Geography today is an exciting and important subject. Lessons are taught interactively by specialist staff with a wealth of expertise. We encourage pupils to be curious about the world which surrounds them by developing and practising problem-solving skills and by enhancing their independent study skills. A significant number of pupils continue their study Geography to A level and an impressive number pursue the discipline at university.
The department has considerable resources, ranging from the libraries to the department intranet, and our teaching rooms are well stocked with paper resources and technology. Importantly, as a dynamic subject in both content and delivery, we encourage the use of technology at all levels of education and believe it enhances the pupils' understanding.
Geography is compulsory from UIII to UIV. During these important years we aim to enthuse the pupils with exciting topics that incorporate the skills needed for GCSE and beyond. The units covered include: Natural Hazards, The Geography of Crime, Pressures on National Parks, Population and the Emergence of China, and Energy Security. We employ a mix of modern teaching methods which regularly include debate, group-work and PowerPoint presentations given by the girls. These skills not only lend themselves well to the GCSE and A level but to life in general.
Geography is an optional subject at this level and with outstanding results it continues to grow in popularity. We follow the IGCSE (Edexcel) specification which is rooted in traditional theory with contemporary case studies making the course both interesting and topical. Over two years pupils study River Environments, Ecosystems and Rural Areas, Coastal Processes and Management, Urban Environments and Development and Human Welfare. Fieldwork is an intrinsic part of the course, consequently a residential fieldtrip to Devon take place in Year 10. Not only does this help to cement and enhance the pupils' understanding, but they are assessed on their knowledge of fieldwork methods and results in the final examination.
Geography in the Sixth Form is Challenging and exciting. The AS course builds upon the IGCSE with the added flavour of environmental management. Decision-making plays a central role in the course which includes units based on Global Challenges and World at Risk. A weekend residential course to Dorset affords the girls the opportunity to learn 'in the field' and improve their teamwork skills. The A2 course has compelling content. A strong emphasis is placed on research, which is invaluable in preparation for university. Students are assessed in January via a report based on Health and Pollution. The second module, Contested Planet, encourages synoptic thinking and decision making. Students should aim to think laterally throughout the various units, which include Superpowers, Bridging the Development Gap, Biodiversity under Threat, Water Scarcity, Energy Security and Technological Fix. These contemporary and exciting topics engage the students from the outset and equip them for the future. A significant proportion of the pupils go on to Geography at degree level (approximately 50%).