Staffing: Mr P Hanson (Head of Department) and Mrs E Kay (Head of Year 8)

Time Allocation

Year 7 and Year 8: Three hours a fortnight.

Year 9: Four hours a fortnight

Year 10: Four hours a fortnight

Year 11: Five hours a fortnight

Overview of the Geography Department

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. In addition, this year, we received an additional award to mark the ten year anniversary of the department receiving the award.

Key Stage 3

Geography at Key Stage 3 contributes to a broad and balanced curriculum which meets the needs of all pupils. The department is currently in the process of planning, creating and evaluating its curriculum provision to meet the demands of the new Key Stage 3 National Curriculum for Geography and to meet the needs and interests of the students of Bury C of E High School. The new curriculum is designed around 10 key geographical skills including locational and mapping skills, interpretation of geographical sources, mathematical and graphical skills, explanation, application and evaluation. Each scheme of work will encompass these key geographical skills and will be assessed in lesson through peer, self and summative assessment and will be assessed formatively by end of unit tests.

Schemes of work include:

YearSchemes of Work
7Baseline Assessment
Where in the World?
Raging rivers and Fierce Floods
Road trip Russia: Exploring Russia
Manchester: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow
8Cracking Coasts
Africa: Life in the Horn
Danger! Physical & Human dangers
Welcome to 8850: Everest
Made in China

Key Stage 4

GCSE results have been strong recently:

A*- C80% (14% above similar centres & 11% above national)77.3% (11.3% above similar centres & 5.3% above national)
A*- A34.4% (11% above similar centres & 7% above national)23.9% (2.9% above similar centres & 0.01% below national)

GCSE Geography is currently at a stage of transition, with some students studying the AQA GCSE Geography A (4030) specification and some studying the new AQA GCSE for first exam entry in 2018.

Currently those students who study the Specification A legacy syllabus, are undertaking a linear course that comprises two units, Physical Geography and Human Geography. Pupils sit a separate exam paper at the end of Year 11 for each of the two units, with each exam being worth 37.5% towards the final exam grade pupils receive.

Our pupils study the following units in the GCSE course:

Physical Geography Paper 1Human Geography Paper 2
The Restless Earth
The Coastal Zone
Water on the Land
Population Change
Changing Urban Environments

In addition, students will complete a piece of Controlled Assessment (fieldwork) that is worth 25% of the final exam grade.  The current assessment task is a study of the effects or impacts of tourism in Blackpool.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum: New GCSE

The new GCSEs for first entry in 2018 will study the AQA GCSE Geography syllabus. This new GCSE includes three sections each of which will be assessed by examination in Year 11. These are: Living with the Physical Environment, the challenges of the Human Environment and Geographical Applications.

In Year 9, students will study the ‘Living with the Physical Environment’ and will cover topics including:

The Challenge of Natural Hazards- Tectonic Hazards
- Weather Hazards
- Climate Change
The Living World- Ecosystems
- Tropical Rainforests
- Cold Environments
Physical Landscapes of the UK- Coastal Landscapes of the UK
- River Landscapes of the UK

In Year 10 and 11 students will finish studying any topics that have not been completed for the Living Environment and will then move onto the Human Environment which includes:

Urban Issues & Challenges- Global urban change and patterns of urbanisation
- LIC or NEE City case study e.g. Rio De Janeiro
- UK city case study e.g. Manchester
The Changing Economic World- Global variations of economic development
- LIC or NEE case study e.g. Brazil, India
- UK Economic features
The Challenge of Resource Management- Global overview of Food, Water & Energy as a resource
- An overview of Food, Water & Energy in the UK
- Food or Energy study

The Geographical applications section of the GCSE is a critical thinking and problem-solving exam. Students have to apply knowledge from Physical and Human Geography to a contemporary geographical issue. They will be given a resource source sheet 12 weeks before the exam and they will have to make a justified decision based on interpretation of sources and own knowledge. In addition, they will have to undertake two fieldwork enquiries to collect their own primary data. These are in contrasting environments- one physical (a river study) and one human (urban regeneration study). Students will attend to fieldtrips to collect this primary data including a trip to Salford Quays and a trip to an upper course of a river.

Revision sessions at GCSE are every Monday night and closer to the exam, sessions will increase to every lunchtime for ‘drop-in’ sessions for pupils we feel need extra assistance in their revision. Intervention sessions with pupils in Years 10 and 11 will occur throughout their time in Key Stage 4 and parents will be contacted to inform them of additional support their child needs.

Field trips and Extra-curricular provision

The department is keen to take students on field trips both in the United Kingdom and abroad. The department runs field trips to, Liverpool, Blackpool and other local trips to locations in and around the Bury area.

Moreover, we offer international field trips for students in Key Stage 4. We take students to Iceland, visiting some of the country’s exciting natural features including glaciers, hot springs, waterfalls, geysers and volcanoes. In 2015, the department was selected by Rayburn Tours and the Geographical association to the be main school used in their social media and online advertising. W The department has jointly organised a  trip to the USA with the English Department  visiting the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas and areas of outstanding natural beauty including Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon.

The Department has strong links with other forward thinking and like-minded departments across the local area, the country and is developing its links internationally with our partner schools in South Africa and Pakistan. These exciting partnerships enable teaching and learning strategies to be developed further.

The department currently runs the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award for Years 10 and 11. This nationally recognised qualification involves voluntary work, sporting activities, a skill and an expedition.  It is completed over the course of a year and requires a minimum of three hours a week. This qualification is open to all students in Key Stage 4.