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Geography

Introduction

Geography at Waingels is a popular & successful subject with a dynamic & motivated department. Our goal is to help students understand the world in which they live by encouraging them to ask questions & investigate real-life situations. From their initial Waingels Geography Passport at the start of Year 7 to learning about Ecosystems, Globalisation & Plate Tectonics, students at Waingels follow a diverse curriculum with a fascinating range of topics at Key Stage 3 into Key Stage 4 and 5.

Students have a very determined approach to their Geography lessons and we are very pleased with our 2017 GCSE results in which 65% of the Geography cohort achieved an A*-C with 44% achieving an A*-B! We are also very proud of our BTEC Level 2 Travel and Tourism students who achieved 90% Distinction – Pass (A*-C grade equivalent.) 71% of our Geography A-Level cohort achieved an A*-C and over the years we always have a number of our Year 13 students opting to study Geography at University. With many former students choosing to stay in touch we love to hear how they are getting on!

Currently the Geography Department follows the new OCR GCSE specifications (first teaching 2016) at Key Stage 4 and the OCR 2 year A-level course (first teaching 2016) at Key Stage 5. In addition we offer BTEC Level 1/2 First Certificate (equivalent to one GCSE) in Travel & Tourism at Key Stage 4. 

To stay up-to-date with news in the department as well as interesting geographical articles & news stories follow us on Twitter @waingelsgeog

Years 7 & 8

Students in Year 7 and 8 have four lessons over a fortnight covering a series of topics which build on their learning at Primary School. We aim for all students to gain a strong foundation in fundamental geographical knowledge and skills to assist them into Year 9 and beyond. Some of the topics studied include Settlement and Local Area, Geography of Sport, Rivers and Coasts, Geography of Crime, Ecosystems and Fantastic Places Around the World. Please refer to the curriculum overview which shows what topics each year group will be studying during each term.


Students in Year 7 and 8 have a number of assessed pieces of work throughout the year in different formats. These range from short exam style tests to independent research projects and will be assessed against a student’s individual flight path.

Year 9 – Transition Year

Students in Year 9 have four lessons over a fortnight. They cover a series of topics developed to give students a taster of those that are studied in more detail in the GCSE course. Some of these include Population and Urbanisation, Plate Tectonics and Development and Globalisation. As students’ progress towards the summer term there is an increasing emphasis on exam technique within lessons. This is to ensure students have developed the fundamental skills needed to approach the examination format of the GCSE course.

Years 10 & 11

Geography GCSE

Students in Key Stage 4 have 5 lessons a fortnight. Currently Year 10 and Year 11 will follow different versions of the 2016 OCR course. More details for each year group and their specific course are given below.

Year 10 – OCR B: Geography for Enquiring Minds (First teaching 2016)

This course consists of 3 units. Unit 1: Out Natural World will cover a range of physical topics and is examined through a 1-hour 15-minute paper, worth 35% of the overall grade. Unit 2: People & Society will cover a range of human topics and is examined through a 1-hour 15-minute paper worth 35% of the overall grade. Unit 3: Geographical Exploration is a skill based 1-hour 30-minute paper in which students must demonstrate competent ability on using & manipulating data. They will also be expected to analyse information to make informed decisions about a topical situation. This paper is worth 30% of the overall grade. Throughout all three papers, students will also be assessed on their fieldwork skills that they gain whilst completing 2 days of fieldwork in Year 10 in a physical & urban environment.

Textbooks & revision guides that we use and recommend are:

  • GCSE Geography OCR B (2016) - Published by Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Geographical Skills & Fieldwork for OCR GCSE (9-1) Geography A & B - Published by Hodder Education, 2017.
  • GCSE Geography, OCR B: Geography for Enquiring Minds. The Revision Guide for the Grade 9-1 Course - Published by CGP, 2016.
  • GCSE Geography, OCR B: Geography for Enquiring Minds. Exam Practice Workbook for the Grade 9-1 Course - Published by CGP, 2016.

Click here to view the OCR website where you can look through the specification and other course materials, including sample assessment materials.

Year 11 – OCR A: Geographical Themes (First teaching 2016)

This course consists of 3 units. Unit 1: Living in the UK Today will cover a range of physical & human based issues in the UK and will be examined through a 1-hour paper. This is worth 30% of the overall grade. Unit 2: The World Around Us will cover a range of global physical & human based issues and will be examined through a 1-hour paper. This is worth 30% of the overall grade. Unit 3: Geographical Skills is a skill based 1-hour 30-minute paper in which students must demonstrate competent ability on using & manipulating data. This paper will also assess the fieldwork skills that students gain while completing their 2 days of fieldwork in Year 10. This paper is worth 40% of the overall grade.

