Staffing: Mr Eccles (Head of Department), Miss Broderick and Miss Ottway
The Geography Department at Bury Church of England High School fully supports the mission statement of the school. The curriculum outlined below is designed to encourage achievement in all pupils of all abilities. The department believes pupils should enjoy geography and be exposed to a variety of teaching and learning styles. Through enjoyment of the subject they will be encouraged to aim for the highest standards in all that they do.
The department seeks to promote geography as a dynamic and exciting subject. In recognition of the departments’ commitment to 'ensuring lively and effective learning in Geography', we were awarded the 'Secondary Geography Quality Mark' from the Geographical Association for the second time in 2010, becoming one of only 20 schools in the country to achieve the Centre of Excellence Award. The department was also judged as being ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in a 2008 subject inspection. Most recently, the 2012 GCSE results have also been pleasing with 53% of our pupils gaining A*/A grades and 86% gaining A*-C grades.
The department has an active membership with the Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society. The department has an active membership with the Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society. As a department, we are committed to maintaining high professional standards through continued professional development (CPD) which we hope will keep our curriculum at the leading edge of developments for both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 3
Geography at Key Stage 3 contributes to a broad and balanced curriculum which meets the needs of all pupils. We aim to give pupils the opportunity to study a wide range of topics throughout Key Stage 3 in the hope of fostering a passion and interest for geography and the world around them. Alongside this, pupils will develop a range of transferable skills that can be used in other areas of the curriculum.
Units of work currently being taught are:
|Year 7||Year 8||Year 9|
Intro to Geography
Rivers and Flooding
Across the USA
Passion for Fashion
Personalised Learning Project
The Restless Earth
Globalisation and Fairtrade
The Key Stage 3 programme is constantly updated with new units of work being added to ensure the content remains relevant, interesting and dynamic. The above units should be viewed as a guide as some pupils will study additional or alternative units throughout the Key Stage that are appropriate to their ability levels.
Key Stage 4
Geography is a popular and successful GCSE subject at Bury Church. For those that have chosen to study GCSE Geography at Key Stage 4, we follow the AQA GCSE Geography A (4030) syllabus. The full exam specification can be found at www.aqa.org.uk.
The AQA 'A' specification is designed to provide students with a course that develops a sound understanding and knowledge of geographical themes, issues and skills. A 'people-environment' theme is adopted throughout the specification highlighting the importance of the interaction between the two. The use of relevant and up-to-date examples and case studies is fundamental to the delivery of the specification detail in order to achieve meaningful understanding of the themes being studied. The case studies and examples are studied at a variety of scales and in differing environments including areas at various stages of economic development.
The new AQA 'A' specification (launched in September 2009) is designed to have a more modern approach, relevant to pupils in the 21st century. The course comprises two units, one physical and one human, alongside a controlled assessment (fieldwork) that is worth 25% of the final exam grade. Pupils will sit a separate exam paper for each of the two units with each exam being worth 37.5% towards the final exam grade pupils receive.
Our pupils study three physical geography units (unit 1) and three human geography units (unit 2). Both unit 1 and unit 2 exam papers are taken at the end of Year 11.
Physical Geography units studied include:
- The Restless Earth
- The Coastal Zone
- Ice on the Land
In Year 11 pupils will complete the controlled assessment task (worth 25%) and the human geography unit (unit 2) which will be examined at the end of year 11.
Human Geography units studied include:
- Population Change
- Changing Urban Environments
In Year 11 pupils will also complete the controlled assessment task (worth 25%)
We believe that the added flexibility of this course will allow us to further meet the needs of all of our pupils.
Extra Curricular Activities
In February 2012 the department ran its first overseas Geography field visit to Iceland. Forty Year 10 and 11 pupils spent five days in Iceland visiting some of the country’s exciting natural features including glaciers, hot springs, waterfalls, geysers and volcanoes.
In school, the department offers a range of activities that we hope attract the interests of a range of pupils and parents alike. The department runs a 'Fairtrade Group' whose aim is to raise awareness about Fairtrade products and to make the school 'Fairtrade' during the 2012/13 academic year. We also run the school green team, called the ‘Green Beans’, that helps to promote school initiatives focused on improving the school environment. In July 2011 they helped the school achieve the Eco-schools Silver Award.
Throughout the school year the department hosts a range of events aimed at getting both parents and pupils involved in geographical experiences. For the third year running the department will host a ‘Getting to Grips with Google Earth’ evening for parents. In the spring term we will also run another ‘Family Fieldwork Day’, this year to Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales.
The department regularly encourages our pupils to enter competitions run by the Geographical Association and other Environmental Charities. In 2012 we took eight Year 9 pupils to the Geographical Association’s National Conference at Manchester University to help lead a workshop on fieldwork. Our pupils also regularly participate in Geographical competitions where they compete against pupils from other Bury High Schools. In 2013 two of our Year 7 pupils came second and third in a borough wide competition.
The Department has strong links with other forward thinking and like-minded departments across the country. These exciting partnerships enable teaching and learning strategies to be developed further.
As a department we are always striving to make and maintain important links with other members of the local and international community. As a result we have developed links with several local primary and secondary schools along with two African high schools. Our pupils benefit greatly from these links as they are regularly involved in initiatives and events that enable them to work in conjunction with pupils from our partner schools.