes.

We also ensure pupils are able to apply their knowledge and understanding to interpret, analyse and evaluate geographical information and issues to make judgements. Here at St Mary’s we ensure that all pupils are prepared for adult life therefore we also assess pupils in their ability to; select, adapt and use a variety of skills and techniques to investigate questions and issues and communicate findings.

Continuous assessment is used to assess pupil progress throughout the course, with summative assessments built in to prepare them for key stage four and beyond. Our pupils are set targets at the end of key pieces of work and given the opportunity work on these targets before revisiting that particular skill.

Year 7 course:

In Year 7 students study a wide range of topics which include both human, physical and environmental geography. In the topic of Survivor, they are introduced interrelationships between the human and physical world and begin to understand the impacts they have on each other. Cities; past, present and future allow the pupils develop a sense of place within the UK and to discover how modern day cities began life ad have changed over time. Wacky Weather allows the pupils to understand the forces of nature, and allows them to begin independent research into how the climate of Britain could be considered as becoming more extreme in recent years. Finally, the topic of Map skills allows pupils to gather a sense of space on a variety of scales and thus begins their join into forging a life skill of map reading.

Year 8 course:

In year 8 students study a wider range of more complex global topics; ecosystems help pupils to develop an understanding the inter-reliance between countries and allows pupils to be creative with the create a rainforest in a box project. The topic of conflict allows pupils to understand the complexity of conflict and how both physical and human geography play their part in it. The topic of Chaotic coasts sees pupils begin to appreciate that government policy impacts on the lives of the people in the north-west and that the government can’t solve all issues. The pupils finish the year with a bang with the topic of Restless earth, here the pupils look into the impacts that natural hazards have on the environment ad people. Field work takes place in the local environment of Leyland where pupils investigate the idea of whether Leyland is a home-town or clone-town.

Year 9 course:

In year 9 all students begin the AQA GCSE (8035) course which allows all pupils to experience the course first hand and therefore make an informed decision about continuing their geographical studies in key stage 4. The students look at the issues of resource management investigating issues such as how can we produce more food and what does it mean to be food insecure? A deeper study of UK landscapes will also be carried out looking specifically at how the physical geography of the UK has influenced settlement and how glacial & coastal processes have shaped our immediate landscape. Finally, pupils will investigate the changing economic world to find their place and investigate their futures.

Year 10 & Year 11 course:

G.C.S.E. AQA Geography (8035).

The GCSE, course develops a broad spectrum of knowledge and understanding. They discover, for example; why our human and physical landscapes appear as they are, how they form, and how they inter-relate at various scales. How and why patterns of human and physical features differ from place to place. The differences and inequality within the human world; especially the economic, social and political causes of inequality and economic development. The importance of different spatial scales — global to local — and time scales for physical and human processes. The way particular places and regions have evolved to be distinctive. How to observe, describe, analyse, represent, interpret and report information about the world and how it operates as an integrated system.

Paper 1: Living with the Physical Environment

What's assessed

  1. The challenge of natural hazards
  2. The living world
  3. Physical landscapes in the UK
  • Geographical skills

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology (SPaG))
    35% of GCSE

Questions

  • Section A: answer all questions (33 marks)
  • Section B: answer all questions (25 marks)
  • Section C: answer any two questions from questions 3, 4 and 5 (30 marks)
  • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose

Paper 2: Living with the Human Environment

What's assessed

  1. Urban issues and challenges
  2. The changing economic world
  3. The challenge of resource management
  • Geographical skills

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 88 marks (including 3 marks for SPaG)
  • 35% of GCSE

Questions

  • Section A: answer all questions (33 marks)
  • Section B: answer all questions (30 marks)
  • Section C: answer question 3 and one from questions 4, 5 or 6 (25 marks)
  • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended pros

Paper 3: Geographical Applications

What's assessed

  1. Issue evaluation
  2. Fieldwork
  • Geographical skills

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 76 marks (including 6 marks for SPaG)
  • 30% of GCSE
  • Pre-release resources booklet made available 12 weeks before Paper 3 exam

Questions

  • Section A: answer all questions (37 marks)
  • Section B: answer all questions (39 marks)
  • Question types: multiple-choice, short answer, levels of response, extended prose