Subject Leader – Geography

Mr T Redmond – tredmond@ndonline.org

Aims

The Geography Department at Notre Dame is an optimistic department that promotes the development of Christian attitudes through the breadth of the four key aspects of the National Curriculum:

  • Geographical enquiry and skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of places
  • Knowledge and understanding of patterns and processes
  • Knowledge and understanding of environmental change and sustainable development

We believe that:

  • Students should enquire about the relationships and interactions between mankind and the environment and develop an awareness of the global future
  • Just as the Earth includes all Nations, our department includes all students
  • Every student will have their minds opened and challenged through the study of Geography at Notre Dame School
  • Every student’s heart will be opened through the study of development and that they will develop an awareness of global citizenship and the problems of inequality
  • Every students’ hands will be used to develop geographical skills through practical tasks and the use of I.T.

 

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Term 1:  Fantastic places around the world

Term 2:  Fantastic places around the world continued

Term 3:  Rivers

Term 4:  Coasts

Term 5:  Your Island home: The UK

Term 6:  Tourism and Plymouth,  Barbican fieldwork

 

Year 8

Term 1:  What is Weather and how does it affect us?

Term 2:  World Climates

Term 3:  Forest Ecosystems

Term 4:  Global Warming

Term 5:  Tectonic hazards

Term 6:  Development

 

Key Stage 4

We deliver the AQA Geography “A” GCSE course from Year 9.  This covers both human and physical geography and is a varied course which promotes a good understanding of places, process and human management.  It covers many opportunities for promotion of literacy and numeracy skill.

The students will study the following themes:

Paper 1:  Living with the Physical Environment

What’s assessed:

  • The challenge of natural hazards
  • The living world
  • Physical landscapes in the UK
  • Geographical skills

How it’s assessed:

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 88 marks (including 3 marks for spelling, punctuation, grammar and specialist terminology or SPaG)
  • 35% of GCSE

Paper 2:  Challenges in the human environment

What’s assessed:

  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • The challenge of resource management
  • Geographical skills

How it’s assessed:

  • Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 88 marks (including 3 marks for SPaG)
  • 35% of GCSE

Paper 3:  Geographical applications

What’s assessed:

  • Issue evaluation based on pre-released material
  • Fieldwork
  • Geographical skills

How it’s assessed:

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • 76 marks (including 6 marks for SPaG)
  • 30% of GCSE
  • Pre-release resources booklet made available 12 weeks before Paper 3 exam

 

Key Stage 5

The Geography Department offers an A Level in Geography through the AQA board.  Course content is as follows:

Component 1:  Physical Geography

What’s assessed:

  • Section A:  Water and carbon cycles
  • Section B:  Coastal systems and landscapes
  • Section C:  Hazards

How it’s assessed:

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A Level

Component 2:  Human Geography

What’s assessed:

  • Section A:  Global systems and global governance
  • Section B:  Changing places
  • Section 3:  Contemporary urban environments

How it’s assessed:

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 120 marks
  • 40% of A Level

Component 3: Geography – Fieldwork Investigation

Students complete an individual investigation which must include data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student relating to any part of the specification content.

How it’s assessed:

  • 3,000 – 4,000 words
  • 60 marks
  • 20% of A Level
  • Marked by teachers, moderated by AQA

 

Assessment

At Key Stage 3, students are provided with a range of peer and staff feedback around every 8 hours.  Students will receive written or verbal feedback based on “what went well” and “even better if” in line with the school’s policy.

Assessment is made in through a variety of ways including formal testing, project work, essay writing and presentations and normal exercise work.  Grades are then given and published at times of the year when progress reviews are generated.  At Key Stages 4 and 5, assessment is a mix of formative and summative methods linked closely to the appropriate examination assessment objectives and the use of exam style questions in order to give a realistic grade for that particular piece of assessment at that particular time.