"Geography teaches us of the wide varieties of our planet...it is an essential subject of the modern individual."
- David Attenborough
Our world will change more in the next 50 years than it has ever done before. Geography explains why and helps students prepare for those changes. Geography bridges the gap between the science subjects and arts subjects. It builds a knowledge and understanding of current events from local to global and provides opportunities through ﬁeldwork, for ﬁrst hand investigation of places, environments and human behaviour. It also develops skills for the future including literacy, numeracy, GIS, ICT, problem solving, team work, thinking skills and enquiry.
Upper School geographers enjoying a trip to Iceland
Geography is compulsory in S7 to S9 (Years 7 to 9) and during this time pupils are given a taste of both local and global geographical issues. Pupils start S7 (Year 7) by understanding Earth's own story and considering what Geography means to them. Later on in S7 (Year 7) they study the physical processes associated with glaciers and rivers and finally the continent of Africa. In S8 (Year 8) students study population geography, weather and climate and coasts, with the focus continent being Asia. Finally, in S9 (Year 9) Global Issues of hazards management, urbanisation and resource management are studied through case studies of recent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, the growth of cities in India and coral reefs. Throughout the three years important geographical skills are introduced and fieldwork is undertaken at Malham Cove and Flamborough.
S8 (Year 8) on the top of Malham Cove
The department follows the AQA specification which consists of physical geography topics including the restless earth; the living world; and ice on the land. The human geography topics include changing urban environments, the development gap and tourism. There is also a local Fieldwork investigation: This involves the collection of primary and secondary data, through fieldwork. Past visits have included trips to Malham, Thornton-le-dale and Hutton-le-hole.
The specification is designed to excite minds, challenge perceptions and stimulate investigative and analytic skills, skills which are attractive to future employers. The physical geography topics include the study of the water and carbon cycles; hot deserts and their margins and hazards. The human geography topics include the study of global systems and global governance; changing places and contemporary urban environments. Students will also carry out an individual fieldwork investigation. Practical work in the 'field' is an essential element of all Geography teaching. The course will include a residential field trip. Previous trips have included visits to Snowdonia, Lake District and North York Moors.
Extra-Curricular provision is provided in the form of the Geographical Association which provides a great opportunity for pupils from College (Sixth Form) form to attend Geographical lectures. Visits and excursions are regularly laid on and participated in, including to Malham Cove, Flamborough, Snowdonia and the Lake District. There are also triannual trips to Iceland.
Lower Sixth Form Geographers happy in the rain in Snowdonia, investigating glacial landscapes
The study of Geography is multi-disciplinary and offers a firm grounding in subjects ranging from Geoscience and Earth Science to environmental management and pollution and waste control, encompassing sociology and ecology. Geography can also play an instrumental role in the study of politics, law, archaeology, anthropology and business. Skills in data collection and data analysis as well as GIS are increasingly sought after by employers in all sectors of work. The department has a strong record of students going on to study Geography at undergraduate level at leading Russell Group Universities. Recent destinations include Bristol, Newcastle, Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
We maintain close, productive links with the local branch of the Geographical Association and attend Lectures on a variety of subjects such as hazard management, flooding and international security.