The Geography Department prides itself on its enquiring approach to the study of Geography. Students are encouraged to question what happens in the world around them. Decision-making is an integral part of Geography teaching and is seen as a tool that the students require in all areas of their lives.
We focus on the study of local geography and start the course with a section on geographical skills in order to ensure girls are all at the same standard by the end of the Autumn Term, we then embed their skills on our study of river systems and carry some local river field work. Spring Term is taken up with the study of UK weather and climate and the girls put their newly acquired skills into action by becoming weather forecasters/presenters. In the Summer Term we study settlements and spend half a day in Colchester doing a local study to see how the town's functions have changed over time.
We study energy and the environment in the Autumn Term and look at the issues surrounding resource use and the dilemmas that we will face in the future surrounding this challenging topic. We visit Eco Tech in Swaffham, the only wind turbine in the world that is open for the public to climb to a viewing platform at the top. Plate Tectonics is our topic for the Spring Term and the girls have the opportunity to investigate an earthquake and to make tectonic plates out of modelling clay. Our topic in the summer term is called Our Endangered Planet; we focus on Antarctica and look at this unique continent. We will look at endangered species, environmental pressures and the important work carried out by the British Antarctic Survey.
Girls focus their attention on the developing world and begin by looking at savanna areas of Africa. They look at the physical and environmental issues affecting this fragile area of the world and produce a major project that is worth 25% of their end of year mark and also spend a half day with a visiting speaker from Oxfam, taking on the role of aid workers. Spring Term is spent investigating tropical rainforests with a particular focus on the Amazon. There is another major project to complete worth 25%, investigating the global fashion industry and globalisation.
Geography is an optional subject at GCSE - Edexcel A.
For more information about the current GCSE syllabus, please download the latest St Mary's GCSE Options Guide:
Clubs & Activities
There are numerous opportunities for fieldwork built into the course, for example a day at Walton where we look at coastal processes and management issues. At the start of Year 11 the girls have the opportunity to go on a residential fieldwork weekend in order to gather data for their investigative study. In the past we have visited Box Hill, the Lake District and Dorset. There are also masterclasses for Years 10 and 11 girls after school once a term focusing on key topic areas, in order to stretch and challenge the girls.
|Head of Geography
||Mrs Sarah Wilding BA PGCE FRGS
||Miss Anwen Jones BEd (Hons) NPQH