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Geography

The study of Geography allows us to develop the intellectual and emotional character of our students through their study of the diversity of environments, human experience and to inspire students to be curious, questioning and reflective individuals.

Geography offers the unique opportunity to examine a wide range of processes at the physical and human interface. A key focus of our work is to encourage empathy, and an understanding of sustainable development.

We aim to include a wide variety of approaches in delivering study material enabling students to attain high levels of learning and personal achievement. A major feature of our lesson planning is to develop problem solving and thinking skills with an active approach to learning, helping students to become effective and independent learners.

Staffing

Head of Department

Mr R Coyle

Teachers

Miss C Timmins

Mrs Y Ozturk

Miss K Greensmith (Key Stage 4)

Mrs J Bridgland (Years 7 and 8)

Miss P Knuckey (Key Stage 3 and 4)

Prefects

Elliot Carlton

Henry Urand

Ktrena Adams

Sandra Manoj​

Ambassadors

Alice Williams

Courtney Bartlett

Milcah John

Key Stage 3

Content 

Year 7 

  • A local study based on chalk grassland following a field work day on the North Downs in September
  • Global Connections
  • Impact of Tourism
  • Physical Processes in Coastal Environments
  • Threats to the Rainforest Regions.
  • Physical Processes and Management  of Flooding in River environments

Year 8 

  • Geographical Map Skills
  • Urban Environments
  • Antarctica
  • Tectonic Hazards
  • Trade, Debt and Aid Issues

Assessment and feedback 

Students will be assessed at the end of each topic in the format of a formal assessment.  Students will receive written and verbal feedback on each assessment.  Students will also have an end of year assessment which will cover all of the topics studied in the academic year.

 

Homework will be set when appropriate and will be assessed through either teacher comment written or verbal, self-assessed or peer assessed.  We will also give verbal feedback during the lessons when appropriate. 

The school Reward System will be applied as appropriate.

Assessment grids

Formal assessments are completed at the end of each unit of study. The Expected Standard criteria for each describes the expectations to the students.

Please click here for the Year 7 assessment grids

Please click here for the Year 8 assessment grids

Key Stage 4

Content

AQA GCSE Geography 8035

Paper 1 - Living with the Physical Environment

Section A - The Challenge of Natural Hazards

Tectonic hazards; Tropical storms; Extreme weather in UK; and Climate change.

Section B - Physical Landscapes in the UK

UK Physical landscapes; Coastal Landscapes and Management; and River Landscapes and Management.

Section C - The Living World

Ecosystems; Rainforest; and Hot deserts.

Paper 2 - Challenges in the Human Environment

Section A - Urban Issues and Challenges

World population growth; A case study of a LIC/NNE city; A case study of a Major UK city; and Sustainable Urban Living.

Section B - The Changing Economic World

Global variations in development; Strategies to Reduce the Development Gap; Case study of a LIC/NNE; and the Economic Future of UK.

Section C - The Challenge of Resource Management

The Global Distribution of Food, Water and Energy Resources; Demand and Supply for Water Resources; Overview of Resources in the UK; and Strategies to Improve these Supplies.

Paper 3 - Geographical Applications

Section A – Issue Evaluation

This section contributes a critical thinking and problem-solving element to the assessment structure. The assessment will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate geographical skills and applied knowledge and understanding by looking at a particular issue(s) derived from the specification using secondary sources.

Section B – Fieldwork

Students will undertake two geographical enquiries, each of which will include the use of primary data, collected as part of the fieldwork exercise. The two enquiries will be carried out in contrasting environments to gain an understanding of both physical and human geography.

Assessment and feedback 

Paper 1 - Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology). 35% of GCSE.

Paper 2 - Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology). 35% of GCSE.

Paper 3 - Written exam: 1 hour

76 marks (including 6 marks for SPGST) Pre-release resources made available from 15 March in the year of the exam. 30% of GCSE.

Tracking progress

Assessments will be set at the end of each topic to track students’ progress. Marking of assessments will be completed within two weeks, if not before. Students will then receive targeted feedback in a subsequent lesson. Students will also be assessed at the end of each academic year to consolidate the learning to date and to identify any gaps in their knowledge.

