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Woodbridge High School

Woodbridge High School

Geography

"Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future"  

Michael Palin

The aims of Geography

  • To develop knowledge and understanding of local, regional and wider environments and their interrelationships
  • To encourage an understanding and appreciation of the variety of natural and human conditions on the Earth
  • To develop empathy with people from diverse environments and an understanding of human interdependence
  • To develop the ability to use a range of communicative methods, especially those concerned with the development of graphicacy (mapping and other non-verbal, non-numerical forms of data presentation)
  • To encourage the development of a sense of place and spatial awareness
  • To encourage the development of caring attitudes and responsible behaviour towards the environment, and involvement in the identification, discussion, resolution and avoidance of environmental problems
  • To develop an understanding of appropriate geographical concepts.

Why Study Geography?

 Geography seeks to develop a sense of place and describe the location of places. It helps students make sense of their surroundings and to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the variety of physical and human conditions on the Earth’s surface. It focuses on processes which create and change places, landscape features and natural processes, the interactions between people and the environment and the resulting conflict and possible solutions. The subject extends students  interest and knowledge beyond their immediate experiences, using images and information to help them interpret about people and concepts which they acquire from media, internet and textbooks. Geography develops major skill areas such as ~ map and fieldwork skills, cross curricular skills such as ICT, Literacy and Numeracy, as well as an increasing awareness of the world around us and the idea of sustainability. We want students to become global citizens and show a keen awareness of the geography around them. Geography is everywhere and students at WHS will develop a keen awareness and appreciation of the geography around them.

KS3

KS3 Geography has recently benefited from an evaluation of topics, skills and content taught. Throughout the new schemes of work, students will directly learn skills such as team work, creating solutions to issues, researching ideas, applying knowledge and understanding, as well as critically analysing and evaluating their own and peer ideas. These skills have been wrapped around and are inextricably linked to contemporary geographical issues. Furthermore, students will be assessed in a range of methods from oral questioning, to essay writing and decision making exercises, all focused on easy access with high levels of challenge. There is an intention that students studying geography will experience the world they inhabit and create through fieldwork.

Year 7 students begin their journey as geographers through ‘Passport to the World’, collecting skills and knowledge as they pass through four contrasting places. Attention is paid to the interaction and interdependence between the human and natural world through the ‘Ecosystems: To the Ends of the Earth’ topic. The year concludes with an in depth study of the UK’s most common and deadly natural hazard – Flooding, in the ‘When Rivers Attack’ unit of work.

In Year 8, the topics have a theme connected to the UK. ‘Are the Olympic Games the best way to regenerate East London?  Considers the spatial consequences of the Olympic site on E20 and speculate the temporal sustainable aspects. Students will work as teams to research and create their own sustainable Olympic parks. To ensure geography connects with the SMSC (Spiritual Moral, Social, and Cultural) framework, students will explore ‘how can Geographers solve the issues of crime’. Real life examples of crime, considerations of appropriate punishments and rehabilitations, as well as creating towns that ‘design out crime’ based on panoptic values, can be found throughout this topic. Due to glacial isostacy, geology and rising sea levels, eastern coastal areas of England face a challenging present and future. Through ‘conflict at the coast’ these challenges are explored, and comparisons made between other U.K. coastlines, and those around the world.

The focus in Year 9 is to inspire students to engage with contemporary geographical issues- preparing them for the GCSE course. The majority of the world’s population live in economic poverty, and many organisations and governments have attempted to address this issue since World War Two. Students will consider the history and nuances of ‘Development’ geography, from improving shanty towns to considering the role of Multi-National Corporations across the globe, and the rise of a ‘New World Order’. Super storm Sandy and Australian bush fires remind us that hazards have no respect for the human world. This topic considers the potential for symbiosis between the ‘Human’ and ‘Natural’ worlds. The Key Stage is concluded with a range of mini topics titled ‘21st century dilemmas: From Blue Gold to the FTSE’.

KS4 - GCSE

Geography is an exciting and diverse subject to study at GCSE, not least because it lends itself to a wide variety of careers including law, environmental professions, city planning, economics, architecture and many more. You will study issues which are currently in the news (e.g. recent natural hazards) as well as theories that have been discussed for a long time (e.g. whether or not there is enough food in the world!).

The OCR ‘B’ course that we do helps put students on the path to be geography specialists by giving them skills and knowledge relevant to the modern age. This qualification covers four key themes of geography:

  • Theme 1: Rivers and Coasts
  • Theme 2: Population and Settlement
  • Theme 3: Natural Hazards
  • Theme 4: Economic Development

You will be taught in a group of approximately 25 pupils and our recent results suggest that you have a good chance of achieving a high grade – if you work hard! Geography is by no means an easy subject; through hard work and commitment our recent year groups have achieved 81% A*-C (2011) and 74% A*-C (2012).

The table below shows how the course is assessed:

Which part of the GCSE?

What does this involve?

When?

What percentage of the course?

Terminal exam

An exam with lots of short-answer questions on the key themes including case study questions.

June of Year 11

50%

Sustainable Decision Making Exercise exam

An exam where you will need to use evidence to make a decision and justify your choice. It will be about a Geographical issue – for example where a new town is to be located.

June of Year 11

25%

Fieldwork Focus controlled assessment

A project where you will go and do some research and then write up your results under controlled conditions. Our most recent project was about the Olympic site.

During Year 10

25%

 

KS5 - AS & A-Level (AQA Geography A)

A – Level Geography gives students a chance to study a combination of  human and physical geography. Students will be expected to consider their own values and attitudes to the issues being studied and support their learning of ideas through the study of specific case studies. Students will also develop a variety of geographical skills, which will broaden and deepen existing knowledge and be employed with a greater degree of  independence. During their first year of study, students will be expected to attend a fieldtrip  in Suffolk, in order to produce a fieldwork investigation. 

At AS Level they will study the following topics: Rivers, floods and management, Coastal environments, Population change and Food supply issues. At A2 they will study Plate tectonics and associated hazards, World Cities and Development & Globalisation. 

Geography is about the future and encourages flexible thinking. It is less likely that you will spend all of your life with one company or organisation, so flexible thinking is a great attribute. Geographical study fosters these qualities and provides a firm basis for life-long learning.

Future Pathways

Students who have studied Geography are ideally suited to pursue careers in a wide range of areas, including business, finance, education, government and planning.

Contact the Head of Geography