Geography

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James Attrill - Head of Geography - james.attrill@swale.at

Subject Overview

The study of geography is about more than just memorising places on a map. It’s about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exist across continents. And in the end, it’s about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together

BARACK OBAMA

Geography at PCS provides students with new ways of thinking about the world in the 21st Century. The subject provides students with ways of analysing, explaining and understanding the physical and human processes of the world around them.

The subject enables students to follow and participate in debates in significant local, national and global issues and takes students beyond their own immediate experiences. Geography develops major skill areas; 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 concept of sustainability. We want students to become global citizens and show a keen awareness of the geography around them, which we encourage through a range of fieldwork opportunities. Geography is everywhere and students at PCS develop a keen awareness and appreciation of the geography that shapes their lives at both global and local scales.

Our subject is ambitious in its content and will continually adapt and move forward with regards to our changing world, which adapts to the needs of all its pupils. We strive to make every lesson feel contemporary and allow all students to better understand the challenges and opportunities that we have as humans on planet Earth.

KS3

Students will study geography for 2 lessons a week in Years 7, 8 & 9.

We will begin with important introductory knowledge and skills in Year 7, before building on these in more in depth topics throughout Year 8 & 9 to prepare for the GCSE content.

Year 7

In terms 1&2 students will start with a topic called ‘Introducing Geography’ which covers the basics of continents, countries and capitals across the world, UK geography and atlas skills. Students will then move on to a topic called ‘Population Explosion!’ where they will learn about the world’s growing population, how it affects different places and how countries try to manage this.

In terms 3&4 students will learn about ‘Brilliant Biomes’ which focuses on the issues and characteristics of major world environments such as the tropical rainforest, hot deserts and the tundra. Term 4 has a focus on ‘Map Skills’ where students will learn to use grid references, direction, scale, map symbols and contour lines to accurately read a range of maps.

In terms 5&6 students will finish Year 7 by learning about ‘Wild Weather’ which covers how to measure the weather, why the UK has such changeable weather and extreme weather events. Students will also complete an on-site piece of fieldwork about local weather and learn how to analyse data and write their own conclusions.

Year 8

In terms 1&2 students will study ‘Crashing Coasts’, focusing on coastal processes (such as erosion, transportation and deposition), how they shape the coastline and how humans try to manage them. There is also an opportunity for a field trip in this term. Students will then learn about ‘Global Development’, which explores how unequal the world is, the newly emerging economies and a focus on China’s recent growth.

In terms 3&4 students will move on to a topic named ‘Terrific Tectonics’ which covers what happens at plate boundaries, how earthquakes and volcanoes are created and the impacts of these disasters in countries around the world. Term 4 focuses on ‘Crowded Cities’ which describes the process of urbanisation, how life is changing in megacities such as Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai, and how cities can be made more sustainable.

In terms 5&6 students will finish Year 8 by learning about ‘Energy & Climate Change’ which discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different types of energy, the causes and impacts of climate change and how we can aim for a greener energy future.

Year 9

In terms 1&2 students will start Year 9 by learning about ‘UK Landscapes’ to help them learn more about the physical processes that shape our country in which we live, with a focus on fluvial (river) processes and glaciation. Students then move on to a topic named ‘Aspirational Africa’ which explores the geography, historical background and culture of the continent of Africa and how it is set to change in the 21st Century.

In terms 3&4 students will learn about ‘Extreme Hazards’ which focuses particularly on tropical storms and the impacts they can have on populations that live in these hazard zones. Students will then move on to study ‘Sustainable Futures’ where they will link together lots of their previous knowledge throughout KS3 to discuss contemporary issues regarding pollution, climate change and overpopulation to consider how we can move towards a more sustainable future.

In terms 5&6 students will finish Year 9 by learning about ‘Tourism’ where we will study the impacts of mass tourism on destinations, how ecotourism can be made more sustainable and possibly even start thinking about planning their own travels for the future after leaving PCS!

KS4

Students will study geography for 3 lessons a week in Years 10 & 11 if they pick it as a GCSE option.

Exam Board is AQA, specification can be found here:
https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035

We largely focus on Paper 1 topics (Living with the Physical Environment) in Year 10 and then Paper 2 (Challenges in the Human Environment) in Year 11, before preparing for Paper 3 (Geographical Applications) just before the final exams.

Year 10

In terms 1&2 students will learn about ‘The Challenge of Natural Hazards’ including tectonic hazards, weather hazards and climate change.

In terms 3&4 students will study ‘The Living World’ which includes ecosystems, tropical rainforests and hot deserts.

In terms 5&6 students will move on to study ‘Physical Landscapes of the UK’ which includes coastal landscapes and river landscapes. This will also involve fieldwork to a local coastline to study the impact of coastal processes.

Year 11

In terms 1&2 students will focus on ‘Urban Issues and Challenges’ which covers urban change, a case study of Lagos, Nigeria and a case study of London, UK. This will also involve a fieldwork around the Olympic Park and Canary Wharf in London.

In terms 3&4 students will study ‘The Changing Economic World’ which explores the ideas of the development gap, a study of Nigeria as an NEE (newly emerging economy) and the UK’s changing economy.

In term 5 students will finish with the ‘Challenge of Resource Management’ which looks at resource inequalities, the UK’s resources and a focus on water management. There will also be time given for revision and preparation for Paper 3 including the issue evaluation pre-release booklet, fieldwork recap and geographical skills that have been embedded throughout the year

Homework

Students in KS3 will receive homework tasks fortnightly, with a mixture of tasks to reinforce learning in lessons taking around 30 minutes to complete.

Students in KS4 will receive homework tasks weekly, with a mixture of tasks to reinforce learning in lessons taking around 30 minutes to complete.