Homework will be set throughout the year, where appropriate, and is usually based on GCSE style questions. It will be collected and returned to the student with appropriate formative comments, targets and encouragement or it will be self-assessed or peer assessed within the subsequent lesson. The criteria established by the examination board may be used to form the comment made. Such marking will be completed within two weeks, if not before.

Students are responsible for maintaining and collating their notes in an orderly fashion. Additional handouts should be collated within their file. Students are also responsible for completing work missed due to absences.

Assessments and marking

Assessments will be set at the end of each topic to track students’ progress. Marking of assessments will be completed within two weeks, if not before. Students will then receive targeted feedback in a subsequent lesson. Students will also be assessed at the end of each academic year to consolidate the learning to date and to identify any gaps in their knowledge.

Homework will be set throughout the year, where appropriate, and is usually based on GCSE style questions. It will be collected and returned to the student with appropriate formative comments, targets and encouragement. The criteria established by the examination board may be used to form the comment made. Such marking will be completed within two weeks, if not before.

Specification 

Please click here for the AQA GCSE Geography specification

A Level

Content 

A Level Geography 7037

Students will study the new linear A Level qualification from AQA.  This will be externally examined at the end of Year 13.  Students will study a range of both physical and human geography topics. There are two exam papers and one piece of coursework for this qualification.

Component 1: Physical geography

Section A: Water and carbon cycles

Section B: Coastal systems and landscapes

Section C: Hazards

Component 2: Human geography

Section A: Global systems and global governance

Section B: Changing places

Section C: Contemporary urban environments 

Component 3: Geographical investigation

Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content. Fieldwork involves a residential fieldtrip at cost of approximately £300.

Assessment and feedback 

External assessment

Component 1

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A Level

Component 2

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A Level

Component 3

  • 3,000–4,000 words coursework
  • 60 marks
  • 20% of A Level
  • Marked by teachers
  • Moderated by AQA

Students are required to undertake an independent investigation. This must incorporate a significant element of fieldwork. The fieldwork undertaken as part of the individual investigation may be based on either human or physical aspects of geography, or a combination of both. They may incorporate field data and/or evidence from field investigations collected individually or in groups. What is important is that students work on their own on contextualising, analysing and reporting of their work to produce an independent investigation with an individual title that demonstrates required fieldwork knowledge, skills and understanding.

Teachers will provide broad parameters for students’ investigation proposals and be able to discuss with students their initial exploratory planning and tentative investigation titles.  Teachers are also able to review each student’s independent investigation proposal.

Teachers are not allowed to mark work provisionally or give specific guidance on how to make improvements to a draft in order to meet the assessment criteria.

Tracking progress

 

Marking and assessment

External assessment

 

Component 1

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

120 marks

40% of A Level

 

Component 2

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

120 marks

40% of A Level

 

Component 3

3,000–4,000 words coursework

60 marks

20% of A Level

Marked by teachers

Moderated by AQA

 

Students are required to undertake an independent investigation. This must incorporate a significant element of fieldwork. The fieldwork undertaken as part of the individual investigation may be based on either human or physical aspects of geography, or a combination of both. They may incorporate field data and/or evidence from field investigations collected individually or in groups. What is important is that students work on their own on contextualising, analysing and reporting of their work to produce an independent investigation with an individual title that demonstrates required fieldwork knowledge, skills and understanding.

 

Teachers will provide broad parameters for students’ investigation proposals and be able to discuss with students their initial exploratory planning and tentative investigation titles.  Teachers are also able to review each student’s independent investigation proposal.

 

Teachers are not allowed to mark work provisionally or give specific guidance on how to make improvements to a draft in order to meet the assessment criteria.

Tracking progress, marking and assessment

Students will be assessed frequently through formal exams at the end of each topic. Students will also sit PPE exams in both Year 12 and 13. Homework will be set throughout the year, where appropriate, and is usually based on A Level style questions. It will be collected and returned to the student with appropriate formative comments, targets and encouragement or it will be self-assessed or peer assessed within the subsequent lesson. The criteria established by the examination board may be used to form the comment made. Such marking will be completed within two weeks, if not before.

 

Students are responsible for maintaining and collating their notes in an orderly fashion. They will use lined or plain paper and secure ring binder files. Additional handouts will be collated within this file.

All students have their own core textbook to support independent learning and homework activities. In addition students are also expected to keep up to date with current world events, documentaries and articles that relate to their programme of study.

