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. This module culminates with a visit to Cirencester Town Centre as part of a cross curricular project in their local area.
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, Sri Lanka 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 compare, contrast and consider the Tropical Rainforests to Polar Environments and Hot Deserts.
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. Pupils also have the opportunity to work with a school in Rome to find out more about day to day life in Italy.
In the final year of Key Stage 3 pupils ‘Go Global’ in Geography. In the first topic the pupils explore wild weather and the implications of changing climates. The wild weather topic explores the impact of events such as tornadoes and hurricanes on diverse locations such as the USA and the Philippines.
The ‘Go Global’ theme continues 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.
Year 9 pupils also have the opportunity to study ‘Conflict Geography’ by looking at a range of conflicts on various scales; from using GIS to put forward solutions linked to the gangs of Compton 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!
Pupils in Year 10 are following the OCR Geography B: Geography for enquiring minds course. Unlike the Year 11 pupils this course is based entirely on the 3 exams taken at the end of Year 11. 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.
Pupils in Year 11 are following the Edexcel B course and study Geography for 5 hours a fortnight. 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. Building on this strong basis is a great starting point but beginning KS4 doesn’t mean it's the end of the geographical journey. Through this GCSE students look at the geographical processes linked to both the physical and human world through studying units on: population, settlement, economic systems, resources, water, globalisation, tectonics, urban areas and extreme environments. Pupils look at these processes in a variety of countries including Brazil, USA, China, Kazakhstan, Japan and also a number of case studies based in the UK.
In terms of assessment the Year 11 course is linear and divided into four distinct areas. 75% of the marks are gained through 3 exams - two are 75 minutes and one is 90 minutes. The final 25% is from a piece of fieldwork based controlled assessment which students begin in Year 10.
At Key Stage 4 pupils of Geography are given the opportunity to take part in a week of residential fieldwork. We have visited Iceland on two occasions and in 2017 the department will be running a trip to Mount Etna in Sicily.
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.