WHAT IS GEOGRAPHY?
Geography is about people, places and the environment. By making a study of it we learn about different countries and their problems and so gain a greater insight into our own problems and environment.
About our Department
There are 2 full time members of staff in the Geography Department. All of our pupils are encouraged to participate in active learning; fieldtrips, educational visits and project work are incorporated into our schemes of work.
Year 8 Geography
Topic 1: Introduction to geography and map skills
We begin by finding what geography is all about. We look at how geogrpahy is the study of people and places. We develop our map skills by finding out about different types of maps and how to find places on a map.
Topic 2: Rocks
Rocks are all around us. In this topic we look at the characteristics of the different types of rock. We also investigate the issue of quarrying and the impact that it has.
Topic 3: Ecosystems
Ecosystems are communities of plants and animals and their interaction with the non living world. Through this topic we look at forest ecosystems in Northern Ireland and then focus our attention on the Tropical Rainforests. We discover why this is the most bio-diverse ecosystem in the world. The also investigate the issue of deforestation. We do this by carrying out a ‘murder mystery investigation’. We create a TV documentary discussing, ‘Who killed Chico Mendez?’
Topic 4: Travel and Tourism
This is a very interesting topic where we investigate the tourist industry, looking at different holiday destinations and the impacts that tourism brings. We also think about transport and carry out fieldwork by conducting a road traffic investigation.
Topic 5: Physical and Human Landscapes
Through this topic we reflect upon the beauty of both the natural and build environment. We consider places that are special and important to us.
Year 9 Geography
In Year 9 we study 6 topics:
Topic 1: Map Skills
Being able to read and understand maps is a very important life skill. We learn how to read maps, understand symbols, measure distance and give directions. We also learn how height is represented on a map. An exciting part of this topic is that we create 3D height models and have a competition to see who can produce the best one!
Topic 2: Kenya
It is interesting to learn about countries in the world. Through this topic we learn how different life is Kenya and make comparisons with life there compared to Northern Ireland.
Topic 3: Weather
Could we be the weather forecasters of the future? In this topic we learn about the weather conditions that affect the British Isles. We also carry out some research into extreme weather, with a particular focus on hurricanes.
Topic 4: Rivers
Rivers are natural features all over our landscape. They carve spectacular features, for example, waterfalls. They also can create much damage by flooding. Both of these aspects; the physical features and the issue of flooding are investigated through this topic.
Topic 5: Population
Through this topic we look at where people live. We consider why some countries have many people living in them and other few. We also think about migration and the issues involved in this.
Topic 6: Energy
This is a very current issue. Through our energy topic we consider the concept of sustainability. We organise and run our own book recycling scheme.
Year 10 Geography
Topic 1: Map skills and the European Union
Through this topic, we develop our map skills to be able to find places and describe where they are on a map. We investigate what the European Union is, the member countries and the benefits of being in the EU.
Topic 2: Volcanoes and Earthquakes
These are two of the most powerful nature hazards that can occur. We learn where and why they happen. We also investigate their impact on the places where they occur. Through this topic we also take on the role of journalists and produce newspaper reports on an earthquake event.
Topic 3: The World of Work and Multiculturalism
This is a new topic that we have introduced. Through it we look at the types of jobs that people do. We investigate the issue of migrant workers and their integration into the host society.
Topic 4: Careers in Geography
Geography is a very versatile subject. Through this topic we explore the skills that studying geography helps to develop suitable to the world of work. We also look at careers where the study of Geography has proved very beneficial.
Topic 5: World Development
This is a very interesting topic. We study the contrasts in levels of development between countries. We host a world trade simulation game through which pupils experience the problems and difficulties encountered by some of the less developed countries of the world. This helps us to understand the concept of fair trade and the benefits that it brings.
Why choose Geography?
Geography allows the opportunity to develop communication, graphical, mapping, technological, interpersonal, problem solving, and entrepreneurial skills.
Geography provides you with a clear overview of the world in the first part of the 21st Century.
Geography intends to interest you by giving you an insight into future challenges through the study of current issues of local, national and global importance, and their future management.
Geography gives you an appreciation of the significance of values and attitudes to the development and resolution of these issues. This gives you useful preparation for understanding the world in which you are going to live and work.
Geography aims to raise your awareness of your responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.
“Geography is one of the most relevant subjects on the school curriculum as it affects many current issues relating to our daily lives.”
What will I be studying?
This new curriculum is stimulating, imaginative and flexible.
The course is divided up into 4 units to allow for some units to be taken in January and June of both year 11 and 12. This means that you do not have a big examination at the end of Year 12.
Unit 1: Managing places in the 21st Century – The Urban Environment
(Assessment – written paper 1 hour – 25%)
The world is increasingly urban – it is estimated that by 2020 over 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. This rapid urbanisation creates challenges for urban planners.
Unit 2: The Hostile World – Living with Natural Hazards (Assessment – written paper 1 hour – 25%)
Many people now live in hostile areas around the world. Areas close to plate boundaries and areas that suffer from tropical storms or wildfi res can pose dangers for the people who live there. The causes and effects of these hazards need to understand in order to prepare for and respond to them.
Unit 3: Investigating the Shrinking World – Investigating Global Tourism (Assessment – written paper 1 hour – 25%)
Tourism is a rapidly growing industry. Increased opportunities to travel mean that many people have become global consumers of tourism. This growth impacts on people and places and requires careful management in order to ensure that it is sustainable. The global nature of the modern tourism industry has led to changes in the development gap.
This unit focuses on geographical investigation. Candidates will be given the opportunity to investigate a range of places and to consider how global trends and developments in tourism impact specific localities and groups of people.
Unit 4: Local Investigation including Fieldwork and Geographical Issue Investigation (Assessment – controlled assessment – 25%)
This is the controlled assessment part of the course. Task 1 will involve carrying out a local investigation including fieldwork. (Word guidance 1200) Task 2 involves a geographical issue investigation into either ‘Energy in the 21st Century’ or ‘Water – a Precious Resource’. (Word guidance 800)
There are two tiers of assessment: Higher (grades A* – D possible) and Foundation (grades C – G possible).
If you are good at Geography or enjoy the subject you should seriously consider taking it as one of your GCSE option choices. After all you have already been studying it for a number of years. You know what it is about!