Geography at Cirencester Deer Park School promotes a sense of wonder and fascination through studying a range of relevant, human and physical, geographical processes and issues. The Geography curriculum develops an awareness of how the world is changing and allows pupils to understand the implications of these changes for themselves and others. By studying Geography pupils will build an understanding about their place in the world.
Through a rich and relevant curriculum, geographers at Deer Park are encouraged to shape their own geographical journey through asking questions about our dynamic planet. Pupils are supported by their teachers to develop a greater sense of intellectual curiosity. Core knowledge is developed by studying a range of places, on a local, national and global scale, allowing pupils to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the world. The study of Geography equips pupils with a variety of transferable skills, such as; greater spatial awareness, literacy, communication, numeracy, enquiry, problem solving and computing.
Find out about each Key Stage in Geography:
The journey in Key Stage 3 begins in Year 7 where pupils study Geography three times a fortnight. The key theme in Year 7 is ‘Adventures in Geography’. The first leg of the journey focuses in on ‘Becoming a Geographer’. Pupils are challenged to build up a set of key map work skills and gain knowledge of geography in the UK and beyond, providing a strong basis to build on throughout Key Stage 3.
The next topic explores our ‘Dynamic Planet’ and focuses in on Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis across the world. Pupils explore the processes behind these tectonic events and also the impacts and responses to these disasters. Pupils look at volcanoes and earthquakes in a range of locations, including developing and developed countries such as Italy, Japan, Nepal and Haiti.
The final adventure in Year 7 focuses on geological timescales and looking at how factors such as erosion and weathering can shape landscapes around the world.
In Year 8 Geography is all about contrasts. During the first module pupils will find out more about ‘Brilliant Brazil’, investigating urban and rural landscapes, migration and contrasts within cities. An investigation into the shanty towns of Brazil provides pupils with the opportunity to practice their enquiry and research skills and write an extended piece of writing.
The contrasts theme continues when the pupils study ‘Tremendous Tropics’. This topic explores the physical processes which explain the formation of diverse global biomes. The pupils are given the opportunity to investigate a range of physical processes shaping the rainforests of South America and Asia and to identify the issues of deforestation and the lives of indigenous people. Pupils also consider how these issues can be managed sustainably in the future.
The final contrast is explored with ‘Inspiring Italy’. Italy provides pupils with the opportunity to explore regional contrasts by exploring the North-South Divide and also the different challenges facing cities such as Milan and Venice.
In the final year of Key Stage 3 pupils ‘Go Global’ in Geography. In the first topic pupils begin by studying ‘The World Divided?’. This topic looks at a range of contemporary global issues, such as Development, Trade and Conflict, through the study the diverse continent of Africa.
The ‘Go Global’ theme continues with wild weather and the implications of changing climates. The wild weather topic explores the climate of the UK including the impact of climate change in the future. It then continues with the causes and impact of events such as tornadoes and hurricanes on diverse locations such as the USA and the Philippines.
Year 9 pupils also have the opportunity to study ‘Conflict Geography’ by looking at a range of conflicts at various scales; from using GIS to put forward solutions linked to gangs in Honduras to experiencing a Sweatshop in India when discussing globalisation.
The final stage of the Geographical journey in Key Stage 3 is ‘Tricky Tourism’. This topic examines the factors which have led to the growth of both mass tourism, and eco-tourism. Pupils will be given the opportunity to evaluate the impacts of tourist activities on a local, national and global scale and to also develop presentation and numeracy skills by putting together a trip of a life time!
At GCSE pupils have the opportunity to build on the skills and knowledge developed in KS3 whilst at the same time exploring new places and studying more complex issues. At GCSE we follow the OCR Geography B: Geography for enquiring minds course and pupils study Geography for 5 hours a fortnight. Through this GCSE students look at the geographical processes linked to both the physical and human world. Pupils explore these processes in a variety of countries including Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Cambodia, Japan and also a number of case studies based in the UK.
In terms of assessment the GCSE course is linear and divided into three distinct areas. 100% of the marks are gained through 3 exams - two are 75 minutes and one is 90 minutes. Fieldwork is still essential to this course and rather than being examined by a piece of Controlled Assessment the pupils answer fieldwork questions in the Paper 1 and Paper 2 exams. Pupils have the opportunity to carry out fieldwork in 2 contrasting locations; an urban environment – Bristol and a coastal environment – Dorset.
At Key Stage 4 pupils of Geography are also given the opportunity to take part in a week of residential fieldwork. We have visited Iceland on two occasions and in 2017 the department ran a trip to Mount Etna in Sicily.
In Year 10 we equip our Geographers with key data handling and analysis skills and cover 4 of the 8 topics on the GCSE specification. These topics are: UK in the 21st Century, Changing Climate, Urban Futures and Distinctive Landscapes. At the end of Year 10 all pupils complete a decision making exercise which requires them to make links between topics and processes studied so far and prepares them to explain and justify their opinions in their Unit 3 exam.
In Year 11 pupils continue to develop their key skills, and complete three full mock exams for Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3 in Geography between November and December. We teach exam technique throughout the course and also provide targeted support with revision during this period. During Year 11 pupils cover the remaining 4 topics on the syllabus which are: Resource Reliance, Sustaining Ecosystems, Dynamic Development and Global Hazards. Time for revision of the content is also built in to the final stages of the course.
By studying Geography pupils are given the opportunity to consolidate prior knowledge and understanding through the study of diverse places, ranging from Cirencester, Rio De Janeiro, Bristol, China, India, Indonesia, Haiti, Japan, Thailand and Ghana. Pupils will gain opportunities to experience ‘real geography’ by investigating current events in Geography in the News, via multimedia and through fieldwork. Pupils will also be able to experience fieldwork in various locations and landscapes.
The rich curriculum has been carefully designed to provide all pupils with the opportunity to make progress, both within and across the Key Stages. Assessment within Geography is varied and provides pupils with the opportunity to develop key skills, reflect core knowledge and to be creative, innovative and independent learners.