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Geography

Head of Department: Mr D Burgess

The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places, helping young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world.

Geography lessons at Cambourne Village College will equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.

Pupils will be encouraged to question the world around them, become more independent learners through fieldwork, and develop well-balanced opinions rooted in current and contemporary issues.

Equipment - KS3

A pencil, ruler and writing pens are essential in every Geography lesson. It may also be useful to have the following items: sharpener, eraser, colouring pencils (green, red, blue, brown as a minimum), compass, calculator, highlighter, glue stick, scissors.

Year 7

 

 

Course Content: Knowledge and Skills

Assessment : Key pieces and dates

1

Earth’s Story

The purpose of this module is to stimulate an interest in and a sense of wonder about planet Earth by telling its story - from the ‘Big Bang’ to the present day. Pupils will be introduced to physical and human geography, and develop an understanding of our changing planet.

Baseline assessment - Sep/Oct

This will assess knowledge and understanding of the different types of geography and key geographical features in the world, Europe and the UK.

2

The Best of the British Isles

In this unit pupils learn about the incredible physical and human geography of the British Isles.  They examine their perceptions of the British Isles and begin to search for thematic patterns and contrasts using different types of maps, e.g. weather, relief, settlement.  The unit concludes with a group challenge – pupils create a tour that gives a fair view of the British Isles.

Map skills assessment - Dec

This will assess geographical skills - points of the compass, map symbols, scale, grid references and describing and explaining distributions on maps.

3

Frozen Planet

Pupils go back in time to study glacial environments, from the frozen land mass of Great Britain in the last Ice Age to the snow covered plateau of Antarctica. Pupils will find out what it is like to explore and live in these places. They will also discover that ice moves and flows, which creates some spectacular landforms.

Physical processes assessment - Mar

This will assess knowledge and understanding of physical geography.

4

Climate & Weather

Pupils are introduced to Earth’s climate and weather systems. This unit begins with a global approach – focusing on climate zones and the factors that affect global climate. The UK’s climate and weather is then considered. Fieldwork around the school (microclimates) completes the topic.

Pupils undertake a fieldwork investigation in the school grounds in May. They consider whether Cambourne Village College has its own microclimate.

5

Africa: A Land of Contrasts?

This topic is all about the second largest continent in the world - Africa. Pupils’ stereotypes will be challenged as they learn about the differences that exist across the continent. Pupils will also learn about one region in detail - the Horn of Africa.

Pupils’ knowledge and understanding of human processes and ability to describe and explain key similarities and differences within and between places will be assessed.

Groupings

Pupils are taught in their tutor groups in Year 7. Any pupil with Special Educational Needs is taught within the normal tutor group and extra provision is arranged by their Geography teacher where appropriate.

Homework Information

Pupils are set a variety of homework activities to help consolidate and reinforce learning and to allow pupils to practise key geographical skills. Approximately one piece of homework every two or three weeks is to be expected for Year 7. While these tasks may average around 45 minutes, they will vary in length depending on the activity and topic.

Homework tasks in Year 7 may provide opportunities for pupils to extend their learning from lessons, or to present their understanding in a different way. They may also be asked to complete extra research on geographical events and processes.

How can I support my son or daughter in Geography?

  • The Geography topics in Year 7 largely follow the geog.1 fourth edition pupil Book. Pupils will have access to this textbook in lessons. An additional copy at home could be useful to help review classwork, although this is not essential
  • Geography is topical, so encouraging your child to watch the news and read newspapers will help inform them of the issues facing the world. Good sources include the BBC Science & Environment pages, relevant documentaries on the BBC and Channel 4 in addition to quality newspaper articles. Geography is full of opinions, so debating controversial topics is a way of training the Geographer within!
  • Buy your child an atlas, or a map of the world, or a globe… not only will it help with their studies, but also you can look at the location of places you have travelled to, find unknown places in the news, or ask them to locate places they have studied
  • Encourage your child to read fiction and non-fiction with a geographical theme. The ‘Horrible Geography’ series is highly recommended. The series consists of 12 titles; each book has a clear geographical focus. The books are suitable for ages 9-12
  • Download Google Earth and take a virtual journey to any location in the world! Explore 3D buildings, imagery and terrain. Find cities, places and local features. Great to explore places you have been or places you dream of travelling to…
  • Using an Ordnance Survey map, ask your child to locate their home and the homes of others on the map. Ask them to provide 4- and 6-figure grid references. You could also ask your child to plan a family walk or outing using the map

Visits / Extra-Curricular opportunities

Local fieldwork is undertaken in Year 7. Field study opportunities further afield will exist for Geography pupils in Years 8, 10 and 11.

