In Middle School geography you will learn to explore and understand the world around you. The AQA GCSE course is designed to allow students to develop their skills of research, investigation and questioning. Why do rivers flood and should we try to prevent it happening? Why does Rio have shanty towns? Which parts are more ethnically diverse and what effect does this have? How did Hurricane Haiyan cause so many deaths? Will Nigeria be the new power house of economic growth? These questions are representative of the six unit course which starts in Year 9 and are examples of the enquiring and relevant nature of the subject.
Geography is an opportunistic subject and no two years are the same. We will respond to new developments both locally and globally; a BBC report on developments in Nigeria, or a review of the predictions for sea level rise all inform the students learning as they happen. Geography also brings opportunities for individual interests and we encourage students to find those that particularly excite them; it is these that provide a platform for study well beyond GCSE.
Lessons are the source of the subject material but students are expected to take this further through their own work and collaboration with others. Geographers are articulate, literate, numerate and able to identify patterns in data, maps, diagrams and images. Fieldwork is essential to move from the straightforward version of the text book to the complexity of reality. A residential fieldwork course in Snowdonia in Year 10 covers the two compulsory field work activities examined at GCSE level as well as allowing students to understand glacial and fluvial environments first hand.
Students are given opportunities to further extend their learning through national competitions and lectures. For example, a talk from a Royal Navy Officer who shared first-hand experience of working with migrants in the Mediterranean.