Geography

Head of Department - Mr M Webster

Lower School

Outline of Subject    

Geography is everywhere! The world is always changing, and Geography helps us to understand and make sense of it. From features and landforms within the environment to the movement of people from place to place, Geography studies the fundamental inter-relationships between the human and physical worlds: the intrinsic links between people and planet. Geography teaches us to understand how we can live alongside our natural surroundings both now and into the future.

Skill Development  

Fieldwork plays a key role in Geography and is fundamental in helping us to understand the world around us. As Geographers, we try to make sense of our surroundings by collecting data, analysing and interpreting it in order to see what patterns or trends can be found in our results. In this way we can make informed judgements about the human and physical processes that shape our planet and we can therefore take intelligent and responsible action. 

Assessment Styles

Students are assessed in a variety of ways. Within lessons students will be assessed via their written responses and oral contributions. Home study will be set that consolidates the learning within lessons and will be assessed according to criteria set by the class teacher. At certain points throughout the year there will be whole-topic assessment where students will be able to produce an extended piece of writing to demonstrate their depth of understanding and skills. All of these methods will allow the class teacher to provide a GCSE-grade equivalent for each student. 

Additional Information

Geography is a very popular subject at Thornden. The variety of topics covered in Years 7, 8 and 9 engage and challenge the students, and many will therefore continue to study Geography in Years 10 and 11. The dynamic and dedicated teachers within the department ensure that the teaching of Geography at Thornden is always developing and moving forward. It’s our world – let’s find out about it!  

Upper School

Exam Board: AQA

Outline of Subject

The new Geography GCSE is full of exciting and compelling content. It has been refreshed to include a strong focus on the Geography of the UK, whilst maintain its exploration of global issues. There are clear Human Geography and Physical Geography aspects to the course, but these are approached by teaching that shows the inter-relationships between them. Lessons include up-to-date examples and case studies that illustrate the background theory. 

Course Content

Skill Development

Students will learn real-world examples that illustrate the theory behind the processes and features that make up both Human and Physical Geography. They will understand the people–planet relationships that make-up our lives, the spaces that we inhabit and the places that we go. Students will develop an appreciation that when studying Geographical issues, it is important to understand the whole story. Students will be able to interpret evidence from a number of sources such as images, maps, data and graphs; and they will learn how to communicate their conclusions in a clear and coherent way.

Assessment

Throughout the two year course students will learn how to communicate their understanding clearly. This skill is monitored regularly within lessons and home learning tasks. GCSE-style questions will assess their understanding of key content, and at the end of individual units, assessment can take the form of full GCSE questions or decision-making exercises. At the end of Year 11 there are three exams that will examine content, case studies and issues-analysis from the Human Geography and Physical Geography part of the course, along with practical skills developed during fieldwork.  

Additional Information

Geography is a dynamic subject and has always been a very popular choice of GCSE at Thornden. The new GCSE course provides many opportunities to study current affairs and environmental issues. It enables students to develop an understanding of the key issues that we face in the UK and around the world, not only today, but also as we move into the future.

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