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Geography

“Geography is a subject which holds the key to our future” - Michael Palin

Geography is a subject that educates pupils on the world that surrounds them, the country they live in and explains the things they read or see in the news. We live in exciting times and Geography is a diverse and dynamic subject which embraces this.

We like to ask questions in Geography: Why? How? Where? What? Here are just a few that we ask and the pupils will be able to answer during their time at Hurstmere:

  • Why do volcanoes explode?
  • Where do people live and why?
  • How does the sea shape our coastline?
  • How will climate change affect all of our lives?
  • What damage do tourists do when they visit places of interest?
  • How will the population of a country change?
  • Why are lots of products made in China?

Facilities – We have four specialist Geography rooms, one with ICT facilities included and also the use of computer tablets to aid teaching. The library and ICT suites are utilised by all groups for additional learning material.

KS3 Programs of Study

Within KS3, students study a broad range of aspects of Geography. These often link well with other subjects such as History, Science and Sports. These links are developed through the units of work.

  • Year 7 Topics

What is Geography?; Geology; Coasts; Settlement; Map Skills; and The UK.


Year 8 Topics

  • The Environment and Ecosystems; Endangered Animals; Weather; Tourism; Resources; and Europe.


    Year 9 Topics

The Restless Earth; The World Map; Development and Aid; and Rivers.

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is essential to develop students’ understanding in Geography. We run as many field trips as possible both in KS3 and KS4, either as a whole year group or as small groups. Some of the trips undertaken in previous years include: -

KS3 Fieldwork Trips

  • Local fieldwork in and around the school.
  • Visit to Kew Gardens
  • Visits to the Natural History Museum
  • Visits to various zoos such as London Zoo or Howlets Zoo.

KS4 Fieldwork Trips

  • Seven Sisters Country Park in the South Downs
  • Iceland.

Geography GCSE

Please find below everything you need to know about the GCSE Geography course we do here at Hurstmere:

Examination Board:               AQA

Syllabus Number:                  Specification A 9030

Course Content:

This course covers areas in physical and human geography incorporated into a series of themes.  It is available as an option subject at GCSE.   Throughout the two years students will study a variety of topics:

Geographical Skills

  • Ordnance Survey map work; photographic interpretation; satellite imaging; and data interpretation.

Physical Geography

  • The Restless Earth; The Living World; and The Coastal Zone.

Human Geography

  • Population Change; Globalisation; and Tourism.

All pupils will need to produce a piece of Controlled Assessment which will be worth 25% of the final mark.  In Year 10, pupils will visit Seven Sisters Country Park to collect primary data for their Controlled Assessment.  This data will then be presented and interpreted using a range of techniques in both high levels and moderate levels of control.  The Geography Department will provide structured support to assist pupils in the completion of their coursework, which will be completed solely during lesson time.

Assessment Structure:

In years 10 and 11 students follow the AQA Syllabus A.  It provides candidates with either a foundation tier (grades C – G) or a higher tier (grades A* – C) level of entry.

Assessment will include two final examinations and one piece of coursework:

  • Paper One:  The Restless Earth; The Living World and The Coastal Zone. 
  • Paper Two: Tourism; Population Change and Globalisation.
  • Controlled Assessment: Worth 25% of the final marks.

Field Trip Opportunities:

During the two year course there are several opportunities for field trips or additional outside of the classroom learning opportunities. The Controlled Assessment field trip to Seven Sisters Country Park is also used as a study opportunity for both the Coasts and Tourism units or work.

Students who choose Geography also have the opportunity to visit Iceland in Year 11 as part of a final revision opportunity. This provides students with first-hand knowledge linked to the Tourism; The Restless Earth; The Coastal Zone; and Globalisation units of study.

Progression for Further Education/Sixth Form/Career:

The syllabus forms a good basis for students who wish to go on and study Geography at A Level.  It also has connections with GNVQ courses such as Travel and Tourism.  GCSE Geography is a flexible subject that can support pupils in acceptance on to courses in a wide range of A Levels and GNVQs.  Being a broad subject with written and numeracy work, supported with ICT skills, Geography is highly regarded by many employers as well as colleges.

Geographical Skills Check List:

The following skills will be acquired by pupils studying Geography GCSE:

Basic skills:                  Drawing sketches from photographs in the field.

                                    Literacy – most communication is through the written word.

Map skills:                   Interpretation of Ordnance Survey maps, sketch maps and photographs.              

Graphing skills:           Bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts will be constructed and interpreted.

Enquiry skills:              Collection of information from a range of primary and secondary sources including research and organised fieldwork visits.

ICT skills:                     The use of ICT will include photograph and satellite images, the use of databases, the use of the internet and e-mail, the extraction of material from video and spreadsheets.

Developing the talents of high ability students in Geography

Within Geography we like to develop the understanding of those students who have a keen interest in the subject. This is achieved by awarding various prizes to the top achieving students of each year group, including GCSE. These generally take the form of cross-curricular subscriptions to magazines such as ‘National Geographic’ for years 9 to 10 and ‘National Geographic Kids’ for year 7 to 8. Year 11 students are awarded additional revision assistance through flash cards and revision workbooks. We run various after school revision sessions for GCSE students of all abilities to help them to achieve their potential in the subject. These all act as ways of motivating students by developing their interest within the subject, whilst also supporting and developing their skills in English and Science.