“Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future” – Michael Palin
So how do students benefit from taking Geography?
Geography could lead you to exciting career prospects. Geographers, with their skills of analysis are highly employable. One example could be using GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and being employed to decide where the next new store is for Tesco or Sainsburys.
Remember, Geography achieves good examination results nationally and is one of the most versatile subjects. Geography for example, is classified as a science subject in many universities when studied at A Level. Generally, the subject helps develop a range of useful skills such as map reading, data collection, ICT and problem solving – highly valued by employers
Of course the subject is also topical, dwelling on issues that students really do need to know about for the sake of their futures and indeed that of the planet. Issues such as Development, Global Warming, Migration and Urban problems are all likely to impinge more and more on the citizens of tomorrow. Geography gives a firm insight into these and many other crucial areas.
Marden High School – Key Stage 3 Scheme of Work (Timings are approximate)
Key Stage 3
|Intro to Dept and Yr 7 course
|Comparing countries(USA/Mexico) and/or a country extended writing task
|Comparing countries(USA/Mexico) and/or a country extended writing task / Living Space(Urban Geog)
|Living Space(Urban Geog)
|Exploring the UK
|Intro to Yr 8 course
|Ecosystems/ Development or Destruction(Amazonia)
|Development or Destruction(Amazonia)
|Rivers & Flooding
|Intro to Yr 9 Course
“80:20” (Development issues)
|Tectonics (including extended writing task)Information on and Intro to GCSE course
|Tectonics (including extended writing task) /Think-Act ( Man’s impact on environment)
|Think-Act ( Man’s impact on environment)
The KS3 course is intended to give a broad introduction to the subject. In Year 7 there is a concentration on the theme of “Places” looking at areas of the world at varying scales. In Year 8, more emphasis is placed on “Natural or Physical processes”. Finally, in Year 9 “Human problems” and the impacts of humans on the environment are examined.
Key Stage 4
|The Restless Earth
|The Development Gap
|The Coastal Zone
|The Coastal Zone/ Changing Urban Environments
|Changing Urban Environments
|Coursework – topic to be decided by staff based on annual options offered by AQA( Controlled Assessment = 20 hours)
|Water on the Land,
|Rocks, Resources and Scenery
|Revision/ Completion of outstanding topics
Several of the topics involved above will have been studied at KS3, but the depth of knowledge and understanding required at GCSE is far greater. Study also involves developing the ability to synthesise and analyse information and express opinions backed by evidence. The exam itself frequently asks for “Case Studies” – these are real life examples of the topics covered used as a way to bring the subject into real focus. Developing more higher level skills such as photograph analysis, mapping skills and independent research ( the Controlled Assessment for example) is a key characteristic of the KS4 course.
ASSESSMENT IN GEOGRAPHY (KS 3)
In Geography , at the end of the key stage , a judgement is required assessing a single NC level into which each pupil “best fits”. This is based on the work assessed across the whole key stage and the professional judgement of the staff members. Regular termly reviews exist to ensure students are making expected progress and if necessary to identify strategies necessary to improve performance.
Assessment will be based on a combination of:
Class work: Teachers monitor effort, literacy, presentation etc during lessons. Peer and self assessment is also vital, and consequently learning/success outcomes are identified. Much of the evidence for this will be via work in exercise books, although ICT based enquiry work is developing
Homework: This will be marked according to /School/Dept. Policy and will vary depending on task. Tasks will often be based on Independent Study (IS) tasks and may be Humanities based. This IS work can last several weeks and is aimed at encouraging the development of more independent/research based skills which are valued at KS4 and beyond.
Feedback and assessment can be written, verbal discussion, peer and/or self assessed.
Enquiry tasks: These “mini-projects can stretch over several lessons. They have a clear success criteria attached to allow more precise attainment level to be judged.
End of unit tests: These are available and can be used to usefully judge if topics covered have been well assimilated by students. Students are able to retain these assessments and these can be useful revision tools for overlapping topics at Key Stage 4.
ASSESSMENT IN GEOGRAPHY (KS 4)
The above assessment styles for KS3 remain in place in at KS4, but End of Unit tests will be largely based upon exam questions taken from past exam papers. AQA provides mark schemes which help make assessment as accurate as possible.
In addition, part of the course at KS4 is in the form of “Controlled Assessment”. This represents 25% of the final grade available and this extended piece of coursework takes around 20 hours (both in and out of school). This will be marked by school staff but is externally moderated by the Exam Board via sampling of some candidates work.