|About the Faculty|
Geography at Sir John Lawes is taught by a well experienced team, who are passionate about the subject. We have a variety of specialisms within both physical and human geography. Lessons include a variety of teaching methods and resources, to ensure all students are engaged and participating in their learning. Geography is a very popular subject at both GCSE and A-Level and we are very proud of the results our students have achieved each year which consistently are well above the national average.
|Curriculum Intent Statement|
The geography curriculum is designed to develop students’ curiosity and fascination about the world in which they live. We aim to equip students with knowledge of current environmental issues, which will affect their future, creating young people who are passionate about sustainability and the environment. Students’ knowledge and understanding is developed through studying a range of places at different scales; this is achieved by analysing the human and physical processes which shape our world. Students will learn about how the world is increasingly interconnected and understand their role as a global citizen in a changing world. Students will also learn a wide range of skills to help them interpret source and make informed decisions including literacy, numeracy, graphical, statistical, map and atlas skills.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Geography at Key Stage 3 is topical, interesting and interactive. Pupils have two lessons per week in Year 7, one lesson per week in Year 8, and two lessons per week in Year 9. In year 7 and 8 students study topics for 6-8 weeks, being assessed at the middle and end of each unit where a progress level is awarded to them. In Year 9 students begin to learn the skills needed for GCSE, so therefore are assessed using GCSE success criteria.
Programme of Study
- My place in the world
- Map skills
- A trip around Asia
- Weather and Climate
- 7 billion and counting
- Restless Earth
- An Unfair World
- Russia and the Middle East
- The Work of Ice and Water
- A Sustainable Future
- Fieldwork Investigation
- Global Ecosystems
- Tropical Rainforests
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Key Stage 4 Geography is an exciting, engaging course taught by Geography specialists with an equal weighting given to both Physical and Human Geography. The Faculty follow the AQA (8035) Specification. Students have 3 lessons per week and conduct two pieces of fieldwork during the course. Students also have the opportunity to take part in a residential field trip to Iceland at the end of the Easter term in Year 10.
Programme of Study
- Living World – Cold Environments
- UK Physical Landscapes – Coastal Landscapes
- Coastal Fieldwork (Southend - £20)
- Urban Issues and Challenges
- The Challenge of Natural Hazards
- Changing Economic World
- UK Physical Landscapes – River Landscapes
- Urban environments Fieldwork (St Albans - £10)
- The Challenge of Resource Management
- Issue Evaluation
Key Stage 5 Curriculum
Board: AQA (7037)
A Level Geography is a challenging and enjoyable course that combines essay writing with analytical and fieldwork skills.
A GCSE in Geography is preferable if you wish to study the subject, though students without this experience will be considered. You will need an interest in the world around you and a willingness to read widely.
Field Trip Costs:
- Year 12 there will be a 1-day visit to East London (approximate cost £20-£25) ; and
- Year 13 a 3-day residential in Swanage (approximate cost £200-£225).
Course content and Assessment
- Water and carbon cycles
- Coastal systems and landscapes
The above topics will be assessed in a 2 hours 30 minutes paper which is worth 40% of the A Level mark.
- Global systems and global governance
- Changing places
- Population and the environment
The above topics will be assessed in a 2 hours 30 minutes paper which is worth 40% of the A Level.
Students complete an individual investigation which includes data collected in the field. The individual investigation must be based on a question or issue defined and developed by the student and must relate to part of the specification content. This will be 3000-4000 words and worth 20% of the A-level
Fieldwork, including a residential trip, is an essential part of Geography A Level, this will equip students with the skills, and data needed for the geographical investigation as well as help their understanding of some of the content in the physical and human geographical papers.
Students who have previously studied Geography are expected to achieve a grade 6 or above at GCSE and a grade 6 in English would also be desirable. Those new to the subject should have achieved a grade 6 or above in both GCSE English and Mathematics. All students must have an APS of 4.5 or above.
The Faculty is very well-resourced for effective teaching and learning both inside and outside the school grounds. The Faculty is committed to providing fieldwork opportunities at all Key Stages, notably running annual residential field trips to Swanage (Year 13) and Iceland (Year 10), whilst a day trip is offered to London Docklands (Year 12). At Key Stage 3, fieldwork is completed locally, with year groups investigating geographical issues in and around the school and Harpenden. Fieldwork equipment is of the highest standard. We have a number of GPS navigation handsets, digital thermometers, hygrometers and anemometers as well as ranging poles, clinometers and waders for carrying out the more traditional fieldwork.
To enhance the cultural capital of student we use a variety of case studies from diverse locations around the world, this increases awareness of the challenges and opportunities faced by different people around the world. We encourage student to be critical about the sources of information we use and take into account a range of perspectives.