Year 8

 

 

Course Content:  Knowledge and Skills

Assessment : Key pieces and dates

1

Cracking Coasts and a Town in Trouble: Walton-on-the-Naze      7,000 properties in the UK will be lost to coastal erosion over the next century.  Pupils explore this issue, focusing on the key features and processes that work to shape our coastlines.  They focus on how coastlines can be managed and the conflicts between stakeholders, which makes this management a complicated task.

Key Assessed Task - Oct/Nov Following a research trip to Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex, pupils work with primary and secondary data and put forward their recommendations on how and why the coastline should be managed.

2

Moving Stories - Why is the Population of the UK changing?        This unit is about the changes that are happening in the UK’s population.  Pupils consider the issues surrounding migration using contemporary case studies including the recent Syrian migrant crisis and migrant workers in Qatar.

Key Assessed Task - Jan/Feb

Migration report.

3

Raving Rivers and Ferocious Floods                                                        In this unit, pupils look at some of the world’s most spectacular rivers, how they shape the land, and how flooding can lead to disastrous impacts in places around the world.

Pupil’s knowledge and understanding of physical processes is assessed.

4

Changing Cities                                                                                            As the global population grows, towns and cities will be expected to cope with an extra 2.5 billion people by 2050.  In this unit, pupils begin to understand the opportunities and challenges that urbanisation presents.

OS map skills test - May/June

5

The World at Work

This unit introduces pupils to the concept of globalisation through a case study of the global fashion industry.

 

Groupings    

Pupils are taught in their tutor groups in Year 8.  Any pupil with Special Educational Needs is taught within the normal tutor group and extra provision is arranged by their Geography teacher where appropriate.

Homework Information

Pupils are set a variety of homework activities to help consolidate and reinforce learning and to allow pupils to practise key geographical skills.  Approximately one piece of homework every two or three weeks is to be expected for Year 8.  While these tasks may average around 45 minutes, they will vary in length depending on the activity and topic.

Homework tasks in Year 8 may provide opportunities for pupils to extend their learning from lessons, or to present their understanding in a different way.  They may also be asked to complete extra research on geographical events and processes.

How can I support my son or daughter in Geography?

  • The Geography topics in Year 8 largely follow the geog.2 fourth edition Student Book.  Pupils will have access to this textbook in lessons.  An additional copy at home could be useful to help review classwork, although this is not essential
  • Geography is topical, so encouraging your child to watch the news and read newspapers will help inform them of the issues facing the world.  Good sources include the BBC Science & Environment pages, relevant documentaries on the BBC and Channel 4 in addition to quality newspaper articles.  Geography is full of opinions, so debating controversial topics is a way of training the Geographer within!
  • Buy your child an atlas, or a map of the world, or a globe…  not only will it help with their studies, but also you can look at the location of places you have travelled to, find unknown places in the news, or ask them to locate places they have studied
  • Encourage your child to read fiction and non-fiction with a geographical theme.
  • Download Google Earth and take a virtual journey to any location in the world!  Explore 3D buildings, imagery and terrain. Find cities, places and local features.  Great to explore places you have been or places you dream of travelling to…
  • Using an Ordnance Survey map, ask your child to locate their home and the homes of others on the map.  Ask them to provide 4- and 6-figure grid references.  You could also ask your child to plan a family walk or outing using the map

Visits / Extra-Curricular opportunities 

Pupils complete fieldwork at Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex.  They investigate physical processes of erosion and consider coastal management.  Further opportunities for fieldwork will exist in Year 10 (London) and Year 11 (Epping Forest).   The department visited Iceland in 2017 and further international trips are currently being explored.

Year 9

 

 

Course Content:  Knowledge and Skills

Assessment : Key pieces and dates

1

The Power of the Planet

We live in an amazing, ever-changing world full of natural wonders.  This topic focuses on great forces that have created and shaped the Earth and impacted on people all around the world.  Volcanoes are one of the most fundamental forces on our planet.  Students explore the impact of dramatic volcanic eruptions in contrasting places.

Key Assessed Task - Oct

Decision making exercise.  What should happen on the volcanic island of Montserrat?

2

Our Unfair World?

Our world is a very unequal place.  The richest 62 people in the world now have as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population (3.6bn).  Pupils explore why the gap between the rich and poor exists and consider how they and others can help to put an end to poverty.

Key Assessed Task - Dec/Jan

Essay question which focuses on the possibility of closing the development gap.

 

3

Oceans on the Edge

Oceans are the lifeblood of planet Earth and humankind.  This topic considers the importance of the world’s oceans and investigates contemporary issues in the world today such as microplastics, ocean tourism and climate change.

