In Geography we aim to create the very best geographers. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working in the field would. We do this by quality first teaching which ensures students understand geographical principles and can apply them in a variety of familiar and unfamiliar contexts from around the world. We teach content in its totality and constantly vary topics between human and physical geography to provide a varied and balanced appreciation of the ideas, skills and topics in this discipline.
The intent of geography at Harris is to provide students with essential and transferable skills to deal with, and understand, the rapidly changing world in which they will be living. The world is increasingly interconnected, with large scale economic movements and migration across the globe, and within the country. Geography gives students the opportunity to be able to understand the reasons for these changes, and their consequences. We want to create discerning and inquisitive geographers who can use their geography skills to interpret the world around them.
We want our students to see a world beyond Harris, so that they can access it, if they choose to. We want to be developing students' love of learning and research, as well as helping students to create their own enquiries, making justifiable decisions, cost-benefit analyses and being able to see issues from a range of viewpoints, not just their own.
We seek to create global citizens who are aware of, and passionate about, the diverse physical world in which we live. We aim to provide students with the skills and understanding to deal with, what David Attenborough has suggested will be, “the collapse of civilisation and the natural world” on which we depend, if the climate change and biodiversity issues are not dealt with (speech by David Attenborough to the United Nations Climate Change Summit 2019). Geography is unique as a subject in that it encourages students to consider both arts and science elements. It encourages a multi-disciplinary, synoptic approach to any consideration and decision. It encourages students to develop a wider vocabulary.
Students who leave school with geography qualifications will be able to combine both qualitative and quantitative data, analyse information and make appropriate decisions as well as reflecting on case study examples to evaluate the successful management of geographical issues. A geography student will not be afraid of facing new information in whatever format (social media, text, graphics, graphs, diagrams, images, spoken word, interviews and videos). This makes geographers flexible, dynamic and independent employees, ready for the changing world they will face. In addition, our geographers will be familiar with Geographical Information Systems, enabling students to become multiple data analysis within a spatial dimension.
We teach an exciting range of subjects in key stage three that cover a broad range of human and physical geographical content. All topics are taught through enquiry questions such as ‘
The curriculum is designed to engage and challenge students, to develop skills of teamwork, problem solving and to foster independence as well as encouraging them to ask questions about the world we live in. All topics are assessed through knowledge tests and written tasks. Formal assessments will also be cumulative, assessing how much of the previously taught topics students remember, so that any gaps or misconceptions can be addressed, in line with the Harris Assessment Policy.
Opportunities to carry out fieldwork studies are offered in key stage 3 to enable students to develop the skills that are required to collect and analyse geographical data. It offers students the opportunity to build upon and apply knowledge they have acquired in their studies, such as using map skills. We are looking to offer local and virtual fieldwork opportunities in years 7 and 8.
Our Year 9-11 GCSE students follow the AQA GCSE specification. This course offers a contemporary and engaging blend of human and physical content, whilst developing geographical skills and critical analysis throughout.
The physical content includes tectonic and atmospheric disasters, the living world, climate change, rivers and coasts and extreme weather. The human content covers urban challenges, energy and resource management, the changing economic world and the global development gap.
The content is examined through three formal written examinations, which all take place at the end of year 11. There are two fieldwork visits that take place as part of the course which are assessed through formal examination.
Social and moral issues are at the heart of our curriculum in Geography. For example; understanding the issues surrounding global inequality, the concepts of sustainability and treating our planet, resources and fellow people with respect. Exploring these issues enables students to gain empathy for others as well as understanding how ‘doing good to all’ (Galatians 6:10) could be put into action locally, nationally and globally.
We also aim to foster a strong moral compass by examining issues nationally and internationally and asking big questions about the way forward regarding situations that are socially and morally challenging. A key part of our work on global development also focuses on the role of charity and aid in the world. We encourage our students to challenge inequality and suffering and to be charitable, both in their thoughts and their actions.
Geography is a subject that celebrates diversity and the many cultural differences that are part of the rich tapestry that make up our global community. This experience of global difference is taught through an appreciation and a respect for people of all genders, beliefs, races, cultures and creeds around the world and within our multicultural society in Britain.