With over half our pupils choosing to study Geography at GCSE level, it’s pretty obvious that this continues to be a well received and popular subject.
From the start of Year 9 the GCSE course is taught. The department follows the AQA 9-1 GCSE specification. Pupils in Year 9 will learn the causes, consequences and management of the global development gap and will then study Nigeria as a case study of a ‘Newly Emerging Economy’ (NEE). In the latter half of the academic year pupils will learn about coastal landscapes in the UK (the processes and landforms that shape them and how coastlines are managed).
At GCSE level, pupils focus on Development and Coasts, Hazards; Rocks, Ecosystems, Physical landscapes in The UK and Geographical Skills, also Urban Issues and Challenges, the Changing Economic World, the Challenge of Resource Management.
The course covers both the Human and Natural Environment, with skills and mapwork being taught and utilised throughout. Two one-day field trips are run in Year 10 and 11. The emphasis is on understanding the world around us, incorporating current examples from the media wherever possible. It also allows for the development of ‘awe and wonder’ which will allow candidates to fully appreciate and learn from the world around them.
Due to the subject’s popularity many pupils go on to study at A Level. Two modules (Managing Physical Environments and Managing Change in Human Environments) are covered at AS Level and a further two modules (Skills and Global Issues) are covered at A2 Level. To enhance study, pupils also have the opportunity to take field trips to Exmoor, Braunton Burrows in Devon and The Dorset Coast.
The International Baccalaureate course can be studied at either Standard or Higher Level and includes modules such as Fresh Water, Extreme Environments and Earth Hazards.
Our Geography Department’s membership of the local Wellington Branch of the Geographical Association affords many extracurricular activities for Sixth Formers. From participating in the Annual World Wise Quiz and attending lectures given by leading academics in the Geographical World and workshops by Geographical author, David Leat, to field trips to Northern Ireland and Iceland.
We were also visited recently by BBC Coast's Nicholas Crane who gave us a talk on 'map lines'.