What is Geography? It’s not all colouring in or all about maps and capital cities – we’re not stuck in the past, we are a dynamic subject!
EVERYTHING is Geography! I challenge you to open a daily newspaper or catch the latest news update and NOT come across some item which is Geography related.
In very broad terms, Geography teaches students about the Earth’s places, peoples, environments and societies.
At the core of the subject lies the understanding of the relationships and impacts between people and the environment. It recognizes the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world and the links between them.
Geography as a National Curriculum subject is taught to all students up to Year 9. After that, students choose whether or not they wish to study Geography further at GCSE. As Geography is now a subject which contributes towards the EBAC, uptake at GCSE has increased.
Students in Years 7-11 are taught within the W-Block area of the school in one of three specialist teaching rooms on the lower corridor. Each room is equipped with an interactive smart-board and P.C. projector. Currently there are four very experienced staff who teach Geography:
‘The only true way of learning Geography is through the soles of your feet.’
Fieldwork is essential to the teaching of Geography. We believe it to be a vital aid to teaching and learning, particularly for those students who are visual and kinesthetic learners.
Fieldwork is at the core of the subject, it gives students a greater awareness of their environment and their place within it.
It also allows us to take the subject or topic beyond the constraints of the classroom.
Field trips help to develop and improve skills, in particular, data collection, data handling, organisational skills, team building, sketches, annotation and analysis. It provides students with first hand case study material – ammunition for examination answers.
Finally it allows students to visit places which they may not necessarily have the opportunity to normally visit.
Currently all Year 10 students visit The Nant Ffrancon Valley in Snowdonia when studying ‘The topic of Ice on the land’. Students who have opted for the Foundation GCSE course study the alternative topic of ‘The Coastal Zone’ and visit The Sefton Coast. Year 10 students also vist a farm in the summer term as part of their studies for the Rural environments topic.
Year 11 students currently visit the nearby urban area of St.Helens in order to collect primary data for their controlled Assessment. The title, and therefore focus of this study, changes every year.
Field work becomes even more essential at A-level as the OCR exam specification emphasises the expectation of students to study local examples of ecosystems as well as conducting first hand data collection. Year 12 students currently visit the River Roddlesworth, The Sefton Coast and The Mosedale Valley in Cumbria. Year 13 students visit Ruff Woods in Ormskirk and Ainsdale sand dunes.