Geography

“The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together”. Barack Obama

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Head of Department: Mr A Toner
Email: ajt@bws.wilts.sch.uk

Geography Teacher and an Assistant Head: Mr A Harmsworth
Email: mah@bws.wilts.sch.uk

Geography Teacher: Mrs F Jones
Email: fej@bws.wilts.sch.uk

Geography is studied throughout the school and is a popular option at GCSE. Opportunities for fieldwork studies form an intrinsic part of the course at each key stage, the demonstration of fieldwork skills being an essential element of both GCSE and A-level examinations.

We hope that as many of the boys as possible gain an awareness of place, environmental responsibility and an understanding of cultural diversity. We aim to stimulate an interest in, and a wonder of, the world around us and give the boys a desire to explore and to travel confidently. The study of geography provides a meaningful context for developing transferable skills - literacy, numeracy, ICT, problem solving, thinking skills and enquiry. It should enable the boys to make well-informed judgements and help them to understand that there may be more than one way of tackling real-world problems. It is for these reasons that geographers are amongst the most employable graduates.

Lower School

In year 7 and 8 students study a mixture of human and physical topics. In year 7 they start to develop their map skills and investigate the local area. In year 8 topics include climate change and plastic pollution as well as how tectonic activity shapes the landscape and influences the lives of people, and why socio-economic inequalities exist and how they can be overcome.

GCSE

Students follow the WJEC Eduqas B (9-1) and start working towards this in year 9

Subject choices for GCSE are made during the Spring term of Year 9 which means that students have a good idea of what the GCSE course will be like, it also means that should they opt to study Geography, some subject content will already have been covered in preparation for embarking on the GCSE.

The course adopts a distinctive problem solving approach to the study of interactions between people and the environment. Pupils will develop skills of interpretation, analysis and evaluation when they collect primary data, and are presented with reported evidence and information, helping them to become critical learners as they consider the strengths and limitations of this data and evidence.

At the same time pupils will consider the points of view of those who have a vested interest when they are affected by contentious geographical issues such as climate change or migration. Pupils will develop the skills to become informed and reflective citizens when they consider a range of viewpoints, values and attitudes which are held by stakeholders on a number of key geographical issues.

Three broad themes are covered: Changing Places, Changing Environments, and Environmental Challenges.

The content of the course is examined by three examination papers;

  • Component 1 – Investigating Geographical Issues has three structured data response questions. The final part of each question will require an extended response. These questions will directly test the content contained within each of the three themes.
  • Component 2 – Problem Solving Geography will assess content from across the themes using a variety of structured data response questions. Part A will introduce an issue and set the geographical context, part B will outline a number of possible solutions to the issue and part C will provide an opportunity for the candidates to choose a solution and justify their choice in an extended response.
  • Component 3 – Applied Fieldwork Enquiry has three parts which use a variety of structured data response questions, some of which require extended responses. Parts A and B will assess how fieldwork data is collected, presented, analysed, and used to investigate a specific geographical investigation. Part C will assess the application of broad geographical concepts to a wider UK context and assess the ability of the pupils to make and justify a decision