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‘The Geography department at Notre Dame RC Girls’ School is very successful

Combining a track record of consistently excellent exam results, with numerous fieldwork opportunities and an emphasis on the student’s wider role as a citizen. In 2016, 94% students achieved A*-C grades in Geography, our best results ever!

As far as possible an enquiry- based approach to learning is encouraged. Geography lessons throughout the school facilitate the development of a wide variety of transferable skills, including questioning, group work, decision making, listening, debating, empathy and problem solving. A variety of resources - including photographs, DVDs, mini whiteboards, model making, music and interactive whiteboard activities - are used to enable students to develop their geographical skills and understanding.’ 

Ms Froomes, Head of Geography

Key Stage 3 - Year 7, 8 and 9

Students study a wide range of physical and human Geography topics at a variety of local, national and international scales. Lesson plans are adapted to incorporate current news events of geographical significance which provoke interesting discussions that reflect directly on the concept of citizenship, both from a local and global perspective.

Year 7 Topics

- What is Geography?

- Britain and the UK

- Atlas and Map Skills

- Coastal Environments

- Rocks, Weathering and Soil

- Extreme Environments

- Build your own Country

- Fieldwork in the local area

Year 8 Topics

- UK and Global Tourism

- Energy and Resources

- Climate Change

- Glaciation and glacial environments

- Africa - a continent of contrasts

- Fieldwork in the local area

Year 9 Topics

- Development Dilemmas in India

- Globalisation and links to China

- Energy consumption and impacts

- Starting the Geography GCSE – ‘Restless Earth’ and geological timescales

- Fieldwork in the local area

Year 7, 8 and 9 - Useful websites

KS3 Geography BBC Bitesize - contains information about all the topics studied plus useful video clips.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

We follow the OCR B Geography GCSE syllabus. The key features of this course are:
- exciting content studied in topics and brought to life by engaging enquiry questions
- opportunities to study in depth contemporary case studies across a range of scales
- study of the geography of the UK in the 21st century
- exploration of the interconnections of topics through synoptic assessment
- geographical skills, including fieldwork, being embedded within assessment

Component 1 - Our Natural World

Assessment - one exam 1hr 15mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Global hazards, Changing climate, Distinctive landscapes, Sustaining ecosystems, Fieldwork and Geographical skills

Component 2 - People and Society

Assessment - one exam 1hr 15mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Urban futures, Dynamic development, UK in the 21st century, Resource reliance, Fieldwork and Geographical skills

Component 3 - Geographical exploration

Assessment - one exam 1hr 30mins 35% of total GCSE
Topics studied are: Geographical skills and a Decision making exercise

KS3 Fieldwork

Students will undertake fieldwork outside of the classroom on at least two occasions in contrasting locations, studying both human and physical geography. Assessment of the fieldwork will take place within the Our Natural World and People and Society exams.

We consider fieldwork to be an important part of any Geography curriculum and we take the opportunity to continue teaching and learning outside of the classroom whenever we can. Where appropriate, we take the students outside during their Geography lessons so they can put their learning into practice using real world scenarios. Examples of this include making Geographical observations of our local area in Year 7 when we are learning about ‘What is Geography’ unit, carrying out questionnaires with tourists at the Imperial War Museum during the ‘Tourism’ unit in Year 9, observing and taking weather measurements outside in Year 8 during the ‘Weather and Climate’ unit, and doing traffic counts during ‘Climate Change’ unit in Year 8 also.

GCSE - Useful websites

The specification we study is OCR B, and this link gives more details on the course content, plus assessment materials and revision tools:
BBC bitesize provides useful subject summaries for revision:
Map Zone
Royal Geographical Society
Geography Matters