Welcome to the Geography Department at SGS

Geography at Stafford Grammar School provides a fundamental understanding and appreciation of our world, be it through the physical or human dimensions. Pupils immerse themselves in a range of traditional and contemporary aspects, from plate tectonics to economic futures. They will develop their transferable skills in cartographical and graphical analysis, essay writing, presentations, GIS, ICT, fieldwork data collection and decision making skills.

Geography infiltrates all aspects of society and so the study of geography enables pupils to fully appreciate the interconnectedness of the world around them across all scales, from local to global. The department is passionate about Geography, actively seeking extra-curricular learning opportunities to develop learning. This was demonstrated with great success when four girls won the National Geography Competition in 2017 and were rewarded with a trip to Kenya.

A global awareness and consciousness are invaluable when entering the modern world of employment – Geography could, therefore, be seen as a crucial step towards this outcome.

Programme of Study

Year 7&8 pupils follow a course to provide the fundamental skills of geography understanding place, space and scale. In Year 7 pupils demonstrate their map reading ability on a local walk using an OS map and are able to apply settlement theory to the local area. In Year 8 pupils are taught how to measure, read and report the weather. This is followed by understanding coastal processes and then a trip to Castleton to investigate tourism and geology in the area.

Year 9 pupils begin to study the GCSE Geography course. All pupils will be taught part of one human (Urban Challenge) and one physical (Challenges of Natural Hazards) topic. They will also continue to develop their investigative skills by visiting the Olympic Park in East London to look at Urban Change.

Year 10 and 11 pupils continue with the GCSE course. We currently follow the New AQA Specification. This requires studying three physical topics: The Challenges of the Natural Hazards, The Living World and the Physical Landscapes of the UK. In addition the three Human topics include: Urban Challenge, Resource Management and Energy and the Changing Economic World.

The new GCSE is assessed in a linear manner, with all examinations at the end of Year 11. There will be no controlled assessment but pupils will instead sit an Issue Evaluation paper and skills examination.

The Unit 1 and Unit 2 examinations are both worth 35% of the GCSE and they are tested at the end of Year 11. The Geographical Application exam is worth 30% and based on pre-release material 12 weeks before the exam.

A residential fieldwork will be undertaken in Year 10 to Margam Park FSC. This includes visiting the regeneration project of Cardiff Bay and examining River Ogmore from source to mouth. Being able to visualise a landscape and witness processes in action helps to crystallise their theoretical understanding and thereby transfer into detailed answers in examinations.

Lower Sixth students work towards their AS qualification. We currently follow the New AQA AS Specification. Students are assessed on two components.

Component 1: Physical geography and people and the environment: Water and carbon cycles and Hazards. (1 hour 30 minute examination, 50% of AS)

Component 2: Human geography and geography fieldwork investigation: Changing places and Geography fieldwork investigation and geographical skills. (1 hour 30 minute examination, 50% of AS)

Students complete their fieldwork through a residential. In 2017/18 we visited the Isle of Arran, Scotland for 4 days whilst developing investigative skills in a breathtakingly beautiful contrasting environment.

Upper Sixth students work towards their full A Level qualification. We currently follow the New AQA A Level Specification. Students are assessed on three separate components.

Component 1: Physical Geography: Water and Carbon Cycles; Coastal Systems and Hazards (2 hour 30 minute examination, 40% of A Level)

Component 2: Human Geography: Global Systems and Governance; Changing Places and Contemporary Urban Environments (2 hour 30 minute examination, 40% of A Level)

Component 3: Geography Fieldwork Investigation: Students complete an individual investigation using the skills they have developed throughout the last 6 years and write a 4000 word report (20% of A Level)