Geography is all around us; it is out there to be observed and enjoyed. Students are encouraged to develop an empathy and understanding of the dynamic world we live in.
The aim of Geography at BHGS is for learners to develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of the physical and human world. The curriculum is designed to be ambitious and knowledge rich, so that students become confident, knowledgeable geographers. It focuses strongly on developing pupils’ core knowledge of physical and human geography, and their understanding of the conditions, processes and interactions that explain features and distributions, patterns and changes over time and space, allowing pupils to develop their contextual world knowledge of locations, places and geographical features.
We aim to provide a curriculum of geographical study to inspire curiosity, promote enjoyment and develop the skills our students need to make informed judgements about the world we live in whilst making the best use of new technology in geography to enthuse pupils and provide immediacy and relevance. We also enable students to develop a competence in geographical enquiry and to maximise opportunities for fieldwork to enhance learning and improve motivation. Pupils are also enabled to develop informed and critical citizens that are able to succeed in the modern world, allowing facilitation of the application of skills in observing, collecting, analysing, mapping and communicating geographical information.
Geography also enables students to make moral and intellectual sense of the world and develop their own sense of place ensuring that geography enables pupils to recognise their contribution to, and responsibilities for, their locality, their country and the global community and understand the importance of ‘cultural capital’. Students are encouraged to take a research based approach to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Geography; to investigate, make substantiated judgements, develop source analysis and evaluation, and look critically at issues.
Year 7: Taught as part of combined Humanities:
The main themes linking the geography topics taught in Year 7 are
Climate Change and Sustainability, within the following sub-topics:
- Places Near and Far
- How is our Climate Changing?
- Sustainability Issue: Plastic Pollution
- Measuring the UK Weather
- Microclimate: local fieldwork
- Weather Extremes: Typhoons
Year 8: Taught in modules:
- Global Biomes: The Tropical Rainforest
- Innovation Africa
- How has Globalisation changed our world?
- Changing UK landscapes: How does Geology shape our Landscape?
- Changing River Landscapes
Year 9: Students begin to learn skills required for GCSE by studying:
- The Restless Earth
- Our Unequal World
- Is Russia’s Geography its Friend or its Enemy?
- Glacial Landscapes
- How are Global Commons protected?
The course followed is the AQA specification. The topics studied include:
- Physical Landscapes of the UK: Coasts and Rivers
- Living World
- Tectonic and Atmospheric Hazards
- Urban Issues and Challenges
- Economic Development
- Resource Management
- Fieldwork investigation (including a 2-day fieldtrip to Sheringham, Norfolk in Year 10).
This is a linear course and assessment takes place at the end of Year 11 in the form of three written examinations. End of unit tests will take place at the end of each unit in class time and books will be marked regularly. GCSE revision surgeries take place throughout the year.
A-Level Geography is a popular subject. The course followed is the AQA specification.
In Year 12 students study: Water and Carbon Cycles, Coasts, Global Systems and Global Governance, Contemporary Urban Environments and geographical skills.
In Year 13 students study: Hazards, Changing Places, geographical skills and NEA Coursework using data collected on a 4-day residential fieldwork trip to Swanage.
Assessment takes place in the form of regularly marked exam questions and essays with an end of Year 12 exam (internally set) and the final two written A-Level exams at the end of Year 13. Students final grades also incorporate a piece of independent fieldwork to be written up formally and submitted to the exam board. A-Level revision surgeries take place throughout the year.
We believe that visits and fieldwork should play a vital role in the learning process. As a result the pupils have regular opportunities to carry out fieldwork in the locality and further afield. We are proud to offer a wide range of enrichment activities both in school and off-site, including:
- KS3: Kew Gardens
- KS4: Sheringham, Norfolk (2 days); Sicily (4 days)
- KS5: Swanage (4 days); Sicily (4 days)
All year groups are offered additional enrichment activities, including investigating global issues in International Week; discussion on topical issues and visits with the local council; delivering workshops in primary schools; collaborative projects with our partner schools in India, Germany and Kenya; fieldwork opportunities in Hatfield town centre; Save the World Club.
Independent learning and wider reading is actively encouraged across all key stages. We regularly use google classroom to inform students of assignments and additional background reading.