It is the students’ responsibility to catch up work missed due to absence and to ensure they meet the deadlines set for the fieldwork investigation.

Homework, classwork or examination practice answers that require comment will be collected regularly and returned to the student with appropriate formative comments, targets and encouragement. The criteria established by the examination board may be used to form the comment made. Such marking will be completed within two weeks, if not before.

As this is a two year course, students will be formally assessed after completing each topic.  Students will complete 2 physical and 2 human topics in Year 12, and in Year 13 complete study of the remaining content alongside the coursework element of the course.

Students are also formally assessed at the end of Year 12 with questions that reflect the demands of A Level style questions.

Specifcation 

Please click here for the AQA A Level Geography specification

Exam Support

Advice

  1. Structure and organise an argument that directly responds to the command words in the question.
  2. Choose appropriate examples and case studies to support your broad ideas
  3. Make reasoned evaluations and judgements concerning geographical outcomes that are supported using case study material
  4. Use appropriate, technical and specialist language
  5. Demonstrate synopticity by making purposeful and valid links between different aspects of the topics studied

Recognise variability in a range of attitudes, values and decision making in geographical processes and outcomes.

Past papers

As these are new specifications, GCSE and A Level past papers will only be avaliable from 2018. 

Useful external links

http://www.coolgeography.co.uk/A-level/AQA/AQA%20A%20level.htm

http://www.s-cool.co.uk/a-level

Geography review magazine subscription https://www.hoddereducation.co.uk/media/Documents/Magazines/Subscription%20Form%202014/Geography-Review.pdf

https://revisionworld.com/a2-level-level-revision/geography-level-revision

http://www.geography.org.uk

Careers

Potential careers

This slideshare contains useful information about careers in Geography:

https://www.slideshare.net/funkygeography/jobs-with-geography-3207168 

Often directly relating to a geography degree, and working with the world around you, these careers link directly to many of the modules available to you through the Geography department. They build on the skills and knowledge learnt directly from your modules. Many roles in this sector will require the use of mapping or analysis software:

Environment and Development:

Roles in these sectors are constantly changing as high profile issues are brought in and out of focus, with funding for projects sometimes dependant on government policy or charitable giving. Development work may be long term projects, short term humanitarian relief, or a short term gap year/vacation project and may involve working in poverty-stricken areas. 

For many areas of work within environmental and development sectors it is common to have a master’s degree and both career paths need a passion to make a difference and an interest in global affairs or the future of the planet:

  • Diplomat
  • Environmental Education Officer 
  • Humanitarian Programme Manager
  • Landscape Architect
  • Nature Conservation Officer
  • Recycling Officer
  • Waste Management Officer
  • Water Quality Scientist

Extra-curricular

Trips and visits

Year 7 carry out an investigation into chalk grassland, North Downs, during September. This is an important day in their process of “settling in and making new friends” at Highworth. It also allows the students some more informal time together. The geographical focus of the day is the study of the unique chalk grassland in terms of the ecosystem, succession and management. Primary data is collected in groups and presented and analysed individually in the classroom.

Year 9 complete one of two compulsory fieldwork days for their GCSE in the summer term of Year 9.  One day is spent at the Reculver coastline investigating beach processes and management.  This work is then written up into a piece of coursework during the summer term to aid in the Geographical Application and Skills paper.

Year 10 carry out their second compulsory fieldwork days for their GCSE in the summer term of Year 10.  Students spend a day contrasting two areas of Ashford in terms of residential and environmental characteristics.  Again this will be written up into a piece of coursework to help in the Geographical Application and Skills paper.

Year 12 undertake a residential course over 6 days to the Northern Lake District near Keswick. The highly skilled and qualified Field Studies Council staff leading and teaching the necessary techniques and skills. The students have access to sophisticated equipment and GIS systems. Primary data for the fieldwork unit is collected during a study day on rivers or an urban day based in Carlisle. The opportunity to work in unfamiliar environments and the stunning scenery is immensely valuable and the fieldtrip is usually the highlight of Year 12.  Significant inter personal skills such as team work and decision-making are also developed during the week.

News

We are delighted to welcome Mrs Attwood to the Department. She is an experienced teacher of Geography and has spent the past few years teaching in Portsmouth. Mrs Attwood will be replacing Mrs Valente who is ‘stepping down’ from teaching after 20 years at Highworth.