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The Geography Department has an enthusiastic and committed team of teachers. The department is dedicated to instilling a love of Geography that enriches and inspires all our students to go on in life and achieve their potential. We want students to gain academic understanding of the physical and human processes that shape our world, while at the same time become global citizens who are aware and considerate of sustainability and the challenges facing our world today. Students study an enquiry-based curriculum that is rooted in specialised knowledge and builds in opportunities for application within Geography at a range of scales. Geographical knowledge and skills are embedded throughout so that students are confident and able to interrogate information and data in a range of different forms. We plan so that students are also able to progress in their use and understanding of fieldwork skills, numeracy and other cross-curricular or transferable skills.

The KS3 Geography Curriculum aims to build knowledge and skills with an enquiry-led approach to both physical and human geographical topics. These are designed to help students develop contextual understanding of different places and scales, but also engage and develop curiosity about the incredible world around them. Increasingly, we are offering more opportunities for fieldwork, out-of-class learning and the use of technology (e.g. Digimaps) so that students make wider connections in their learning. The curriculum structure and other tools (e.g. knowledge organisers) will support students in articulating this using specialised vocabulary and a solid understanding of key geographical concepts. KS3 is an important foundation for those students who take Geography further to GCSE or A Level, but the curriculum also aims to enrich

KS3 Curriculum Map

Qualification: GCSE Geography
Exam Board: EDUQAS Geography B

About the course: WJEC Eduqas GCSE Geography B aims to enable learners to think ‘like a geographer’. That is to say, learners will develop the skills necessary to conduct framed enquiries in the classroom and in the field in order to develop their understanding of specialised geographical concepts and current geographical issues.
Students will learn to:

  • develop the ability to think creatively, for example, by posing questions that relate to geographical process and concepts that include questioning about spatial pattern and geographical change
  • develop the ability to think scientifically by collecting and recording appropriate evidence from a range of sources, including fieldwork, before critically assessing the validity of this evidence and synthesising their findings to reach evidenced conclusions that relate to the initial aim of their enquiry
  • develop the ability to think independently by applying geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real world contexts. In so doing they should appreciate that geography can be ‘messy’ i.e. that real geography does not always match typical or predicted outcomes.

The topics covered include:
•    Urbanisation in contrasting global cities
•    Urban and rural processes and change in the UK
•    A global perspective on development issues
•    Shaping the landscape- coasts and coastal management
•    Shaping the landscape- rivers and river management
•    Climate change- cause and effect
•    How ecosystems function
•    Ecosystems under threat
•    Water resources and management
•    Desertification

How it is assessed?

  • Component 1: Investigating Geographical Issues Written Examination (1 hour 45 minutes, 40% of qualification)
  • Component 2: Problem Solving Geography Written Examination (1 hour 30 minutes, 30% of qualification)
  • Component 3: Applied Fieldwork Enquiry Written Examination (1 hour 30 minutes, 30% of qualification)

KS4 Curriculum Map

We follow the Edexcel specification for our A Level Geography course. This is a two year course where students are supported to become accomplished independent learners, who are able to articulate and demonstrate a deep understanding of the concepts underpinning the study of the physical and human environments. The KS5 curriculum builds student abilities in a variety of areas so that they not only become proficient in answering A Level exam questions (students will complete three examinations as part of the course), but are also able to thrive in the rigour of academic study. Students are also required to complete an independent investigation worth 20% of their grade. Fieldwork is an important element of this and there is an opportunity to partake in a residential trip to support skills and data collection. it is our aim that A Level Geography students leave Churchdown with a skill-set and mind-set that will flourish in university and employment beyond.

Topics of study:
1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
2: Coastal Landscapes and Change
3: Globalisation
4: Regenerating Places    

5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity  
6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
7: Superpowers  
8: Global Development and Connections

How is it assessed?

  • Paper 1 “Physical Geography” written examination (2 hours 15 minutes, 30% of the qualification)
  • Paper 2 “Human Geography” written examination (2 hours 15 minutes, 30% of the qualification)
  • Paper 3 “Synoptic Investigation” written examination (2 hours 15 minutes, 20% of the qualification)
  • Non-examined assessment – independent investigation (20% of qualification)

KS5 Curriculum Map

A variety of day trips are traditionally run throughout key stage 3 such as trips to the Forest of Dean to investigate Rivers and Tourism along with many smaller outdoor investigations of the school grounds and local area (e.g. microclimates, crime perceptions).  At GCSE pupils go on a one-day field trip to investigate various geographical issues, as outlined by the exam board. In previous years we have collected fieldwork data in Brean (Berrow Sand Dunes), Western super Mare and central Bristol. There is a Year 12 residential fieldtrip that takes place in South Wales. Students conduct a series of fieldwork tasks in the local area (e.g. Cardiff Bay, coastal processes in the Gower) and this helps to inspire and inform students about their own ideas for their Geography A Level coursework. Biannual international fieldwork trips are also offered for those students excited about the study of Geography abroad. In 2017 we visited the incredible landscapes of Iceland and in 2019 students from Years 9-13 undertook an amazing exploration of urban China. The next expedition promises to be as just as exciting!

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