The Geography department is one of the most successful at Beaconsfield High School, combining a track record of consistently excellent exam results, with fieldwork opportunities and an emphasis on a student’s wider role as a citizen.
The BHS Geography curriculum is intended to develop and extend student knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes at all scales from local to global. This knowledge is set within various environmental, social, economic, political and cultural contexts. We want our students to be intellectually curious so they can play a part in making the world a better place to live, applying their knowledge to make positive choices about how they interact with the environment.
Geography - Curriculum Intent
The Geography curriculum is intended to develop and extend student knowledge of locations, places, environments and processes at all scales from local to global. This knowledge is set within various environmental, social, economic, political and cultural contexts. We empower our students to be intellectually curious so they can play a part in making the world a better place to live, applying their knowledge to make positive choices about how they interact with the environment.
The Geography curriculum is intended to enable students of all backgrounds and abilities to gain knowledge and understanding of the interactions between people and environments, change in places and processes over space and time, and the inter-relationships between geographical phenomena at different scales and in different contexts.
The Geography curriculum is planned and sequenced to ensure the extention of student competence in a range of geographical skills including fieldwork, using maps and in researching information.
The Geography curriculum is planned and sequenced to enable students to apply their geographical knowledge, understanding, skills and approaches appropriately and creatively to real world contexts.
In line with whole school values, we desire all students reach their full potential. Geography lessons contain both breadth, depth and challenge and students are empowered to become high achieving, independent learners. The acronym DIGEST (see below) is used in Years 7-9 to formalise some of the key geographical assessment and literacy skills we are seeking to develop.
In Year 7 the DIGEST focus is on describing geographical patterns, ensuring the key inclusion of key terms and named places. In Year 8 this is built on with an emphasis on explaining and suggesting knock-on effects. In Year 9 the focus is on evaluation, with students required to make judgements about complex issues. Where appropriate this language is also used at GCSE.
D Describe in detail
I Include key terms and named places
G Give supporting data
E Explain why things happen
S Suggest knock on effects
T To what extent / make a judgement
Active learning in all year groups is underpinned by a number of key concepts and processes:
· Place – differences between them and how they are changing
· Scale – local, national, international and global
· Interdependence – how places are linked through flows of people and resources
· Cultural understanding – learning what it is like to live in different places
· Sustainability – how resources can be managed for the benefit of future generations
· Data analysis – interpreting data to help explain why something is as it is
· Fieldwork – collecting data outside the classroom
Years 7, 8 & 9 Geography
Students are taught in their tutor groups and have three lessons per fortnight.
Students study a wide range of physical and human Geography at a variety of local, national and international scales. This knowledge is set within various contexts. In Year 7 some content is interleaved using the continent of Africa as a lens through which to focus a wide variety of concepts. Other topics in Year 7 are Tourism, Coasts and Weather and Climate.
In Year 8 students study Rivers, Population, Cold Environments and Climate Change.
In Year 9 students study Globalisation, Natural hazards and Development. In the summer term of Year 9 the delivery of GCSE content begins.
Year 10 and Year 11 - GCSE Geography
We follow the AQA syllabus with students being taught in mixed ability classes and having five lessons per fortnight in year 10 and four per fortnight in year 11.
Students study the following units of work:
- The challenge of natural hazards
- The living world
- Physical landscapes in the UK
- Urban Issues and challenges
- The changing economic world
- The challenge of resource management
Fieldwork: At GCSE there are two one day visits focusing on rivers and urban work. These enable students to collect data that can be used to support exam preparation and enable classroom learning to come alive.