Geography

Head of Department:

R. Champion – Lead Teacher of Geography and Head of Humanities

Subject Overview:

The study of Geography should engage, excite yet challenge students. It should instil a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand, prompting questions about our complex and dynamic world. Geography teaching should inform and update students about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments. There should be a clear understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

Our philosophy is to exploit the subject’s relevance to pupils. As a department, this will be achieved through an enquiry-based approach to the curriculum; different scales of enquiry viewed from different perspectives embedded within a thematic structure.  Students will become inquisitive learners and consider their own place in the world, their values, rights and responsibilities as global citizens and the effect that decision-making has on people, and the environment.

Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people's lives both now and in the future. Fieldwork is an essential element of this. Students will learn to think spatially and use maps, visual images and geographical information systems (GIS), to obtain, present and analyse information.

Key Stage 3 

Key Stage 3 Overview

All students follow the national curriculum secondary programme of study for Key Stage 3. The national curriculum for geography aims to ensure that all students:

  • develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine – including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes;
  • understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
  • are competent in the geographical skills needed to:
    • collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
    • interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
    • communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length

Students have two lessons per week delivered by specialist teaching staff within classrooms equipped with subject-specific resources. Students are expected to have an active, inquisitive mind to enable them to access the work and record their findings. Homework is differentiated, to enable students of all abilities to continue their studies beyond the classroom. Termly end of topic tests are sat by students in exam conditions to reflect the formality of external exams at Key Stage 4. Progress is tracked, and students are expected to make at least good progress throughout Key Stage 3 to equip them for their studies at Key Stage 4.
 

Key Stage 4  

Key Stage 4 Overview

Students study Edexcel (Specification A), which continues with an enquiry approach to learning. This should extend students' understanding of a range of geographical concepts, places and processes. Core themes are studied to create a balance between contemporary and traditional, human and physical geography. Alongside the core, additional optional themes allow schools to select geographical issues that suit the needs and interests of their students. There are opportunities for students to participate in fieldwork experiences that engage learners in the whole enquiry process and that are embedded in the learning.

Qualification type

Exam board and specification

Assessment

Tiered?

GCSE

Edexcel A

100% final exam

No

 

Paper 1: The Physical Environment (1hr 30min)

  • The Changing Landscape of the UK (including coastal and river landscapes and processes)
  • Weather Hazards and Climate Change
  • Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Management

 

Paper 2: The Human Environment (1hr 30min)

  • Changing Cities
  • Global Development
  • Resource Management and Energy

 

Paper 3: Geographical Investigations (1hr 30min)

  • Coastal fieldwork enquiry, based on field work conducted along the North Kent Coast
  • Urban fieldwork enquiry, based on field work conducted in Maidstone town centre)
  • UK challenges

 

This linear qualification will be studied from September 2016 and awarded for the first time in August 2018.