Within the Geography department at Beauchamps High school our curriculum endeavours to establish a desire to want to know about our planet. By looking at key fundamental ideas and skills it allows students to further their knowledge and understanding of key issues that affect both the physical and human elements that allow us to try and live on planet Earth.
The Geography department aims to provide students with an understanding of the diverse world they live in, and how it is constantly changing.
A variety of teaching and learning approaches are used to deliver an exciting and relevant course which allows students to study both physical and human themes and investigate the links between them. Students are encouraged to develop their teamwork, presentation and discussion skills in all topics.
Our schemes of work across all Key Stages are relevant and topical, focusing on current events and global priorities. It is a course suitable for all students. The Geography GCSE focuses on the changing world and students are encouraged to understand their role in society, by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes. The A level syllabus follows on from the Key Stage 4 and further develops certain aspects, as well as focusing in a more detailed way upon others.
Due to the diverse nature of the subject a variety of skills are needed to understand the topics. Alongside literacy, other vital skills taught include numeric, graphic and cartographic. Lessons are underpinned with basic theories, within the human and physical spheres, and more often than not will lead into linked ideas of sustainability and environmental concerns. At Key Stage 3 we follow the National Curriculum and utilise this to inform what is to be taught.
To enhance learning and meet our potential impact the department has run overseas trips for a number years to both southern Italy and Iceland so pupils can experience a number of the key themes studied across our curriculum.
Key Stage 3
Year 7 begins with a brief introduction, focusing on some key different and interesting issues around our planet. Underpinning understanding of our planet is the ability to locate places accurately. Therefore, it is essential that all students have some map and atlas skills. These skills are invaluable in enhancing knowledge and are used throughout a students’ study. . The natural world holds equal importance within the subject and students study coastal systems. This involves exploring the links between the physical and human elements and how our interaction with the coast can be both positive and negative. The first human unit focuses on the politically sensitive area of the Middle East, and students consider the conflicts as well as positives found within this area of contrasting economic development. Students then study the UK in more detail to give them a better understanding of the country we live in. Finally, a unit on settlement looking at where and why people live in certain areas of the world. This will also include some local fieldwork and the skills involved to undertake a geographical investigation.
A variety of human and physical geography is again taught through the year. The year starts with possibly the most important issue facing humans on the planet, that of population. The ideas of how and why it changes, how it might be managed and the possible impacts of caused by the amount of humans on the planet. A physical unit studying the basic geology of the planet follows this, which then links to how water can shape these rocks over time with a study of rivers. Students look at the features of river basins and how they work and link to humans. The issue of flooding and flood management, at a variety of scales around the globe is a focus. Following this, we look at Africa and the human and physical issues associated with the planet. We focus on countries in and around the Horn of Africa to exemplify some of the problems and solutions. Cold environments and glaciation are then studied. Glacial processes are linked to challenges and opportunities that these landscapes create for humans, focusing on a variety of places where these have a significant effect around the globe.
Within Year 9 we start to integrate elements of the GCSE syllabus into the units taught whilst still covering National Curriculum strands. This means students are fully aware of the detail, depth and assessment criteria of the GCSE so they can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing their options moving into Key Stage 4.
As with all Key Stage 3 years, there is a mix of human and physical units. The human element involves the study of urban areas and settlements. This includes the patterns of global urbanisation and change over time, considering the potential challenges and opportunities this change has created in cities within both developed and developing areas of the world. Also included is a look at how we can live more sustainably, especially with human impact upon the environment. Hazards, of all kinds, dominate the physical side of the year’s studies. This includes looking at hazards created by tectonics, weather and the potential threat of climate change to the planet. The possible effects and potential ways to manage these hazards are looked at, alongside real life examples.
Key Stage 4
Course Title: GCSE Geography
Awarding Body: AQA
Why study Geography?
Geography is an exciting course which allows students to study both physical and human themes and investigate the links between them.
The specification is relevant and topical, focusing on current events and global priorities. The Geography GCSE focuses on the changing world and students are encouraged to understand their role in society by considering different viewpoints, values and attitudes.
Geography is one of the best subjects to develop enquiry skills.
Geography at GCSE builds on the knowledge, skills and understanding developed in the Lower School. There is no tiered entry; all students sit the same three exams giving them the opportunity to achieve any grade from 1-9.
A wide variety of topics are studied, including climate change, poverty, natural features and processes and sustainable resource use. There is also a fieldwork element included in the course and a strong focus on developing geographical and analytical skills.
The course consists of three sections within Geography, assessed in three papers.
Geographical skills including map, graph, data and diagram interpretation are assed in all three of the above sections.
Year 9 - Urban issues and challenges and The challenge of natural hazards
Year 10 - The changing economic world, Physical landscapes in the UK and physical field work
Year 11 - The challenge of resource management and The living world along with human fieldwork
Skills and issue evaluation materials are taught throughout in all years
More information and the full syllabus can be found at:
AQA (1-9) Geography 8035
Students all follow a linear course which is assessed by three terminal examinations at the end of Year 11. Two of the papers are worth 35% each of the overall qualification, and one is worth 30%. In order to complete Paper 3: Geographical Applications, students will be required to undertake field work, investigating both human and physical environments. Paper 3 also includes a pre-release section for which students receive the information 12 weeks prior to the exam.
Geography is a subject which relies on a range of skills including observation, investigation, critical thinking, making connections, communication and discussion. Students will develop literacy skills to critically discuss source information, and also numeracy skills in order to create and interpret maps, graphs and data. To succeed in GCSE Geography, students will demonstrate the ability to formulate enquiries, interpret findings and evaluate their own work. The course requires students to become independent learners who have the inclination to extend their own learning beyond the classroom. Geography is concerned with real world and current issues and students will gain awareness of these.
Above all, students will need to be curious about the earth, and be able to apply ideas to new and changing settings.
Key Stage 5
A popular and successful course which builds on students experiences from GSCE, with many who have studied it recently going onto University to further their study. The exam board followed is the same as GCSE so themes and assessment style and similar aiding pupils understanding.
Alongside the study areas assessed via examination (one physical, one human worth 80% in total), the course also allows for students to research and investigate an area of their own choosing in completing the Individual Investigation, a Non Examined Assessment (NEA), worth 20% of the A level.
Content studied can be seen below.
Syllabus AQA Geography 7037
Subject content taught
1. Water and carbon cycles
3. Coastal systems and landscapes
7. Global systems and global governance
8. Changing places
10. Population and the environment
Geography fieldwork investigation
When students finish studying geography, they have the relevant world knowledge to allow them to make valuable, considered decisions about how to live their lives and the impact they will have on others and the environment. Hopefully linking this to thoughts of living within a sustainable way so that the future of our planet is in safe hands.
Possible Careers and Future Education
The Geography GCSE course provides students with the skills and experience to progress onto A-level and beyond, and access a wide variety of future careers.
Studying Geography opens up many career paths. Students can go on to study courses such as Human or Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Geology, Architecture and International Relations. People with a Geography degree and other qualifications can go on to become: Human Rights Workers; Teachers; Architects; Planners; Interpreters; Aid Workers; Environmental Scientists; Expedition Managers and GPS Developers to name but a few.