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Geography

Intent

To deliver a Geography education that allows all young people to understand their place within the world and to explore their interactions within both physical and human geographies now, and in the future.

 The Geography department at Notre Dame RC Girls’ School is very successful, combining a track record of consistently excellent exam results, with numerous fieldwork opportunities and an emphasis on the student’s wider role as a citizen. We are extremely pleased with the 2019 GCSE exam results, with 72% of students achieving a Level 4 or higher and 56% of students achieving a Level 5 or higher.  Overall, our students achieved a higher average GCSE mark than the national average and 20% of our students achieved Level 8 or 9, also higher than the national average. Another successful year for our students!

As far as possible an enquiry- based approach to learning is encouraged. Geography lessons throughout the school facilitate the development of a wide variety of transferable skills, including questioning, group work, decision making, listening, debating, empathy and problem solving. A variety of resources - including photographs, DVDs, mini whiteboards, model making, music and interactive whiteboard activities - are used to enable students to develop their geographical skills and understanding.’ 

At Notre Dame RC Girls’ School we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. The geography curriculum at Notre Dame enables children to develop knowledge and skills that are transferable to other curriculum areas and which can and are used to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops and understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives; to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. The curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable, throughout their time at Notre Dame and also to their further education and beyond.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Geography at Notre Dame is taught through topics and ‘place’ throughout each year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. We teach the National Curriculum and through this teachers have identified the key knowledge and skills of each topic. Consideration has been given to ensure progression across topics throughout each year group across the school. At the beginning of each topic, children are able to convey what they know already as well as what they would like to find out. This informs the programme of study and also ensures that lessons are relevant and take account of children’s different starting points. Consideration is given to how greater depth will be taught, learnt and demonstrated within each lesson, as well as how learners will be supported in line with the school’s commitment to inclusion. Cross curricular outcomes in geography are specifically planned for, with strong links between geography and literacy identified, planned for and utilised. The local area is utilised, with opportunities for learning outside the classroom embedded in practice.

 

IMPACT

Outcomes in exercise books and online learning platforms evidence a broad and balanced geography curriculum and demonstrate children’s acquisition of identified key knowledge.

By the time children leave Notre Dame RC Girls’ School they will:

  • Have an excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
  • Have an excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.
  • Have an extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
  • Be fluent in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.
  • Have the ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.
  • Be able to carry out a variety of fieldwork techniques and other geographical skills.
  • Have a passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
  • Have the ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.

Curriculum Map


CLICK TO VIEW PDF

Key Stage 3 - Year 7, 8 and 9

Students study a wide range of physical and human Geography topics at a variety of local, national and international scales. Lesson plans are adapted to incorporate current news events of geographical significance which provoke interesting discussions that reflect directly on the concept of citizenship, both from a local and global perspective.

Year 7 Topics

  • Atlas and map skills
  • Britain and the UK
  • Extreme Environments: Africa and Kenya
  • Hydrology, rivers and flooding
  • Earth’s Natural Resources
  • Fieldwork in the local area

Year 8 Topics

  • Further atlas and map skills
  • Ecosystems and importance of tropical rainforests
  • International Development
  • Glacial environments and processes
  • Challenges of population problems
  • Urbanisation and living in an urban world

Year 9 Topics

  • Further atlas and map skills
  • Weather and Climate
  • Global Warming and Climate Change
  • Earning a Living - the global economy
  • Coastal environments and processes
  • Our Restless Earth – earthquakes and volcanoes

Year 7, 8 and 9 - Useful websites

KS3 Geography BBC Bitesize - contains information about all the topics studied plus useful video clips.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zrw76sg

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

We follow the OCR B Geography GCSE syllabus. The key features of this course are:
- exciting content studied in topics and brought to life by engaging enquiry questions
- opportunities to study in depth contemporary case studies across a range of scales
- study of the geography of the UK in the 21st century
- exploration of the interconnections of topics through synoptic assessment
- geographical skills, including fieldwork, being embedded within assessment

Component 1 - Our Natural World

Assessment - one exam 1hr 15mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Global hazards, Changing climate, Distinctive landscapes, Sustaining ecosystems, Fieldwork and Geographical skills

Component 2 - People and Society

Assessment - one exam 1hr 15mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Urban futures, Dynamic development, UK in the 21st century, Resource reliance, Fieldwork and Geographical skills

Component 3 - Geographical exploration

Assessment - one exam 1hr 30mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Geographical skills and a Decision making exercise

KS3 and KS4 Fieldwork

At KS4 students will undertake fieldwork outside the classroom on at least two separate occasions, in contrasting locations. We undertake urban fieldwork in Stratford, London and coastal fieldwork in Brighton, East Sussex.​ At KS3, where appropriate, we take students outside during their Geography lessons so they can practice using fieldwork skills and put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom.

GCSE - Useful websites

The specification we study is OCR B, and this link gives more details on the course content, plus assessment materials and revision tools:
http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/gcse-geography-b-geography-for-enquiring-minds-j384-from-2016/
BBC bitesize provides useful subject summaries for revision:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/geography/
Map Zone
Royal Geographical Society
Geography Matters