“Geography is all about the living, breathing essence of the world we live in. It explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?”

Michael Palin

Geography is all about inspiring students to learn about the world around them, to travel and to see the world, but also to understand their place in the world as a Global Citizen. We cover a variety of topics and teach in a range of ways to ensure students consider different view points and understand the knock-on effects and layers of complexity in the world in which we live. Students will cover both physical and traditional geography topics, as well as human disciplines which are ever changing. More importantly, they will appreciate how the two overlap and interact to see that humans affect the physical environment and vice versa.

Key Stage Three

At Key Stage 3 all students study Geography with topical schemes of work that are taught in a variety of ways to develop student’s geographical skills and prepare them for GCSE. Below is a sample of the topics studied in Years 7 and 8.

– In Year 7 students begin by investigating ‘What is Geography?’ before undertaking a unit on Energy and Resources, looking at non-renewable and renewable energy and problems/benefits associated with each. Another unit is 'Rivers' where students investigate the processes that lead to the changing profile of a river as it travels downstream and the features found along a rivers course. An exciting and engaging unit is 'Plate Tectonics' where students investigate the processes that drive earthquakes and volcanic activity and the effects these events have on human activity. We also look at Global development and why some countries have higher birth and death rates and why some countries have longer life expectancies and higher literacy rates.

– In Year 8 students begin by studying ‘Population Change’ with a focus on population problems in rich and poor countries. Also covered is ‘Tourism’ in different landscapes, the impact this activity has on people and the environment and how this can be managed sustainably. Another topic covered is ‘Settlement’ in which students examine the locations of settlements, the problems that occur within urban areas and the ways in which these can be solved or managed.

Key Stage Four

During Key Stage 4, the current Year 10 and 11 students follow the AQA A syllabus, which is broken down into six units of study.

Paper 1 Physical Geography topics:

– The Restless Earth

- Water on the Land

– The Coastal Zone

Paper 2 Human Geography topics:

- Population Change

– Changing Urban Environments

– Tourism

Students are assessed via two examinations (37.5% each) and a controlled assessment (25%). The controlled assessment requires students to carry out an investigation, whereby they collect fieldwork along the Loughton Brook river, writing up their findings under controlled supervision.

Current Year 9 students have embarked upon the new AQA specification which has now been fully accredited. The specification offers a wide range of human and topics which are aimed at preparing students for the challenges their generation will face.

Paper 1 is a physical paper covering various hazards, extreme weather, coastal and river landscapes and a variety of ecosystems. Paper 2 is a human paper which covers a variety of urban issues and challenges, the varying economic wealth of countries and the associated quality of life, and the challenges of resource management, e.g. global disparities in water, food and energy distribution. The final paper, Paper 3 tests students analytical and decision making skills and their knowledge of fieldwork techniques.

In order to meet the requirement of Paper 3, we will be embarking on two separate fieldwork trips, where we will collect data on both a physical and a human area of study e.g. we will visit the Loughton Brook river in Epping Forest to take physical measurements in the field. To meet our Human fieldwork obligation we may visit Romford Shopping area, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Students are assessed via three examinations:

Paper 1: Living with the physical environment (35%)

Paper 2: Challenges in the human environment (35%)

Paper 3: Geographical applications (30%)

The Geography Department believes strongly in the benefits and enrichment of field trips. In addition to the compulsory fieldwork trips that all students have to undertake to pass the course, we also provide the opportunity for Key Stage 4 students to attend field trips to Italy and Iceland where they have the exciting chance to experience Geography in action.

Meet the Department

Head of Humanities Faculty and Teacher of Geography

Mrs K. Raftery

Geography Subject Leader

Miss H. Webster

Teacher of Geography

Miss K. Gilbert

Assistant Head Teacher and Teacher of Geography

Miss T. Greaves