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Geography​

There has never been a better or more important time to study Geography.  With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration and environmental degradation, Geography is one of the most relevant subjects that you will learn.  Geography students at Oakwood Park Grammar School experience a wide range of relevant and topical issues that grab their attention from the outset.  They study a number of contemporary topics such as deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, river flooding in the UK and East European migration to the UK.  Students study places from around the world as well as learning about geographical issues in the UK and the local area. 

As well as learning about the changing world in which we live, Geography students will also develop a range of transferable skills.   Geography students know how to observe, describe, analyse, represent, interpret and report information about the world.  They have enquiring minds and are problem solvers.  They can work effectively in groups as well as independently.


KEY STAGE 3

Subject Content

In the first term, Year 7 students investigate the Geography of Maidstone and the surrounding area.   They develop their map skills, as well as improve their understanding of the human and physical features of the local area.  From here student’s widen their knowledge by looking at the Geography of the UK through topics such as National Parks, the UK weather, population distribution as well as mapping major cities, rivers and mountain areas.  After this Year 7 students carry out their own project in which they investigate the Geography of a country of their choice.

Year 8 students cover more global topics such as population, development, globalisation and the 2004 Asian tsunami.  They also undertake an in-depth study of Brazil where they look at the countries ecosystems, slum dwellings and inequality in the country.

Contemporary topics such as the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 FIFA World Cup are also incorporated into the curriculum at a time when these events take place.

Extension and Enrichment

Investigating the local area is a key feature of the enrichment activities.  Year 7 students undertake a group project in which they survey the environmental quality of the school grounds.  They present their findings and write up their results based upon they data the collect.  Students also provide recommendations on how they feel the school environment can be improved.

Year 8 students carry out an individual project on the village of Burham and surrounding area.  They collect data on: the relief, vegetation and land-use of the North Downs; map the age of buildings and location of services in the village as well as practicing their field sketch-skills. 

 

KEY STAGE 4 GCSE

Exam Board and Subject Content

The Cambridge IGCSE syllabus takes into account the varied nature of the subject.  Up-to-date case-studies are selected from locations within the UK and from around the world to give students a broad and detailed understanding of geographical issues facing the world today.  There are three themes that are studied:  

Theme 1 – Population and Settlement: population dynamics and characteristics of settlements

Theme 2 – The Natural Environment: plate tectonics; landforms and landscape processes; weather, climate and natural vegetation and the inter-relationship between the natural environment and human activities.

Theme 3 – Economic development and natural resources: agricultural systems; industrial systems; leisure tourism and activities; energy and water sources and resource conservation and management.

Geographical skills are also an important component of the IGCSE.  Students develop their geographical skills during the 3 years of study.  By the end of the IGCSE students are able to analyse, draw and interpret: photographs, map extracts, sketch map, diagrams, graphs, tables of data, satellite images and use GIS. 

Extension and Enrichment

Students carry out a piece of group fieldwork.  They use this data to write a 2000 word piece of coursework which is to be submitted as part of their overall IGCSE grade.  Fieldwork opportunities vary from year to year and include topics such as ‘Delimiting Maidstone’s CBD’ and ‘Investigating downstream characteristics of the River Tillingbourne’.

Students also see the links with RS and History during Humanities enrichment days.  Students experience a range of topics such as the Holocaust, The Middle East and Women’s rights.

A-Level/Pre-U

A Level Geography is comprised of four contemporary topics:

  • AS Unit 1 – Global Challenges.  This looks at the meaning, causes, impacts and management of global challenges.  Topics investigated include: natural hazards, climate change, transnational companies and migration.
  • AS Unit 2 – Geographical Investigations.  This is a closer look at how physical and human issues influence lives and can be managed.  The two main areas that are studied are crowded coasts and rebranding places.
  • A2 Unit 3 – Contested Planet.  The use and management of resources is a key issue for geography in today's world. Consumption patterns highlight stark inequalities between regions, countries and groups of people. Many resources are finite and rising consumption means that difficult decisions over the use of resources will have to be taken more frequently. Six compulsory topics are studied: energy security; water conflicts; biodiversity under threat; superpower geographies; bridging the Development Gap and technological Fix
  • A2 Unit 4 – Geographical Research.  Students investigate the causes, impacts and response to a number of tectonic hazards including the 2011 Tohuku tsunami and Haiti earthquake on 2010.

More detail on the a-level course can be found here