Geography doesn't simply begin and end with maps showing the location of all the countries of the world. In fact, such maps don't necessarily tell us much. No - Geography poses fascinating questions about who we are and how we got to be that way.
Geography is the hub of a circle from which other sciences and studies radiate: Meteorology and Climatology, Ecology, Geology, Oceanography, Demographics, Cartography, Agricultural Studies, Economics, Political Science. At some level, all these can be related back to Geographic factors. It is a solid understanding of Geography that is a vital, basic ingredient for a rounded, full understanding of the world and our place in it.
Geography at St Mary’s is a dynamic, engaging and relevant subject and we believe that our students have access to a modern curriculum that develops a wide range of transferrable skills. Geography creates a sense of wonder about places and allows students to solve problems on current issues. Our students can collect, record and analyse information, work independently or as part of a team and they can justify conclusions.
We believe that Geography fully incorporates the key strands of the school mission statement, where students meet their full potential in a very supportive environment and have many opportunities to develop their skills in the wider community.
The Department offers a range of international field trips as well as a number of fieldwork trips to places in the Peak District and Lake District. These experiences allow students to experience Geography in the field, develop their understanding and fieldwork skills.
Geography is an extremely popular subject with over 250 students studying Geography at GCSE level and a healthy uptake in the Sixth Form. BTEC Travel and Tourism is also offered by the department in the sixth form and this is also a very successful and popular option.
All students in Key Stage 3 will be issued with a new A4 exercise book each Learning Programme (Term). This clearly outlines week-by-week the curriculum content both in class and at home. There are 3 Learning Programmes in total LP1 (September to Christmas) LP2 (January to Easter) LP3 (Easter to July).
Drama, Music and PE are working with Learning Journals throughout Key Stage 3.
All students in Key Stage 4 will be issued with a new A4 exercise book each Learning Programme (Term) or Unit (Relating to the Qualification being studied).
There are no Learning Programmes for Key Stage 5 subjects. The Curriculum Overview for each course can be found in the Year 12 and Year 13 tabs.
All Learning Programmes will be displayed on the first page of all exercise books. Each Learning Programme can found in the separate tab for each Year Group.
Geography is taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7 and 8. At GCSE the classes are organised depending which pathway the student has chosen. At KS3 we cover a number of topics to help create imaginative and insightful Geographers with all the skills they might need for further study of the subject at KS4 and KS5.
At GCSE students study the AQA exam board. It is a popular GCSE option with current uptake approximately 270 students across KS4.
In Sixth Form, we offer A-Level in Geography as well as courses in Travel and Tourism. Students achieve well in Geography and in the past have gone on to continue their study of the subject at many high profile universities, including Cambridge University. Students enjoy the course at KS5 finding it engaging and exciting.
The department provides a number of fieldwork opportunities across the key stages as well as the opportunity for international trips at both KS4 and KS5. The department is well-resourced with modern, spacious classrooms and a computer suite.