Textbooks & revision guides we currently use and recommend are:

  • OCR GCSE (9-1) Geography A: Geographical Themes - Published by Hodder Education, 2016.
  • Geographical Skills & Fieldwork for OCR GCSE (9-1) Geography A & B - Published by Hodder Education, 2017.

Click here to view the OCR website where you can look through the specification and other course materials, including sample assessment materials.

Travel and Tourism BTEC First

Currently, the Geography department also offers BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Travel & Tourism (2013) in partnership with BTEC Level1/Level 2 First Award in Health & Beauty.

Students have 3 Travel & Tourism lessons a fortnight and the course aims to:

  • Inspire & enthuse learners to consider a career in the travel & tourism sector.
  • Support progression to a more specialised Level 3 vocational qualification in Travel & Tourism.

We cover four units over the 2-year course including:

Unit 1: The UK Travel & Tourism Section - 1-hour exam - 25% of the final grade.

Unit 2: UK Travel & Tourism Destinations - Coursework - 25% of the final grade.

Unit 4: International Travel & Tourism Destinations - Coursework - 25% of the final grade.

Unit 5: Factors Affecting Worldwide Travel & Tourism - Coursework - 25% of the final grade.

We aim for all students to achieve a Level 2 pass, merit, or distinction which is equivalent to 1 GCSE grade A-C.

Click here to view the Pearson website where you can explore the specification as well as other course materials, including past papers for the unit 1 exam.

Careers & future study

“Geography graduates have one of the highest rates of graduate employment, pursuing a wide range of career paths. Put simply, there is no such thing as a geography job; rather there are multiple jobs that geographers do!” Royal Geographical Society

Click here to investigate further where a career in Geography could take you.

Sixth Form

Students in Year 12 and 13 have 9 lessons a fortnight and follow the 2 year OCR Geography course (first teaching 2016.) Students will not be entered for the separate AS qualification so there will be no external examinations at the end of Year 12.

Students will be assessed through 4 units. Unit 1: Physical Systems will be examined through a 1-hour 30-minute paper and is worth 22% of the overall grade. Unit 2: Human Interactions will be examined through a 1-hour 30-minute paper and is worth 22% of the overall grade. Unit 3: Geographical Debates will be examined through a 2-hour 30-minute paper and is worth 36% of the overall grade. Unit 4: Investigative Geography is a 3,000-word report on a topic of the students’ choice and is worth 20% of the overall grade. The coursework will utilise the data collected on a 5-day field trip to Barcelona in the spring term of Year 12.

Textbooks & revision guides we currently use and recommend are:

  • OCR A Level: Geography for A Level (Includes AS) Second Edition - Published by Hodder Education, 2016.
  • OCR A/AS Level Student Guide 1: Landscape Systems: Changing Spaces, Making Places - Published by Hodder Education, 2016.
  • OCR A/AS Level Student Guide 2: Earth's Life Support Systems: Global Connections - Published by Hodder Education, 2016.
  • OCR A/AS Level Student Guide 3: Geographical Debates: Climate, Disease, Oceans, Food, Hazards - To be published by Hodder Education, 2017.
  • OCR A Level Student Guide 4: Independent & Fieldwork Skills - To be published by Hodder Education, 2017.

Click here to view the OCR website where you can look at the course materials such as the specification, including sample assessment materials.

Supplementing Your Geography A-Level Lessons

We have suggested that all A level students subscribe to the Waingels Twitter feed that has been set up. It features regular tweets from the exam board, BBC news stories, Greenpeace and other relevant organisations. Furthermore, there are often programmes on television and films that link directly to the topics studied, e.g. the Planet Earth II series to support the work on Earth’s Life Support Systems and films such as ‘Viceroy’s House’ which carefully outlines the events leading up to the annexing of India into West and East Pakistan.

Ultimately Geography is best studied outside in the field and, whilst students will undertake planned fieldwork, there are numerous places that students could visit at weekends or in the holidays to enrich their learning. They range from visiting the Dorset coastline with its’ stunning landforms to the Natural History Museum Earth Science Galleries in Kensington. Some further examples of places to visit are given below.

Ecosystems:

Bird World, Surrey

Eden Project, Cornwall

Living Rainforest, Newbury

Natural History Museum, London

Tectonics:

Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge

Natural History Museum, London

Coasts & Rivers:

Dinton Pastures, River Loddon, and River Thames, Reading

Old Harry Rock, Poole Bay, Dawlish Warren, Studland, and Swanage, Dorset

Needles, Isle of Wight

Brighton Beach, East Sussex

Energy:

The Green Britain Centre, Norfolk

The Big Pit Coalmine, South Wales

Beddington Zero Energy Development, London

 

Subject Leader: Miss E Quiggin

Staff:

Mrs J Shepherd

Mrs E Atkins – Part Time

Mrs E Craig - Part Time

Miss J Marshall