The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places.
It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on students’ own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.
Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, now and in the future. Students learn to think spatially and use maps and visuals to obtain, present and analyse information.
Geography inspires students to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and their responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet.
Mount Carmel Year 9 pupils were given a first hand insight into the wildlife of the tropics with a visit from John Conlon from Animal Antics. He brought snakes, spiders, an owl and cockroaches into the school and explained about the rainforest habitat in which they live. The pupils had opportunity to touch and hold many of the animals and were intrigued asking about many aspects such as how dangerous the animals are to us and to each other and how they survive.
Miss Senior, Geography co-ordinator at the school arranged the visit to help inform Year 9 pupils of topics that will be covered in the Geography GCSE syllabus.
Geography at Key Stage 3
There are a number of key concepts that underpin the study of geography. Students need to understand these concepts in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding.
These key concepts are:
- Physical and human processes
- Environmental interaction and sustainable development
- Cultural understanding and diversity
Through the study of geography students learn key skills in order to progress. These key skills are:
- Geographical Enquiry
- Fieldwork and out of class learning
- Graphicacy and visual literacy
- Geographical Communication
The key concepts and skills that underpin geography are taught on a variety of scales from personal, local, regional, national, continental and global looking at a variety of places and environments, themes or issues. These places include key aspects of the UK and different parts of the world in their wider settings and contexts, including the European Union and regions and countries in different states of development. Physical and human processes are studied and the interactions between people and their environments, including the causes and consequences of these interactions and how we plan for and manage them. A great deal of emphasis is places on current issues and geography that is happening now.
How Geography is taught at Mount Carmel
It is hoped that all students after studying geography will become successful learners, more confident individuals and responsible citizens.
During the key stage students are offered many opportunities that are integral to their learning and enhance their engagement with the concepts, processes and content of the subject.
The curriculum at Mount Carmel aims to build on and expand students’ personal experiences of geography and explore real and relevant contemporary contexts using a range of approaches to enquiries and varied resources, including maps, visual media and geographical information systems. Links are made between geography and other subjects, including citizenship, science and ICT. Sustainability and the global dimension are inherent to the subject and are key themes running through the key stage.
A range of skills are used so students can participate in informed responsible action in relation to contemporary geographical issues that affect them and those around them.
Fieldwork opportunities are continuously being explored and incorporated into the curriculum.
In year 7 we set the foundations for Key Stage 3 building on knowledge from the previous key stage and exploring the exciting world of volcanoes and earthquakes.
In year 8 we explore what it is like to live on an island and the importance of the coastline to the British Isles. We then move on to appreciate the issues surrounding global warming and climate change and end the year looking at the world as a global village.
In year 9 we introduce the key theme of sustainability, looking first at the Lake District National Park then moving on to its application in the Amazonian Rainforest. In the latter half of the year we look at a number of development issues taking case studies from around the world and end with an exploration of world habitat destruction and animal extinction.
There is no getting away from Geography. It is all around us. It is the world around us. Geography is fascinating because it’s about everyone’s favourite topic: us, and the excitement of our lives. It asks why we live, how and where we do, and how we fit into our environment – plus, what happens when it goes wrong.
Will I enjoy Geography?
Yes – if you: enjoy learning about people and places and wonder why there are so many differences in the world ever wonder why there is a McDonald’s in every town or city you visit are excited about cities and how they grow and change like thinking about the environment and its future enjoy the ‘great outdoors’ and are eager to find out about how the earth’s landscape was created are interested in the natural world, including volcanoes, the sea-side and mountains like finding out about places at different scales – locally, nationally and globally like discovering places on holiday
Through studying Geography, the pupil will learn lots of skills that can be used in the outside world. Some of these skills are:
- effective communication
- use of information technology
- ability to work as part of a team
- analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills
- numeracy and literacy skills through using lots of different writing styles and data
- organisation and motivation
- report production and presentation
Geography graduates are amongst the most employable due to this diversity of skills.
Geography at Mount Carmel
A great deal of time has been invested in choosing the most suitable syllabus for pupils at Mount Carmel. Geography has proved to be very popular and increasing numbers of pupils are choosing to study Geography at GCSE. It is one of the collection of subjects that constitute the English Baccalaureate.
Controlled assessment constitutes 25% of the final qualification and is completed in Year 10. The terminal exam is completed in Year 11 and forms the remaining 75%. Subjects studied include the changing urban environment, the coastal environment, geology and tourism.
Lessons are supplemented by an extensive fieldwork programme.