Head of Department
Mrs R Rogers
Geography is one of the most exciting and important academic disciplines, and both GCSE and A level courses are very popular at Kingsley.
It is highly relevant for students today because it promotes an understanding of the interactions between people and environments, and focuses on the study of places. It provides an opportunity to integrate ideas from the humanities, social sciences and physical sciences and as such it can be studied in conjunction with a range of other subjects. The study of geography rarely leads to a specific area of employment, yet geography graduates are welcomed into a very wide range of jobs.
We aim to make the study of geography interesting, relevant, rewarding and most of all fun. We use a variety of approaches; particularly enquiry based methods and active learning. Girls are encouraged to use key terminology in their writing and to refer in detail to places we study. Geographical skills are developed as an integral part of the course throughout the key stages. All age groups undertake fieldwork and a residential visit is organised for both GCSE and AS level students.
Key Stage 3: Years 7-9
In Year 7 after learning OS map skills girls look at Britain and consider its natural and manmade features as well as population distribution and weather. They look at the weathering, the water cycle basic physical processes. A field trip is undertaken to develop orienteering skills and geographical techniques.
The Year 8 syllabus builds upon understanding of concepts and processes with a focus on the idea of sustainability. Girls consolidate understanding of physical processes by looking at coasts. The unit on Africa gives further place knowledge. We consider the concept of resource use and focus on China as a case study. The link between the environment and people is explored through the study of global biomes where we also further consider the concept of sustainable management.
In Year 9 we consolidate and deepen understanding of global processes and issues with units on plate tectonics and globalisation, focusing on India. A trip to Cadbury World consolidates understanding of globalisation and the level of interdependence between places and the role of transnational corporations in the world today. Girls can develop more complex skills during a unit on crime.
Key Stage 4: GCSE
We follow the AQA A syllabus at GCSE. The course contains a balance between physical and human geography.
GCSE coursework involves a controlled assessment that accounts for 25% of the total marks. In 2014 we are again taking girls to the Brecon Beacons to investigate the impacts of tourism in a National Park. The units chosen for study at this level are; Changing Urban Environments, Tourism and The Development Gap plus Rocks, Resources and Scenery, the Coastal Zone and The Living World.
Key Stage 5: A Level
Our AS students complete a fieldtrip to Blencathra field centre near Keswick where they experience a variety of human, physical and statistical techniques. Whilst there is no coursework component, the skills paper tests the candidates experience of fieldwork at this level and their understanding of planning, executing and evaluating a research project. The topics at AS are the compulsory units; Rivers, floods and management and Population change plus Cold environments or Coastal environments and Health Issues.
At A2 an issues based approach studies contemporary geographical themes; Plate tectonics and associated hazards and World Cities or Contemporary Conflict Issues plus either Weather and climate and associated hazards or Development and Globalization. There is a separate paper which assesses the candidates’ ability to use their skills of analysis synthesis and evaluation. Pre-release material is issued two months prior to the paper to facilitate research into the area and issue selected from the specification content.
As this subject is so relevant to today’s world we encourage girls to keep in touch with current affairs either through watching the news, reading newspapers or online sources. We participate in residential trips abroad such as West Coast USA in 2011 and 2015, Iceland in 2013 and are currently planning a further trip to Iceland and New York.