Geography at Stanley High School encourages students not only to understand the skills and techniques of the subject but also to develop a broad knowledge of Geography. This is achieved by fieldwork, guided homework investigations and a wide selection of audio-visual aids. Students are taught using a wide variety of texts and teaching methods and there is an emphasis on current events to help relate geography to the present day.
Extra sessions are provided to support GCSE students on three days after school. Tuesday is a dedicated Year 11 day when students can receive extra support in preparation for the examinations. All Years are welcome to attend after school on both Wednesday and Thursday between 3pm and 4:30. GCSE students are also provided with a department produced Interactive DVD which supports their studies. This includes all the power-points used during lessons, revision work booklets, past papers, revision notes and links to external websites.
Throughout both Key Stages students are encouraged to be independent in their learning and to take an interest in the subject beyond the classroom door. It is essential that pupils studying Geography, particularly at key stage 4, devote some time after school to continue their studies.
Students in years 7, 8 and 9 are also able to take advantage of the drop-in sessions after school and at lunch times for support with homework, milestone assessments or simply to catch up if they have missed a lesson. The Geography department prides itself on engagement with students and will always offer a friendly, supportive and helping hand.
Geography is made accessible to all students by carefully adapting and differentiating a wide range of materials. Students currently receive two lessons of Geography per week in year 7 and one hour per week in Year 8. September 2016 will see Year 9 students begin a three year GCSE option course. The curriculum map below indicates what your child will be studying during Years 7 and 8. The course is designed to give pupils an understanding of the world around them, to raise awareness of issues affecting our world and to lay a solid foundation for further study at Key Stage 4.
Assessment in Key Stage 3 is via a number of different means. Students will generally have a piece of assessed work once every two to three lessons. In addition they will complete an end of unit test alongside ‘geography milestones’. Milestones are assessed projects, usually one per unit, in which students develop the essential fieldwork skills required for GCSE.
Our Planet Earth
Maps and Mapping
The United Kingdom
Population and Migration
Weather and Climate
Energy and the Environment
The Middle East or China
This course builds on the solid foundations gained in Key Stage 3. Geography at Stanley prepares students fully for the rigour of A Level Geography and many of our students go on to study Geography and Geology at college. From September 2016 Year 11 will be following the AQA A syllabus whilst Years 9 and 10 will begin the new GCSE (1-9) specification. At GCSE, students study a two year course covering Physical and Human Geography.
Year 11 (AQA A ‘legacy’ specification)
Year 11 will be the final year group to undertake AQA A Geography. Students are examined through two exam papers and a controlled assessment. Physical Geography is covered on Paper 1 including the topics of Restless Earth, Water on the Land and the Coastal Zone. Paper 2 is Human Geography and is similarly comprised of three topics: Population Change, Changing Urban Environments and Tourism. A full breakdown of all topics is provided in the Student Handbook all GCSE students receive.
Students also complete a controlled assessment which is an individual piece of investigative work. This is split into two sections, low control and high control. Low control involves areas such as presenting data and students are able to take up to 14 hours to complete this section. They are expected to work independently but are also able to speak to the member of staff in charge for advice and guidance. The high control section of the assessment must be completed in exam conditions and this takes approximately 6 hours of classroom time.
The results from these two exams and the controlled assessment will make up the final grade.
Years 9 and 10
With the recent changes to GCSE both these year groups will undertake the new AQA syllabus. Again this is examined by undertaking examinations in both Physical Human Geography. New topics on Paper 1 include Hazards, Deserts and Rainforests and the Physical Geography of the UK. Paper 2 examines World Cities, Energy, Development and Globalisation. The most significant change is the introduction of a Paper 3. Students will no longer gain a grade for their controlled assessments; instead they will be examined on two pieces of field work they have completed as part of this new paper.
In years 7, 8 and 9 there will be at least one homework every two weeks. This will take the form of literacy tasks, further research or project work. In years 10 and 11 homework will be issued every week and will cover extra research, coursework completion and past exam papers. Many GCSE home works are in the form of GRIT (Geography Review and Improvement Tasks) booklets. These enable students to summarise their learning before completing a range of associated examination questions. These are provided for most topics within each unit studied.
In Years 7 and 8 Geography notebooks will be checked on a regular basis for the checking of quality of work and literacy. Not every piece of work a student produces is marked. Students also regularly self-assess their own work alongside that of their peers. Approximately every half-term there is also a milestone assessment. When undertaking these students are given a detailed set of assessment criteria they will need to match. Most units also include an end of unit test. The marks from these exercises will be used to provide an accurate picture of your child’s current working level.
In Years 10 and 11 students complete much of their class work in a notebook. Teachers may choose to comment on the work inside these but it is not regularly marked as such. Students also have an assessment folder which contains past papers, examination questions, GRIT booklets etc. These are marked and include detailed feedback for students on the strengths of their work how to improve their answers. Each half term there will be one past paper completed in examination conditions.