The transferable skills learnt in geography enable students to consider questions about people, society, the environment and the planet. All geography lessons require students to identify, assimilate, analyse and communicate data of various kinds. This often entails manipulating maps, diagrams, numbers, graphs or images, using information technology, contributing to structured talk and debate and writing for a variety of audiences.
In Year 7 students learn a broad variety of skills ranging from basic map reading to knowing where places are located around the world. Leading onto wild weather covering case studies within the UK and globally, this will enable students to compare causes, impacts and responses in HICs and LICs. Students then look into how the world is restless and what measures can be taken to reduce the impact, again looking at case studies globally. Finally, they study ecosystems and different climate zones around the world and how humans adapt to living in them.
Year 8 is about preparing students for acquiring the skill set they need to take Geography at GCSE level. Students begin with basic atlas skills, introducing different types of maps. This leads on to shaping our landscapes by covering rivers and coasts which are an essential part of the GCSE physical element. Students also look at urban cities to incorporate the human element of Geography by using case studies of HICs and LICs populations and the reasons for uneven distribution. Finally students undertake an investigation involving studying shopping habits in High Wycombe by conducting questionnaires and other surveys to gather data. Collecting primary data from their local community is an essential transferable skill, which helps students understand concepts and interactions and covers the new element of unit 3 at GSCE.
Year 9 students focus initially on Unit 1, which is the physical geography component of the final exam. The emphasis remains on the human interaction with the physical environment. The first topic students study is Natural Hazards both globally and within the UK. This topic covers many elements including Weather and Tectonics. Students use the same skill set for both aspects of Natural Weather by undertaking a case study and investing the effects, responses and impacts. This leads nicely onto climate change and how we measure the impact, again linking to weather hazards. Students then focus on Ecosystems across the world including tropical rainforests and cold environments focusing on opportunities and challenges of these biomes. Coasts are also studied and students have opportunities throughout KS4 to visit the coast at Eastbourne, Lulworth Cove, Devon and Wales. Water on the land covers rivers and how we use water. The year ends by starting the Unit 2 part of the syllabus and studying The Urban World.
Year 10 students focus initially on Unit 2, the human geography component of the exam. The emphasis is the comparison of urban change in the UK, both population and economy, with the rest of the World. Students will examine resource management and in particular studying the food aspects of resource management. Students will also be concentrating on skills needed for Unit 3, Geographical application.
Year 11 focuses on Unit 3 Geographical skills and application by investigating both a physical and a human project. The field trips necessary for this part of the course are compulsory as they are the basis of the Unit 3 exam and involve preparing the investigation, visiting the destinations to collect data, analysis of the data and, finally, writing conclusions.