Head of Department: Miss D Porter
Teacher of Geography: Colin Quinton
“Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future.” – Michael Palin
Geography helps us to understand the world that we live in. If we are to make sense of some of the biggest issues which make the headlines around the world, it is vital that there is a greater understanding and use of Geography. Whether it is learning about the natural world (volcanoes, earthquakes, ecosystems and glaciations) or human impacts on the world and fragile environments, Geography is about understanding the patterns, processes and systems that interconnect us all to each other and the environment.
Here at Selly Park, we promote critical thinking, independent learning, decision making and risk taking in our Geography lessons. We want students to question what is happening in the world around them. We believe in developing a range of skills – numeracy, literacy, investigative, research and leadership – all of which greatly enhance future career choices and plans for further education. Furthermore, an understanding of sustainability and the management of issues gives us the power to steer our community, country and wider world towards a successful future for us and subsequent generations.
In years 7-9 students are taught in their form groups for an hour and a half each week.
In year 7, students develop map and atlas skills. They then move on to learning about development and the disparity of wealth across the globe, before finishing with extreme weather.
In year 8, the subject content includes learning about the natural world – glaciation, rivers and tropical rainforests as well as population and the impact of overpopulation on resources.
In year 9, students begin their GCSE studies and focus on natural hazards (earthquakes, tropical storms, extreme weather) and the impact of these around the world. They then move onto learning about climate change and the challenges of living in urban areas, with particular focus on the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
Students receive 2 hours of Geography each week in KS4. They will sit 3 written papers at the end of the course and will complete two fieldwork investigations in year 10 focusing on river studies in Carding Mill Valley and urban regeneration in Birmingham City Centre.
Here topics include Physical landscapes in the UK – Coasts and Rivers; Ecosystems, Tropical Rainforests and Desert environments. Human topics focus on Sustainable Urban Living, The Changing Economic World, The Challenge of Resource Management and the Global Demand for Energy.
As part of the new GCSE course, Paper 3 consists of Geographical Skills which will require students to interpret and analyse information in a pre-release booklet about a Geographical concept. This could be about any content covered in the course. They will need to use the information and sources to provide to make a decision about a complex issue related to the information they have been given. This decision- making exercise (DME) aims not to have a correct answer, but to encourage students to justify their ideas and decisions using information to support it. Whatever the decision, pupils need to provide a balanced argument, identifying any positives, negatives and potential conflicts on a variety of scales.