Geography is a popular, dynamic and vital inter-disciplinary subject, which is uniquely placed to understand the issues facing the world today. The department sees its role as to encourage and inspire all age groups within the school to share our interest and passion for this highly relevant subject.
Fieldwork is an integral part of the subject. Junior school pupils carry out a local weathering survey in Year 7, coastal management research in Walton-on-the-Naze in Year 8 and participate in a whole year group climate change debate in Year 9. At IGCSE, pupils study rivers and coastal environments on a residential fieldtrip to Somerset and explore urban issues on a day-trip to Cambridge. In the Sixth Form, a residential fieldtrip to Dorset’s Jurassic coast – a World Heritage site – and the in-depth study of a local river, ensure pupils independently develop a broad range of geographical skills. Further to this, the department also provides pupils with an opportunity to go on an annual international fieldtrip e.g. Iceland or Morocco.
Geography is taught to all pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9. The aim of the course is for the pupils to achieve a broad understanding of today’s global issues; from Climate Change to Europe’s ageing population and the spatial impact of infectious diseases. The emphasis is on enquiry, using a myriad of teaching styles to engage pupils and equip them with the analytical and transferable skills needed to make sense of an increasingly interconnected and complex world.
Years 10 and 11 follow a course leading to the Cambridge IGCSE. The course provides a strong grounding in Geography, investigating aspects of both the natural and human environment and allows teachers to go beyond the core specification to follow the interests of the classes they teach. Sixth Form Geography follows the OCR specification. This balances modules studying both the natural and human world. The course emphasises the synoptic nature of the subject and looks at contemporary research debates such as how we respond to natural hazards and how we manage the impacts of globalisation and address global inequalities.
Outside of the classroom, Sixth Form Geographers publish a termly magazine named Habs Geographical, which is establishing a reputation for informed articles and comment. The vibrant Habs Geographical Society, which is linked to the Girls’ school, also invites outside speakers in to school and recent talks have focused on the UK’s energy security and China’s role as the next global superpower. The department is also an active member of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Geographical Association.
It is not surprising given this ethos that every year a number of pupils go on to pursue their Geographic studies at top universities and beyond.
|Some photos of work done by boys in Geography, please click to open the image full size in a new window|