Geography is the study of different places and how humans interact with them.
As geographers, students will explore the Earth’s physical properties and the human societies that have spread across it! They will also examine how human culture interacts with the natural environment and the way those locations and places can have an impact on people. Geography seeks to understand where things are found, why they are there, and how they develop and change over time. Put simply, it is the study of everything around us!
Geography at Key Stage 3
Geography at Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) is a great subject. It is broad enough that all students can find something that they enjoy. Here students will learn a multitude of things about the world around us. They will study a diverse number of topics relating to Earthquakes, Volcanoes, River and Coastal Environments, Mapping, International Development, Industry and Factories, Climate, Weather and much, much more.
While studying students will get the chance to develop a number of skills, they will:
- Extend their locational knowledge and deepen their awareness of the world.
- Understand geographical similarities, differences and links between places through the study of human and physical geography.
- Understand the physical and human processes that shape the Earth.
- Understand how human and physical processes work with, and change landscapes, environments and the climate.
- Develop a number of Geographical skills, such as map reading and drawing, data construction and analysis and even become familiar with GIS (a computer program to help you to make maps).
Key Stage 4 will build upon everything that the students learn at Key Stage 3, studying specific topics in more detail.
Here students will cover two topics, from a choice of three, within the unit of “The Natural Environment”, two topics, from a choice of three, within the unit of “People and their Environments”, and one topic, from a choice of three, within the unit of “Global Issues”. Each topic will be taught using a range of case studies that highlight a specific topic.
As well as this, a major part of the IGCSE course is the practical section. Here students will partake in a number of fieldwork opportunities, which will range from river and coastal investigation trips to surveys of urban environments. This will provide students with a hands-on and fun approach to the subject, allowing them to really gain a sense of the work that a geographer does.
At the end of the two-year course, students will sit two exams comprising of different sections where they will have to give a range of longer and shorter answers.
Geography AS and A Level
Geography for Key Stage 5 (AS and A Level) allows students to interact, in greater detail, with the issues of the surrounding world and the issues within it. Students will develop an important understanding of what is happening around them, in a fun and exciting way.
In Year 12, we study two units, Unit 1: Global Challenges and Unit 2: Geographical Investigations. The first unit is made up of the topics - World at risk and Going global. In the second unit we will take a closer look at how physical and human issues influence lives and can be managed, on a local scale. There are two compulsory topics that form the second unit; Crowded Coasts and Urban Problems, Planning and Regeneration.
Students are expected to take part in two fieldwork investigations that link with their course. The exams will consist of two papers which involve a mix of shorter questions and some that require longer essay type responses. The first paper will be based on Unit 1 and the second on Unit 2. Students are expected to use their gained knowledge and develop their arguments and opinions.
In Year 13, students will be expected to take a more in depth approach to the subject. This year students will study two further units, Unit 3: Contested Planet and Unit 4: Researching Geography.
Unit 3 consists of a number of compulsory and optional topics, including:
- Atmosphere and Weather Systems
- Biodiversity Under Threat
- Energy Security
- Water Conflicts
- Superpower Geographies
- Bridging the Development Gap
Unit 4 will require students to take part in an extended research project, choosing one topic of interest, either physical or human. They are expected to use a range of secondary sources to help them write an extended essay on the topic of their choice.
Why study Geography?
Geography is an interesting and diverse subject, allowing students to develop their understanding of the world around them. Students will learn how to develop arguments, undertake research and investigate different topics. It provides students with the essential skills needed to succeed in university and the wider world.