Geography gives young people the knowledge necessary to understand society and the world around them. It provides key skills which are useful throughout their academic career and beyond. Important issues and themes are explored such as international relations, climate change and how the human and physical world interact with one another. By learning about these topics we believe it allows students to centre themselves and learn their place in an ever-changing global world.
At Stoke Newington, we teach Geography to encourage a sense of understanding for other cultures and an interest in learning about things we may not necessarily understand at first. Field trips are an important part of geographic learning as they take students out of their comfort zone to explore other places.
Geography offers students many options for the future, both in further education and in industry, by learning in a more global way it can expand young people's ambitions and reach.
Geography at Key Stage 3
Geography is introduced at Key Stage 3 through a study of key locations in the UK, to familiarise students with the area in which they live and to allow them to begin developing map skills which they will need throughout all their geographical studies. The department’s objective at this stage is to develop students’ fascination for the world and inspire them to become interested in issues beyond their local area.
An important feature of geography teaching at this stage is to begin introducing key literacy and numeracy skills. These return frequently at Key Stage 4 but also enable students to apply what they learn in English and Maths to other aspects of the curriculum.
A selection of units currently taught include:
- Diverse Africa
- Resource Security
- Hazardous Earth
- Extreme Weather and Climate Change
Geography at Key Stage 4
We welcome any student with a passion for geography to continue to expand their geographical knowledge by studying geography at GCSE level. Building upon the work already done in Key Stage 3, we introduce new content whilst building on existing understanding and skills to help students achieve excellence academically whilst also developing their own areas of interest.
Studying geography at Key Stage 4 will cover both human and physical aspects of the subject, as well as providing the students with an opportunity to develop research skills that will be invaluable for ongoing studies in many other subject areas. The course includes two fieldwork trips which enables the students to follow their own lines of geographical enquiry within both physical and human fields.
The course is split into six topics over three years:
- The Challenge of Natural Hazards
- The Living World (including hot desert and rainforest)
- Physical Landscape in the UK (including coastal and river landscapes)
- Urban Issues and Challenges
- The Changing Economic World
- The Challenge of Resource Management (including energy and a resource)
Geography at Key Stage 5
Geography is a broad based academic subject which will open up options in your future. Students will find that Geography sits comfortably alongside a full range of other A level subjects as it combines both arts and Science subjects. It provides transferable skills for higher education and beyond. In 2015 the Guardian identified Geography as ‘the must-have A level’.
The A level course covers both the physical and human environments and the complex interaction of processes that shape our world. It will also equip students with the ability to assess how human intervention affects the environment and how people can adapt and mitigate the effects of processes on their environment. This is complex and dynamic and varies from place to place depending on people’s resources, technology and culture. The room for discussion and extended research will help students become independent thinkers who are able to express their opinion in a substantiated way.
The course is two years with no AS course offered. A look at the list below shows the breadth of geographical topics covered:
- Coastal Landscapes
- Tectonic Hazards
- Water and Carbon Cycle
- Health and Human Rights
There is an ongoing requirement to develop a wide variety of skills. These will be assessed within the three examination papers. In addition students will attend a field trip at the end of Year 12 and conduct an independent piece of fieldwork on a topic of their choice. Students will complete this in term 1 of Year 13.
The department follows the Edexcel specification.
As a department, we try to give students the opportunity to experience geography first hand, in the field whenever possible. This ranges from local area studies in Stoke Newington in the lower school, to studying geography in different locations in the UK during the GCSE to international geography in the field during KS5.
We encourage students to keep abreast of geography in the news and encourage students to research their own case studies and feedback to their classes whenever possible. Other ways of extending students' enthusiasm for the subject include taking KS5 students to lectures and University days and case study lectures delivered by the RGS.
Geography graduates are amongst the most employable of university graduates due to the range of skills developed whilst studying geography and the compatibility of geography with other subjects. University degrees in geography enable students to specialise in the aspects of geography they find most interesting and enable them to pursue a career that might one day lead them to shape the world they have been studying throughout their geography education.