Geography

Department vision

Geography Centre of Excellence

Inspiring students at Wilmington Grammar School for Girls with an innovative, contemporary & engaging Geography curriculum.

Our aim is to deliver a curriculum which challenges and supports students to make outstanding progress in geographical knowledge, understanding and skills.  We want to inspire our students with a love of all aspects of geography and are keen to create in them a curiosity which drives students not only to excel academically but to also go out and literally explore their world.

As a department we recognise the importance of cultivating links outside the school and we are therefore involved with the Northwest Kent Geographical Association (GA) local branch with our partner school Gravesend Grammar School. We also have links with ESRI UK (GIS provider) and the FSC (Field Studies Council).

In 2015 we were awarded with the GA’s gold Centre of Excellence quality mark for excellence in our geography curriculum and for our contribution to supporting geographical education in the local area.

 

Year 7

Students start their course by learning what Geography is and learning key facts about the UK and the World. 

Term

Year 7

1

Geography Basics – Know your world

  • What is geography?
  • Where are the continents & oceans?
  • What is the terrestrial and marine topography like on Earth?
  • How do I locate places using latitude & longitude? (global coordinates)
  • What are the main physical and human features of the UK?
  • Where is my home at a range of scales?
  • How do I annotate sketches and photographs?

2

3

Rainforests

  • What and where are rainforests?
  • Why is deforestation occurring in Borneo?
  • How do plants adapt to the climate and soils in rainforests?
  • Why does deforestation occur?

4

Extreme weather and climate

  • What is weather?
  • What is the difference between extreme weather and climate?
  • How do dust storms form and what impact do they have?
  • What are the impacts of tornados?
  • How do people cope in Oymyakon – the world’s coldest town?
  • How does the monsoon affect people in the world’s wettest village – Mawsynram?

5

OS map skills

  • What is an Ordnance Survey map?
  • Which map symbols are there?
  • How do I locate places using 4 and 6 figure grid references?
  • How do I give compass directions?
  • How do I measure distances on maps?
  • How do I read altitude & relief on an OS map?

6

End of year exams

-

School-based fieldwork project

Students conduct a geographical investigation on the school site using all stages of the enquiry process.

 

 

Year 8

Students enjoy studying a mix of physical and human geography and will learn about some very contrasting places.

Term

Year 8

1

Changing China

  • What are the human and physical characteristics of China?
  • What affects the China’s population pattern?
  • What was wrong with the One Child policy?
  • What are some key aspects of Chinese culture?
  • How and why is Shanghai changing?

2

Tectonic Hazards

  • What is a tectonic hazard?
  • Where and why do earthquakes occur?
  • What was the impact of the Sichuan quake?
  •  How can we protect people from quakes?
  •  What causes earthquakes?
  • How was the Montserrat eruption managed?
3

Russia

  • What are Russia’s key geographical features?
  • What do Russia’s climate graphs show us?
  • What affects Russia’s population pattern?
  • What happened to the Russian men?
  • How developed is Russia?

4

Antarctica

  • What is the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions?
  • What are the main features of Antarctica?
  • What is the Antarctic Treaty and how does it help to protect the world last wilderness?
  • How has Antarctica’s climate changed over the last 100,000 years?
  • Why did Amundsen beat Scott to the South Pole?
  • How is tourism managed in Antarctica?

5

Rivers

  • How do rivers fit into the water cycle?
  • What is a drainage basin?
  • How do rivers change along their long profile?
  • How are landforms like waterfalls and gorges formed?
  • How are landforms like meanders and oxbow lakes formed?

6

End of year exams

-

Local-area fieldwork project

Students conduct a geographical investigation in their local area using all stages of the enquiry process. This also develops their creativity and independence.

Year 9

Year 9 students start following the GCSE OCR B Geography course.  Course code J384 “Geography for Enquiring Minds”.  We have extended this from a 2 year to a 3 year course to ensure we cover all the content and skills in sufficient depth.  There are 8 topics covering a balance of physical and human geography.  There are two fieldwork investigations both of which are assessed in the Physical and Human geography papers.  In year 10 students visit the River Darent to investigate downstream changes.  In Year 11 students visit Stratford to investigate challenges of urban areas. View the OCR B spec here.

Year 9 Students will cover these topics:

  • UK in the 21st Century
  • Dynamic Development

Year 10

Year 10 students have 6 x 50 minute lessons every two weeks. They will cover these topics:

  • Dynamic Development
  • Ecosystems
  • Distinctive Landscapes

Year 11

Year 11 students have 6 x 50 minute lessons every two weeks. They will cover these topics:

  • Urban Futures
  • Changing Climate
  • Resource Reliance (food security)
  • Global Hazards (extreme weather and tectonic hazards)

Assessment

At A level our students follow the OCR specification; course code H481. Mr Simmons and Miss Redsell share the teaching of A level with Mr Simmons teaching physical and Miss Redsell teaching human Geography.

Students plan and collect data for their independent investigation, worth 20% of their A level, at the FSC Blencathra field centre in Cumbria.  We teach WGSG based students but the other WG6 class is based at WGSB, led by Mr Riches.  The July 2018 5-day Blencathra residential field trip will be a joint WGSG/WGSB affair. View the OCR A level specification here.

Year 12 students have 12 x 50 minute lessons every 2 weeks. Students follow a two year A level course. 

Year 12 course outline

Term

Mr Simmons

Miss Redsell

1

Coastal Landscape Systems

Changing Spaces; Making Places (Human interactions)

2

3

Earth’s Life Support Systems (Water and Carbon cycles)

Disease Dilemmas (Geographical Debates)

4

5

6

Blencathra fieldwork for the Independent Investigations

Year 13 course outline

Term

Mr Simmons

Miss Redsell

1

Independent Investigation write up

Human Rights (Human interactions)

2

Hazardous Earth (Geographical Debates)

Disease Dilemmas (Geographical Debates)

3

4

5

Final exam preparation

post 16 at wg6

Students follow the new OCR A level specification.  Over the two years of their course students will learn

  • Landscape systems – coasts
  • Earth's Life Support Systems – water and carbon cycles
  • Changing Spaces; Making Places
  • Global Migration
  • Disease Dilemmas
  • Hazardous Earth
  • Individual Investigation + Juniper Hall residential fieldwork (4 days). Complete Fieldwork write up (3000 to 4000 words)

related careers

The skills and knowledge gained by studying geography at GCSE and A level or university are relevant to almost all jobs and workplaces.  There has never been a better time to be a geographer.  The Russell Group of leading universities has selected geography as one of their preferred ‘facilitating’ subjects. 

  • Disaster Response Coordinator
  • Development and flood risk analyst
  • Business Development Manager
  • UN strategic planner
  • Audit Associate
  • Assistant Supervisor at an independent travel company
  • Global real estate services advisor
  • GIS consultant for a geospatial IT company
  • Weather Producer for a TV company
  • Senior policy advisor for climate change mitigation
  • Travel writer and broadcaster
  • Education travel consultant