The Geography department aims to guide learners through investigating the amazing, unique and wonderful parts of our world. Learners find out about the processes that shape our landscape, how human beings interact with each other and the world, what hazards the world presents and how to manage these, what makes biomes unique, why some places and poorer or richer than others, where places are, why some places are drier than others, what resources are important, where to find resources and what might happen if they run out. In fact they have the opportunity to learn so much as they are learning about the world around them and the possibilities are limitless.
Geography is taught as part of the humanities curriculum area. Learners have lots of choice about how to learn and which sections of the content interest and intrigue them the most. They are then guided into how to learn in a geographical way; learning skills of finding and describing places, interdependence, map skills, inequality, asking geographical questions and using evidence to back up their ideas. Some of our themes include; The Odyssey (what can we learn from explorers?), Beauty and The Beast (how the world can be amazing and awful at the same time), Heal the World (how can we put our Geographical knowledge to good use to make things better?).
Independent Study will often be guided by the teacher and equally as often by what the learner feels would best help them to consolidate or cement their learning from the day. Learners should be completing between 30-45 minutes after each Geography learning session. This may be sent to them through email or Showbie or be something they recording into iStudiez Pro during the learning session.
At Key stage 4 cohort 9,10 & 11, learners follow the OCR B geography course. Our primary aim is to create good geographers who have a wide range of knowledge about their planet and a wide range of skills for accessing and explaining their knowledge. As a result we do not just focus on the content of the GCSE specification but look at geography in the news, the geography of their local area, extreme environments, personally chosen country studies and learning is led by what interests and intrigues the learner.
General geographical themes that we cover at KS4 include:
- Natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and droughts.
- Economic development such as jobs and money around the world and why some countries are richer or poorer than others.
- Rivers and coasts where we learn about how water shapes the landscape, flooding, coastal features and management.
Population and settlement looking at how populations change, ageing populations, migration, how cities change over time and sustainable living.
We track the progress that learners are making in Geography in several different ways. During the learning process learners record their starting point and we devise a target of what they hope to know or be able to do by the end of a period of learning. They can upload their work in progress to Showbie and teachers are able to leave written or voice comments in response. When learners reach the end of a learning period they reflect on how they have learnt and have to show how they have made progress, this is done in collaboration with their teacher, and then posted into their learning journey folder on ilah. From Cohort 7-11 learners have access to the assessment objectives for Geography and are able to see example pieces of work. In C9-C11 learners progress is also monitored through practise case study, practise exam papers and the monitoring of their class work and independent study in their books. Targets are shared and discussed with learners and we regularly have conversations with learners about how they can better achieve their goals. Throughout their time learning Geography at Honywood we aim to place an equal emphasis on progress in both knowledge and skills.
Learners in Current Cohort 10 have the opportunity to participate on our highly successful field trip to Costa Brava. We visit the Garrotxa nature park to be in the cone of an extinct volcano while we learn about how they are made, we collect our coursework data from the beaches at Tossa & Lloret de Mar, take the cable car up to Montserrat, and visit the famous sites in Barcelona, to name just a few highlights. The last year for this trip will be 2016 with other exciting field work planned for the future.