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Geography

Geography explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future.  What could be more important than that?' – Michael Palin, President of the Royal Geographical Society.

At Tewkesbury School we aim to give students a broad and varied study of Geography. Geography creates global citizens equipped to understand how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It increases students’ awareness of the world in which they live and encourages them to question and research into key issues and processes changing and shaping the world.

Geography encourages students to work independently and develop a wide range of skills including decision making, presentation, analysis and evaluation of information using a variety of different communication skills.

A wide range of different activities are utilised in the study of geography both within and outside the classroom; using maps; making models and enquiring into local issues such as flooding as well as fieldwork around the school site. Their studies are also enhanced by the opportunity to visit the Natural History Museum, river fieldwork to the Forest of Dean and a joint Geography/ History KS4 trip to Italy where students can experience the impacts of volcanoes first hand. A Level students will also have the opportunity to attend a residential fieldwork in Somerset. All of these extra-curricular activities complement and extend the learning of students covering a variety of different aspects of both physical and human geography, locally, nationally and globally.

A good student in Geography should be able to:

  • Develop and extend their knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes, and of different scales including global; and of social, political and cultural contexts (know geographical material). A good student in Geography should be able to do the following:
  • We want students to gain an understanding of the interactions between people and environments, change in places and processes over space and time, and the inter-relationship between geographical phenomena at different scales and in different contexts (think like a geographer)

  • We want students to develop their competence in a range of skills including those used in fieldwork, in using maps and GIS and in researching secondary evidence, including digital sources; and develop their competence in applying sound enquiry and investigative approaches to questions and hypotheses (study like a geographer)

  • We want students to be able to apply geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real world contexts, including fieldwork, and to contemporary situations and issues; and develop well-evidenced arguments drawing on their geographical knowledge and understanding (applying geography).

  • We want students to be successful learners who develop an inquisitive interest in their surroundings.

  • We want students to be able to write well-organised, balanced and structured arguments using valid evidence.

In Geography, we assess 5 key strands. These are Locational Knowledge, Place, Physical Processes, Human processes and Skills. At KS4 these skills are further developed to explore: Paper 1: The Challenge of Natural Hazards (Natural Hazards, Tectonics hazards, Weather hazards, Climate change); The living world (Ecosystems, Tropical rainforests and cold environment) and Physical landscapes in the UK (River landscapes in the UK, Coastal landscapes in the UK.) Students are also assessed on the following in Paper 2: Urban issues and challenges (complete all of this section), The changing economic world and The challenge of resource management (Resource management and Energy). Finally, at KS4 students are assessed on the following in Paper 3: Issue evaluation, Fieldwork and Geographical skills.

By the end of KS4, students should be writing well-developed written responses which have a coherent argument running through them and well-argued complex conclusions.  They should also be able to read maps and complete statistical and graphical questions with ease. Extended writing answers should focus on both sides of the argument and give links to examples from case studies to achieve the higher grades. 

At KS5, the same skills as outlined above are embedded through the study of Physical Systems (Coastal Landscapes and Earth’s Life Support System- Water and carbon cycles), Human interactions (Changing spaces; making places and Global connections which consists of: Global systems: Global Migration and Human rights) and Geographical debates (Future of Food and Hazardous Earth). At KS5, students are also required to have a greater depth and understanding of statistical tests such as Standard Deviation and Mann Whitney. 

By the end of KS5, students should be able to compose complex, coherent and detailed arguments to produce university standard essays, including a dissertation-style independent investigation based on independent fieldwork and data collection. Students should be able to recognise and analyse the complexity of people-environment interactions at all geographical scales, and appreciate how these underpin understanding of some of the key issues facing the world today. 

At the end of Y7, the end point is to have learned about physical and human geography, students will look at examples for each (e.g. Wild Weather and Settlement) and they will develop their locational knowledge and link geographical processes to place examples. They should be starting to write well-structured extended written answers as well as developing key geographical skills e.g. map skills.  

By the end of Y8, the end point is to have learnt about physical Geography such as Rivers and River processes and Flooding and also to have learnt about Human Geography such as Tourism and Crime. They should be able to give detailed case study examples in their written work and they should be writing balanced, supported and structured extended answers. They should also be increasingly confident with geographical skills. 

By the end of Y9, the end point is to be able to independently write balanced and substantiated extended written answers and essays as well as developing geographical skills to a high standard.  

Staff:

Mrs F Woodman: Head of Geography 

Mrs C Hood: Geography

Mrs L Rasdall: Geography

Mrs R Wager: Geography

Mrs T Donnelly: Humanities Lead TA