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Geography

Aims of the Subject

Geography is taught by a subject specialist from Year 5 upwards. Children are encouraged to consider how people interact with their environment at a range of levels, from local to global. There is an equal balance between the three main areas of geography - human, physical and environmental.

The children are taught a range of geographical skills in preparation for their senior school entrance exams, such as map skills, photograph interpretation, field sketching, data collection and ICT skills.

In Year 5 the children:

  •  learn the basic OS map skills necessary to access the Geography curriculum.
  •  look at the human and physical features of the UK and Europe.  
  •  study National parks with the focus on the Peak District National Park.
  •  look at the difference between weather and climate and study an example of an extreme weather hazard.

 In Year 6 the children:

  • look at the main types of settlement and what services and functions are found in different settlements.
  • look at a settlement hierarchy.
  • investigate shopping patterns on a local scale.
  • look at the indicators of development in determining if a country is an MEDC or LEDC.
  • look at issues on a global scale such as the Amazon Rainforest and inequalities of wealth in Brazil.

In Year 7 the children start to focus on their senior school entrance exams and cover topics such as:

  • plate tectonics
  • rivers and
  • industry.

In Year 8 the children complete a project in which they collect the data, analyse it and provide conclusions. This is excellent preparation for future GCSE and A Level courses. The topics of:

  • coasts
  • population and settlement
  • weather and climate are also covered.   

Assessment Methods

Each year group is assessed throughout the year. These assessments can take the form of an exam, an extended piece of writing, a project or an oral presentation. The children receive written feedback and can draw up their own targets of how they can improve in the future. 

Teaching Techniques are varied and include:

  • Class Discussions
  • Project Work
  • Group Work
  • Use of ICT

Fieldwork

In Year 5 the children go on a residential visit to the Peak District where they look at what a National Park is and the conflicts of interest over how it is used.

In Year 6 the children complete fieldwork at a local level, investigating shopping habits in Hitchin town centre.  Each class completes a morning of fieldwork including mapping of shops, surveys and questionnaires. 

In Year 8 the children complete a project with the focus on traffic in Hitchin and whether Hitchin would benefit from a bypass. The completed fieldwork is transformed into a project which is submitted to senior schools as part of their Common Entrance assessment.

Use of ICT within the Subject

The children are encouraged to use ICT regularly in the Geography department. In lessons they use an interactive whiteboard for visual stimulation and interactive activities. They have access to an ICT suite, iPad’s and laptops to complete project work using software such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.