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    Geography

    'Geography is not only up-to-date and relevant, it is one of the most exciting, adventurous and valuable subjects to study today. So many of the world's current problems boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them.'

    Michael Palin cbe

    Staff

    Mrs M Dudley (Subject Leader)

    Miss K Ash

    Miss T Walford

    Vision

    Geography inspires pupils to develop curiosity in both their local spaces, but also to become global citizens and explore their place in the world. The fundamental aim of the Geography Department is to prepare our pupils with the skills and knowledge required in a modern society that is being shaped by pressing issues such as climate change, living sustainably, mass migration, natural disasters and depleting resources. We aim to allow our pupils to think critically about the solutions to geographical issues and to go out and explore for themselves.

     

    Intent

    The geography curriculum is designed to ensure that students develop a good understanding of key concepts and vocabulary. The content covered is shaped around the OCR specification throughout all key stages. Our curriculum covers key areas of both human and physical geography and focuses specifically on key topics of natural hazards, weather and climate, climate change, ecosystems, changing populations and migration patterns, and also the geomorphological processes that shape our local, national and international coastlines and rivers.

    Fieldwork is a key component in every key stage, that provides an opportunity for students to get out of the classroom and develop and extend their geographical knowledge in the ‘real-world’. Fieldwork incorporates cross-curricular links to subjects such as maths, computing and the sciences, as pupils collect data in the field, and then proceed to analyse and evaluate this data through graphs and GIS mapping.

    Recognising the importance of cultivating links beyond school, the department are members of the Geographical Association and Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and have links with ESRI UK and Digimaps to develop proficiency in GIS.

    Key Stage 3: The KS3 Geography curriculum begins to lay the foundations for future study. Pupils begin year 7 by acquiring fundamental skills in map reading and understanding place, from local to global, before moving on to study weather and climate, climate change and global warming, economies and deserts of the world. Enrichment activities include a weather project completed on the school site during lesson time, where pupils analyse the microclimate of Dover.

    Our Year 8 curriculum begins with the topic of changing population, a topic that incorporates migration and is a fundamental building block to GCSE and A-Level study. Pupils then study the pressing topic of human’s reliance on (dwindling) natural resources and use their decision-making skills to analyse and evaluate responses and solutions to this issue that faces society today. The topics of Asia and Africa are covered in year 8 and provide pupils with cultural capital as misconceptions of these continents are addressed and the real social, economic and environmental characteristics are explored. Year 8 is concluded with the topic of rivers, where enrichment includes a fieldwork trip to the local river of The Dour.

    The year 9 curriculum of study commences by studying natural hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes, where pupils explore what causes eruptions and tremors to occur, but how these tectonic events shape the physical landscape and the social and economic consequences for human populations. The next topic studied is development, a topic that is crucial to further studies into KS4 and KS5. In this topic, pupils understand why poverty and gender inequality continues to exist in our modern society. Year 9 study incudes physical topics such as exploring how ice has shaped the world, but also human topics such as understanding how and why conflict exists in the Middle East and also an exploration of Russia, understanding everything from the climate, economic structure, demographic structure and ecosystems that exist in this vast country.

    Key Stage 4: In this key stage we build on existing knowledge and introduce new concepts to facilitate stretch and challenge across a broad range of topics including: Distinctive Landscapes, Urban Futures, Global Hazards, Ecosystems, Development, Climate Change, Resource Reliance and UK in the 21st Century. Alternating between physical and human topics enables students to appreciate the flexibility of Geography as a bridge between Social and Earth Sciences. Students use a variety of source materials to enable both quantitative and qualitative analysis to make informed evidence-based judgements.

    Key Stage 5: This key stage encompasses an enquiry-based curriculum that covers the topics of Changing Space and Place, Migration, Human Rights, Tectonic Hazards, Disease Dilemmas, Earth life Support Systems and Coasts. Students develop synoptic links, analyse multiple data sources, recognise gaps in the evidence and develop reasoned arguments. Debating and discussion develop and enhance spoken language, presentation and leadership skills. Students become proficient in the applications and uses of IT and GIS, particularly through an Independent Investigation which involves designing and executing a piece of rigorous research, handling large datasets from primary and secondary sources, preparing effective maps, employing a range of graphical and statistical techniques and critically evaluating, interpreting and combining different types of geographical evidence.

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