Geography

The Geography Department is headed by Mrs Julie Lloyd and comprises four other highly experienced teaching staff. Pupils are taught in the three dedicated Geography classrooms. Each has a data projector as well as conventional OHP, TV and video facilities. Two classrooms share a mini-network of 16 wireless laptops that are very popular and heavily used by the whole department.
 
ICT is a key component of Geography. All staff routinely make use of ICT as a teaching tool and expect students to use it for research and to produce written assignments. A number of ICT-based lessons and formal Assignments are used at all Key Stages. Software such as PowerPoint and Moviemaker are used by staff and pupils enhancing presentation skills for pupils.
 
All pupils have the opportunity to take part in field work at all key stages. Some are unique to a year group or Key Stage whilst others cross the Key Stages. Examples include:  Local field work investigating redevelopment in Watford and a study of the environmental quality of local residential areas. Visits such as to the Earth Galleries at the Natural History Museum.  Conferences Sixth form students together with pupils from Years 9 and 10 have participated in two Climate Change Conferences meeting two IPCC Nobel Prize winners on one occasion! Workshops Students have attended GIS workshops at Kingston University. National and international field work Pupils have attended Field Courses to South Wales, Aberystwyth, Devon,  Iceland and China.

Key Stage 3

The teaching of Geography at KS3 at Watford Grammar School for Boys has the following aims:

To promote an understanding of different environments at different scales from local to global.

To show how human activity has an impact on these environments.

To promote awareness and understanding of contemporary global issues that affect their everyday lives.

To develop a range of skills that will equip them for both current and future study.

Year 7

Pupils will study a range of topics from the selection below.

An introduction to geography and the physical, human and environmental aspects of the subject.

Personal geography: how is geography related to their everyday lives

Local geography: Using O.S. maps and new technology to study local geography

Local field work: Weather and climate; Environmental challenges, Urban growth and change, e.g, redevelopment of Watford

Year 8

Pupils will study a range of topics from the selection below.

The study of an emerging economy: Brazil

Fragile ecosystems

Urban growth and challenges

Climate change

Extreme weather

Tectonics

Sustainability: water

Global conflict

The geography of technology

Year 9

In Year 9 students study these topics prior to making GCSE choices:

Why are some countries poor? An investigation into development issues

The contribution of natural disasters to the development process

Hydrology the study of rivers and flooding

The causes and impacts of population growth

Globalisation

 
Key Stage 4
 
 Students begin GCSE in the second half of the summer term in Year 9 and continue until the summer of Year 11.

The AQA A specification http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-a-9030 focuses on the physical and human processes and factors that have shaped the environment in which we live. Students learn about the interdependence of physical environments and how human activity affects the environment. There is also a focus on how these environments may be managed sustainably in the 21st century.

The GCSE course is split into three units:

Unit 1: Physical Geography

Unit 2: Human Geography

Unit 3: Local Fieldwork investigation (controlled assessment).

Students therefore have two examinations of 1 ½ hour in the summer of Year 11. The Controlled Assessment is based on data collection from the Year 10 field trip and is written up in the autumn term of Year 11. A selection of the following topics are taught:

Unit 1 Physical Geography

The Restless Earth

Rocks

Weather and climate

Water on the land

Ice

Coasts

 
Unit 2 Human Geography

Population change

Changing urban environments

Changing rural environments

Development

Globalisation

Tourism

 

Key Stage 5

Geography is an increasingly popular subject at Key Stage 5 (A Level) as a consequence of excellent results and a thought-provoking, contemporary and accessible syllabus. Building on their successful endeavours at Key Stage 3 and GCSE, A Level students can expect to be stretched and challenged throughout their two years of study by a scheme of work, provided by the WJEC board www.wjec.co.uk  which aims to:

deliver Geography relevant to those whose life will span much of the twenty-first century

focus on the dynamic nature of the world we live in

enable the students to understand, interpret and react to the constantly changing environments

place learning outside the classroom and advanced fieldwork skills at its core

introduce students to modern developments in the subject such as the use of GIS and remote sensing together with new directions emanating from Higher Education such as Extreme Environments

move the students' skills on from describing and explaining, to discussing and evaluating, which then prepares them for the demands of independent learning at degree level

 AS 

Investigating climate change

Investigating tectonic and hydrological change

Investigating population change

Investigating settlement change in MEDCs

Students will also undertake fieldwork in the Lower 6th

A2 

Emerging Asia: China

Coastal landforms and their management

Glacial landforms and their management

Sustainability – food supply, energy, water supply and sustainable cities

In addition, students will undertake an individual research project, based on themes such as The Geography of Crime, Leisure and Recreation, Rivers and Deprivation.

Students are assessed by examination, with AS and A2 being equally weighted