 

4

Extreme Environments

This unit is all about harsh and challenging places on Earth including hot deserts and tropical rainforests.  Pupils learn about the characteristics of these places, understand how plants, animals and people survive, and consider the ways in which these places are under threat.

Key Assessed Task - May/June

Geographical skills including maps, graphs and interpretation of sources will be examined.

5

Adventures in the Anthropocene

We live in epoch-making times. The changes humans have made in recent decades have altered our world beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.5 billion-year history – we have become a force on par with earth-shattering asteroids and planet-cloaking volcanoes.  This topic explores how humanity’s changes are reshaping our living planet, transforming our relationship with the natural world, and suggests how we might engineer Earth for the future.

 

Groupings    

Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups in Year 9.  Any pupil with Special Educational Needs is taught within the normal tutor group and extra provision is arranged by their Geography teacher where appropriate.

Homework Information

Pupils are set a variety of homework activities to help consolidate and reinforce learning and to allow pupils to practise key geographical skills.  Approximately one piece of homework every two or three weeks is to be expected for Year 9.  While these tasks may average around 45 minutes, they will vary in length depending on the activity and topic.

Homework tasks in Year 9 may provide opportunities for pupils to extend their learning from lessons, or to present their understanding in a different way. They may also be asked to complete extra research on geographical events and processes.

How can I support my son or daughter in Geography?

  • The Geography topics in Year 9 largely follow the geog.3 fourth edition Pupil Book. Pupils will have access to this textbook in lessons.  An additional copy at home could be useful to help review classwork, although this is not essential
  • Geography is topical, so encouraging your child to watch the news and read newspapers will help inform them of the issues facing the world. Good sources include the BBC Science & Environment pages, relevant documentaries on the BBC and Channel 4 in addition to quality newspaper articles.  Geography is full of opinions, so debating controversial topics is a way of training the Geographer within!
  • Buy your child an atlas, or a map of the world, or a globe… not only will it help with their studies, but also you can look at the location of places you have travelled to, find unknown places in the news, or ask them to locate places they have studied
  • Encourage your child to read fiction and non-fiction with a geographical theme
  • Download Google Earth and take a virtual journey to any location in the world! Explore 3D buildings, imagery and terrain. Find cities, places and local features.  Great to explore places you have been or places you dream of travelling to…
  • Case studies and real life examples are an important part of Geography and will be increasingly important at GCSE level. Encourage your son or daughter to create small case study cards.  Test their ability to recall background information and facts and figures about places they have studied

Visits / Extra-Curricular opportunities 

Opportunities for fieldwork exist in Year 10 (London) and Year 11 (Epping Forest).   The department visited Iceland in 2017 and further international trips are currently being explored.

Years 10 & 11

Course Content

GCSE Geography offers pupils the chance to deepen their understanding of the world’s people, places and environments.  The course is split into three sections:

Unit 1 – Living with the Physical Environment (The Challenge of Natural Hazards, The Living World including Ecosystems, Rainforests and Extreme Environments, Physical Landscapes in the UK including Coasts and Rivers)

Unit 2 – Challenges in the Human Environment (Urban Issues and Challenges, The Changing Economic World, The Challenge of Resource Management)

Unit 3 – Geographical Applications and Skills (Fieldwork, Decision Making Exercise, Geographical Skills including cartographic skills, graphical skills and statistical skills)

Grouping

Pupils are in mixed ability classes.  A range of support is provided for pupils of all abilities.  Gifted Geographers are encouraged to enter the Geographical Association’s annual Worldwise quiz as well as the Royal Geographical Society’s Young Geographer of the Year competition.

Homework

Homework is set every week with a range of activities and challenges including reading, research, note-taking and practice examination questions.  Pupils are encouraged to read the WideWorld magazine (available in the library) which contains topical new case studies and exam advice from experts.

Equipment

A pencil, ruler and writing pens are essential in every Geography lesson.  Pupils should also have the following items: sharpener, eraser, colouring pencils (green, red, blue, brown as a minimum), compass, protractor, calculator, highlighter, glue stick, scissors.

Visits/Extra-curricular

Fieldwork is an essential aspect of Geography.  It ensures that pupils are given the opportunity to consolidate and extend their geographical understanding by relating learning to real experiences of the world.  Pupils visit East London in Year 10 to investigate inequalities around the Olympic area.  In Year 11, pupils visit Epping Forest to undertake rivers fieldwork and recap the Living World topic.  Both of these trips form an important part of the course and students will be examined on their fieldwork experiences at the end of the course.