What is Geography?
In Geography we encourage students to understand the importance of their place in the world as active individuals and global citizens. We help students learn how to make sense of the world. Geography addresses issues that transcend national boundaries and are relevant to global concerns. In Geography students will learn about the world’s physical and human environments. Geography tackles the ‘big’ issues: our global interdependence; poverty and underdevelopment; the rise of the super powers; cultural understanding and tolerance; commerce, trade and industry; issues in London such as regeneration, transport and crime; and environmental responsibility and sustainable development. Geography is the main subject that looks at these issues, which are key to going out into the world of work in the 21st Century.
We motivate students through enquiry, fieldwork and practical study. Students develop a wide range of transferable of skills through their study of Geography. The world in which we live is likely to change more in the next 50 year than it has ever done before. Geography explains why, and it helps students prepare for these changes.
What skills are used in Geography?
- Good communication skills - Geography includes a wide range of written and oral skills writing essays, projects and oral presentations.
- Teamwork – Fieldwork is an essential component of Geography courses and is an ideal setting in which to develop teamwork and leadership skills.
- Autonomy – The preparation of a GCSE or ‘A’ Level investigation fosters such skills.
- Analysis of work – Geographical Investigations and test hypothesis involve analysis.
- ICT, Numeracy and Literacy – Geographers are used to manipulating and interpreting data, which encourages conciseness and clarity in the use of language.
- Asking questions and then finding answers (Enquiry and Research) – Central to Geography is posing questions and investigating answers. Geographers undertake complex decision-making using information at a variety of scales.
- Spatial awareness – Geographers use Maps and GIS all the time. Mapping has witnessed a revolution in recent years by harnessing remote sensing from satellites and the development of Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
What will my child be taught?
Year 7 – Fantastic landscapes, Earthquakes, Contrasting Asia, The Geography of Sport in London, Rivers and Flooding, Geography Skills.
Year 8 – Ecosystems in Australia, Developing Ghana, the Jurassic Coast, the Geography of Crime, Roots and Migration, Food and Farming.
Year 9 – Exciting Cities, Extreme Weather, Capitalism & Globalisation, Awesome Ice landscapes, Global security issues, Population.
How will the work be assessed?
Students are set two assessments per term – typically one project and one in class test at KS3. The work is assessed across three key ideas in geography – 1) Human and Physical Geography Understanding 2) Place Knowledge and 3) Geography Skills. All the content, knowledge and skills needed for the assessments are covered in the lessons and previous smaller homework. Students have a separate ‘assessment’ exercise book where the instruction sheets and level ladders are kept.
How many lessons will my child have each week ?
Three geography lessons per fortnight through the whole year.
There are many exciting extra-curricular programmes on offer. These include the JFS Travel Club, Year 7 Earth as Art (satellite photos) competition, Year 7 Geography Bee, Year 7 trip to the National History Museum, Year 8 Roots Project, Year 9 trip to Wembley Stadium, Year 9 Geography and Math’s Trade Game, Year 10 trip to Box Hill, Year 11 trip to the Olympic park and much more.
What can I do to help my child?
‘Student guides’ are given out at the beginning of each unit which outline the geography aims for each lesson. You may wish to use this sheet to discuss with your child how well they understand the ideas in that unit – using the class book, notes and sheets to help. Assessment guidance sheets and level ladders are given out in plenty of time and are stuck in student’s separate ‘assessment’ exercise book. Use this to ensure students have completed all part of a project (or revision if the assessment is a test). Students are not expected in Years 7 and 8 to much extra ‘internet’ research unless asked to; the content and reading sheets should either be in the class book or saved onto the School’s VLE ‘Fronter’ system. Please also discuss with students more broadly suitable geography ‘issues’ in the news and practise skills such as map work when you visit new places.
Are there are any useful websites?
Geography is a current and ever changing subject. Rather than recommending key websites or text books we would advise you use the reading sheets we update for each unit, which are saved to our VLE ‘Fronter’ system. In terms of geography skills – please practise key map work skills such as using an atlas regularly and the Ordinance Survey website ‘digimaps for schools’ (http://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/cosmo/home).
Your child will be issued with a username and password for this website upon starting geography in Year 7. There is also an excellent OS map skills guidance website http://mapzone.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/mapzone/. In Year 8 and Year 9 students move on to using a web based GIS programme - ‘ARC GIS’, where students can plot spatial data on maps.