T he Geography department aims to guide learners through investigating the amazing, unique and wonderful parts of our world. Learners find out about the processes that shape our landscape, how human beings interact with each other and the world, what hazards the world presents and how to manage these, what makes biomes unique, why some places and poorer or richer than others, where places are, why some places are drier than others, what resources are important, where to find resources and what might happen if they run out. In fact they have the opportunity to learn so much as they are learning about the world around them that the possibilities are limitless.
Geography is taught as part of the humanities curriculum area in C7 and C8. Learners have lots of choice about how to learn and which sections of the content interest and intrigue them the most. They are then guided into how to learn in a geographical way; learning skills of finding and describing places, interdependence, map skills, inequality, asking geographical questions and using evidence to back up their ideas. Some of our themes include; ‘Is the world a beautiful place?’ Where learners analyse landscapes and unique places of their choice. ‘Kid President’ During this learning they can assume the leadership of a country and need to problem solve through one crisis after another, from renewable energy, population issues and terrorist threats, all while co-operating with other nations too. ‘Relationships’ in this study period learners use their geographical skills to analyse the contentious issue of Europe’s migration crisis including the causes, consequences and responses.
Independent Study will often be guided by the teacher and equally as often by what the learner feels would best help them to consolidate or cement their learning from the day. Learners should be completing between 30-45 minutes after each Geography learning session. This may be sent to them through various electronic methods or the dedicated Google Site.
At Key stage 4 cohort 9, 10 & 11, learners follow the OCR B geography for enquiring minds course. Our primary aim is to create good geographers who have a wide range of knowledge about their planet and a wide range of skills for accessing and explaining their knowledge. As a result we do not just focus on the content of the GCSE specification but look at geography in the news, the geography of their local area, personally chosen country studies and learning is led by what interests and intrigues the learner.
There are 8 geographical themes that we cover at KS4 plus geographical skills and fieldwork:
- Global Hazards – Weather and tectonic hazards
- Changing Climate – Past climate changes – 21st century impacts worldwide and on the UK
- Distinctive Landscapes – One coastal landscape and one river basin
- Sustaining Ecosystems – Tropical rainforests and polar environments
- Urban Futures – Urbanisation – Ways of life in an AC city and a LIDC or EDC city
- Dynamic Development – Uneven development
- UK in the 21st Century – Population and economic changes – Political and cultural influence
- Resource Reliance – Food security
We track the progress that learners are making in Geography in several different ways. During the learning process learners record their starting point and we devise a target of what they hope to know or be able to do by the end of a period of learning. They can upload their work in progress to [email protected] and teachers are able to leave written comments in response. When learners reach the end of a learning period they reflect on how they have learnt and have to show how they have made progress, this is done in collaboration with their teacher, and then posted into their learning journey folder on ilah. From Cohort 7-11 learners have access to the assessment objectives for Geography and are able to see example pieces of work. In C9-C11 learners progress is also monitored through practise case studies, practise exam papers and the monitoring of their class work and independent study in their books. Targets are shared and discussed with learners and we regularly have conversations with learners about how they can better achieve their goals. Throughout their time learning Geography at Honywood we aim to place an equal emphasis on progress in both knowledge and skills.
Learners in Cohort 10 have the opportunity to participate on our field visit. Whilst staying on the south coast we will be able to bring the text book to life and investigate the distinctive landscapes along the Jurassic Coast. Learners will also use this time to look at more coastal features. Portsmouth will be the location for our urban field work where we will investigate attempts to develop the city in a sustainable way. Learners will then return to school and write up their findings. The new exams for 2018 entry will ask questions about field work techniques and findings so learners will be able to write about their real life experiences of Geography.