The following members of staff form the geography department at King Edwards:
- Miss K Niesiolowska (Head of Geography)
- Miss G Merry (Second in Geography)
- Miss R Thomas (Teacher of Geography)
- Mrs K Riley (Teacher of Geography)
Geography is a highly valued humanities subject that aims to bridge the gap between Arts and Science. It is widely recognised as an academically ‘robust’ subject that prepares students to think in depth about current topics. Here at King Edwards we are firm believers in ‘living through’ geography and applying our own knowledge and experiences to the subject in order to develop our understanding.
The Royal Geographical Society states Geography informs us about:
- The places and communities in which we live and work
- Our natural environments and the pressures they face
- The interconnectedness of the world and our communities within it
- How and why the world is changing, globally and locally
- How our individual and societal actions contribute to those changes
- The choices that exist in managing our world for the future
- The importance of location in business and decision-making
Our KS3 curriculum works to develop student’s knowledge and further understanding of each of these areas, taking into account recent changes the government have put in place (below).
|Human and physical geography
In addition, students are expected to practise and further their experience in the application of geographical skills such as map reading, use of GIS and the ability to analyse and draw conclusions from geographical data.
KS3 Curriculum at KEVI
Each of the units is created to fulfil the current government requirements for KS3 curriculum but are also designed to allow students to progress through time by creating a challenging curriculum that builds on previous skills and knowledge e.g. at year 7 students are expected to create a speech based on information discussed in class on tourism in Kenya which draws on the basic stages of blooms taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension and application). Later in Year 9 students are asked to debate ethical trading by looking at the example of Primark. In this case students need to analyse and evaluate different ideas and create their own view point from various sources, using higher order thinking skills.
In addition to providing a challenging curriculum, our staff aims to deliver creative and engaging lessons to ensure the enjoyment of lessons and develop positive relationships between students and staff. Examples include:
- Creating a Maasai settlement
- Use of ICT to create an animation of an Ox-bow lake
- Using crime statistic websites to design a crime-proof neighbourhood
- Exploring the ‘MARS ONE’ project to see what population we would create on Mars
- Playing the ‘Jelly baby’ population game to understanding demographics of a population
- Creation of a 3D volcano to illustrate understanding of the formation of a volcano
- Interactive Montserrat decision making exercise
- Plus many more!!
The current curriculum follows the AQA specification for geography. This is a two year course that is examined at the end by one human paper (35%), one physical paper (35%) and a Skills paper (30%). The course was chosen as it allows students to study a variety of topics over both human and physical aspects and strike a balance between breadth and depth of knowledge. There is also a variety of skills used and examined, making it a challenging yet engaging course.
Trips and opportunities
It is a compulsory requirement that students complete one human and one physical piece of fieldwork in order to complete paper 3 of the course (the skills paper). We currently complete this on a half day to Digbeth and a full day to Carding Mill valley. In addition, there is an opportunity for students to go on an overseas residential which in past years has been to Iceland. However, this trip is only available to students that have had a positive behaviour record and spaces are limited to 40-50.
Students will be set work appropriately depending on the part of the course that is being taught. Most often homework will either be revision for a practice question in class, to make improvements on exam questions or revision for an end of unit test or for the mocks. However in addition to this, students will be asked to carry out independent research to create a case study or to enhance their understanding of their study area for the controlled assessments. They should have at least three pieces of homework a half term of varying length. If they are revising for an end of unit test they should spend at least 3-4 hours doing this, therefore revising for a mock should be reflective of the number of units covered e.g. 3 units in year 10 therefore 9-12 hours.
Students follow the AQA Geography specification. This is a two year course where students will be examined by two written papers, one human and one physical, and a fieldwork investigation at the end of the two years. Each paper is worth 40% and the fieldwork is worth 20%. The two years are split as follows:
- Water and Carbon cycles (compulsory)
- Contemporary Urban Environments
- Glacial systems and landscapes
- 4/5 day residential to the Lake District to collect data for the fieldwork investigation
- Complete fieldwork write-up
- Changing Places (compulsory)
- Global Systems and Governance (compulsory)
It is a compulsory requirement that students engage in 4 days of fieldwork in order to complete the course. This is currently undertaken as a 5 day residential in the Lake District and students may choose a variety of options for data collection in many of the areas studied in year 12. The cost of the trip is roughly £350.
This is a challenging course and requires students to read around the subject and consolidate their notes on a lesson by lesson basis. In addition students will be set specific reading and homework tasks by staff in order to aid their understanding and to provide them with the prior knowledge they will need for upcoming lessons and therefore is vital that it is completed on time. Most tasks and links to articles can be accessed via SWITCH.
If you have any queries about the geography courses at King Edwards, then please e-mail the Head of Geography:
And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @KEVIGeography