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Geography

Key Stage 3

Geography is a global subject in every sense of the word, involving an increased awareness of the environmental, social, political and cultural issues that are relevant to everyday life in globally interdependent world.

Geography at BISAK aims to bring these issues alive by relating them as closely as possible to the experience of the learner.

The focus of the Geography course is to build upon the skills that the students have gained at KS2, within a place context, using fieldwork wherever possible. In year 7, students are encouraged to develop a spirit of geographical enquiry through units that will develop their map skills, introduce local issues and investigate the characteristics of settlements.

The Year 8 Geography course aims to study a range of different environments, introducing the students to the issues that exist there and show how humans can have a role in their management. The role of water in the environment leads to a study of rivers and features of river landforms across the UK coastline.

The focus of the Year 9 Geography course aims to study a range of different themes using a variety of global examples to clarify and further develop the students’ geographical knowledge, skills and understanding and address some of the more complex geographical issues, allowing the students to achieve the highest levels of attainment.

Hazardous Environments encourages the students to explore the power of the physical environment and how countries at different stages of development try to cope and adapt to these events. Population and migration leads into an in depth study of development issues offering the students the chance to question the accepted world order and their own attitudes and values.

 

GCSE

The International GCSE in Geography at BISAK aims to engage students in the process and concepts of geography and enable them to use geographical skills, appropriate technologies, enquiry and analysis. It also provides an opportunity for them to apply their learning to the real world through fieldwork and other out-of-classroom learning. Assessment is via one single-tier exam, graded A* to G.


Key subject aims:

  • To actively engage students in the process of geography, developing them as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
  • To develop a knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and an appreciation of the relevance of these concepts to our changing world
  • To develop an appreciation of the differences and similarities between people’s environments, societies and cultures
  • To further students’ understanding of their responsibilities as global citizens and of the ways in which they can contribute to a future that is sustainable and inclusive
  • To enable students to develop and apply their learning to the real world through fieldwork and other out-of-classroom learning
  • To enable students to use geographical skills, appropriate technologies, enquiry and analysis.

Overview of content:

Section A — The natural environment and people
Complete two of the three topics:
1. River environments
2. Coastal environments
3. Hazardous environments

Section B — People and their environments
Complete two of the three topics:
4. Economic activity and energy
5. Ecosystems and rural environments
6. Urban environments

Section C — Global issues
Complete one of the three topics:
7. Fragile environments
8. Globalisation and migration
9. Development and human welfare

Overview of assessment:

  • The assessment of this qualification is through a 2-hour and 45-minute examination paper, set and marked by Edexcel.
  • The single tier of entry will contain a variety of questions types, such as multiple-choice questions, short and extended answer questions, graphical and data questions and fieldwork questions.
  • The total number of marks available is 150.

 


A Level

The aims of the Edexcel Advanced Level GCE in Geography are to:

  • Develop and apply their understanding of geographical concepts and processes to understand and interpret our changing world
  • Develop their awareness of the complexity of interactions within and between societies, economies, cultures and environments at scales from local to global
  • Develop as global citizens who recognise the challenges of sustainability and the implications for their own and others’ lives
  • Improve as critical and reflective learners aware of the importance of attitudes and values, including their own
  • Become adept in the use and application of skills and new technologies through their geographical studies both in and outside the classroom
  • Be inspired by the world around them, and gain enjoyment and satisfaction from their geographical studies and understand their relevance.


AS Geography Content Outline:

Unit 1

There are two compulsory topics that look at some of the ‘big issues’ which face us all:

Topic 1: World at Risk – includes an introduction to a range of global natural hazards which threaten some
areas of the world more than others and then focuses on climate change and global warming, seen by many as our greatest environmental challenge.
Topic 2: Going Global – brings together today’s rapid economic changes which are impacting unfairly on people across the globe, and the related international issues of population change and migration.

Unit 2

Students will study the two compulsory topics in bold from the four topics offered in this unit.

Physical topics
Topic 1: Extreme Weather, with its increasing ferocity and frequency, fascinates some people and threatens many others.

Topic 2: Crowded Coasts reveals how increasing development is testing our ability to manage these valued environments.

Human topics
Topic 3: Unequal Spaces explores the causes and consequences of rural and urban disparities and how to manage them.

Topic 4: Rebranding Places focuses on how we need to reimage and regenerate rural and urban places, using appropriate strategies.

A2 Geography Content Outline:

Unit 3

In this unit, students will study all the topics in Unit 3 and will investigate the distribution of resources, and the physical factors that result in this distribution. They should also consider how humans utilise these resources, and the problems of providing resources to people as well as an awareness of the costs of doing so. Consideration should also be given to how a finite resource base should be managed. Three types of resources are considered within three topic areas:


Topic 1: Energy Security
Topic 2: Water Conflicts
Topic 3: Biodiversity Under Threat


The inequality in resource use is reflected in consumption patterns. A large number of resources are used by a small number of large economies, whereas many countries could be said not to use their ‘fair share’. These issues are investigated through the study of:


Topic 4: Superpower Geographies
Topic 5: Bridging the Development Gap


The role of technology in overcoming resource scarcity, income inequality and environmental management is considered by investigating:


Topic 6: The Technological Fix?

Unit 4

This unit offers six optional research options:
Option 1: Tectonic Activity and Hazards
Option 2: Cold Environments – Landscapes and Change
Option 3: Life on the Margins: the Food Supply Problem
Option 4: The World of Cultural Diversity
Option 5: Pollution and Human Health at Risk
Option 6: Consuming the Rural Landscape – Leisure and Tourism.


Students must select and study one research option from the above list that reflects their geographical interests. Options in this unit range from those with a strong physical geography focus, to those concerned more with environmental, social and cultural geographies.


The options are designed to expose students to a range of geographical information in a variety of forms, namely books, journals, video and the internet. Many of these will be unfamiliar in terms of context and content. Part of this holistic exploration will involve linking content and concepts from Units 1, 2 and 3 into students’ research.

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