Geography is the study of the earth – its physical characteristics, its people, its environment and the societies which inhabit it. These are, of course, all inter-dependent, and the subject emphasises the connections and inter-dependencies.
The subject is increasingly popular at A-level, combining well as it does with other subjects from both Science and Humanities . The effective geographer has many transferable skills: that of handling and interpreting data, of formulating theories from observations, and of constructing clearly-argued responses to questions starting, “Explain how…..”, or “Why……………..? The teaching encompasses a wide range of approaches and activities. There is an emphasis on the practical aspects of the subject: fieldwork activities are a necessary part of the course. The current practice is for students to spend time at the fieldwork centre in Blencathra in the Lake District or Malham Tarn where there is the opportunity to study fluvial and glacial geomorphology and microclimates in a mountain environment.
Key objectives at A-level include:
- To stimulate interest in, and a sense of awe and wonder about, places
- To help to make sense of the beautiful, complex and dynamically changing world in a way that helps pupils towards a better understanding of current events
- To help students to make informed judgements about economic, political, social and environmental issues and problems facing humankind in different locations, thereby promoting an awareness of possible responses and a sense of responsibility
- To foster and develop a lifelong interest in Geography
- To teach skills for the acquisition and communication of ideas and knowledge, particularly those concerned with the collection of primary data through fieldwork investigations, and to develop transferable skills of ICT, problem-solving, entrepreneurship, data presentation, analysis, critical thinking and evaluation
- To prepare students for roles as global citizens of the twenty-first century through developing their awareness of the complexities of interdependence
- To encourage pupils to become responsible members of their own community, encouraging respect and tolerance of different cultures and lifestyles throughout the world
- To foster concepts of environmental and human sustainability
The subject is taught entirely by specialist Geographers – true evangelists for their subject who have expertise both in their subject matter and as classroom practitioners.
We follow the Cambridge International A-level syllabus. This means that Geography is the only subject that still retains the AS-A2 syllabus structure. Pupils will therefore sit public examinations at the end of their Lower Sixth year.