“More than ever we need the geographer's skills and foresight to help us learn about our planet - how we use it and how we abuse it" - Michael Palin
Subject Leader for Geography: Mr J Attrill
Geography Teachers: Miss Law & Miss Mooney
Geography at St Wilfrid's provides students with new ways of thinking about the world in the 21st Century. The subject provides students with ways of analysing, explaining and understanding the physical and human processes of the world around them.
The subject enables students to follow and participate in debates in significant local, national and global issues and takes students beyond their own immediate experiences. Geography develops major skill areas; map and fieldwork skills; cross curricular skills such as ICT, literacy and numeracy; as well as an increasing awareness of the world around us and the concept of sustainability. We want students to become global citizens and show a keen awareness of the geography around them, which we encourage through a range of fieldwork opportunities. Geography is everywhere and students at St Wilfrid's develop a keen awareness and appreciation of the geography that shapes their lives at both global and local scales.
Our subject is ambitious in its content and will continually adapt and move forward with regards to our changing world, which adapts to the needs of all its pupils. We strive to make every lesson feel contemporary and allow all students to better understand the challenges and opportunities that we have as humans on planet Earth.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 students will start with a topic called ‘Introducing Geography’ which covers the basics of continents, countries and capitals across the world, UK geography and atlas skills. Students will then move on to a topic called ‘Population Explosion!’ where they will learn about the world’s growing population, how it affects different places and how countries try to manage this. In term 3 students will learn about ‘Brilliant Biomes’ which focuses on the issues and characteristics of major world environments such as the tropical rainforest, hot deserts and the tundra. Term 4 has a focus on ‘Map Skills’ where students will learn to use grid references, direction, scale, map symbols and contour lines to accurately read a range of maps. Students will finish Year 7 by learning about ‘Wild Weather’ which covers how to measure the weather, why the UK has such changeable weather and extreme weather events. Students will also complete an on-site piece of fieldwork about local weather and learn how to analyse data and write their own conclusions.
Year 8 begins with ‘Crashing Coasts’, focusing on coastal processes (such as erosion, transportation and deposition), how they shape the coastline and how humans try to manage them. There is also an opportunity for a field trip in this term. Students will then learn about ‘Global Development’, which explores how unequal the world is, the newly emerging economies and a focus on China’s recent growth.
Students will move on to a topic named ‘Terrifying Tectonics’ which covers what happens at plate boundaries, how earthquakes and volcanoes are created and the impacts of these disasters in countries around the world. Term 4 focuses on ‘Crowded Cities’ which describes the process of urbanisation, how life is changing in megacities such as Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai, and how cities can be made more sustainable. In the summer term students will learn about ‘Energy & Climate Change’ which discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different types of energy, the causes and impacts of climate change and how we can aim for a greener energy future.
Year 9 students start by learning about ‘UK Landscapes’ to help them learn more about the physical processes that shape our country in which we live, with a focus on fluvial (river) processes and glaciation. Students then move on to a topic named ‘Aspirational Africa’ which explores the geography, historical background and culture of the continent of Africa and how it is set to change in the 21st Century. In the spring term students will learn about ‘Extreme Hazards’ which focuses particularly on tropical storms and the impacts they can have on populations that live in these hazard zones. Students will then move on to study ‘Sustainable Futures’ where they will link together lots of their previous knowledge throughout KS3 to discuss contemporary issues regarding pollution, climate change and overpopulation to consider how we can move towards a more sustainable future. In the summer term students will finish Year 9 by learning about ‘Tourism’ where we will study the impacts of mass tourism on destinations, how ecotourism can be made more sustainable and possibly even start thinking about planning their own travels for the future after leaving St Wilfrid's!
Key Stage 4
GCSE Geography is an optional subject in Years 10 and 11. The course builds and extends on knowledge learnt in KS3 and allows more in-depth study of key geography themes. There is an opportunity for a physical geography fieldtrip to the Sussex coast in Year 10 and an urban geography fieldtrip to East London in Year 11.
The Year 10 cohort starting in September 2022 will be studying the AQA GCSE Geography course. All information can be found here: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035/specification-at-a-glance
Assessment is made up of 3 exam papers:
- Paper 1 - Living with the physical environment (The challenge of natural hazards, The living world, Physical landscapes in the UK)
- Paper 2 - Challenges in the human environment (Urban issues and challenges, The changing economic world, The challenge of resource management)
- Paper 3 - Geographical applications (Issue evaluation, Fieldwork, Geographical skills)
The Year 11 cohort that started in September 2021 are studying the Edexcel B GCSE Geography course. All information can be found here: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/geography-b-2016.html
Assessment is made up of 3 exam papers:
- Paper 1 - Global geographical issues (Hazardous earth, Development dynamics, Challenges of an urbanising world)
- Paper 2 - UK geographical issues (The UK's evolving physical landscape, The UK's evolving human landscape, Geographical investigations)
- Paper 3 - People and environment issues - making geographical decisions (People and the biosphere, Forests under threat, Consuming energy resources, Making a geographical decision)
Key Stage 5
A-Level Geography is split taught by two teachers throughout Year 12 and Year 13, with a focus on the human and physical geography topics allowing for deeper discussion into important issues. There is an extended residential fieldtrip at the end of Year 12, which will allow students to focus on further independent investigation into a specific topic of study.
VI Form geographers will study the Edexcel A-Level Geography course. All information can be found here: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/geography-2016.html
Assessment is made up of 3 exam papers and 1 non-examined assessment:
- Paper 1 - (Tectonic hazards and processes, Coastal landscapes and change, The water cycle and water insecurity, The carbon cycle and energy security)
- Paper 2 - (Globalisation, Superpowers, Regenerating places, Migration, identity and sovereignty)
- Paper 3 - (Synoptic themes using a resource booklet about a geographical issue)
- NEA - Independent investigation (3000-4000 words)