Geography - you're lost without it!
That's our departmental motto and we believe it!
Climate change, earthquake, economic development, migration, floods, famine, rainforest destruction all make daily headline news and are increasingly affecting our lives. Our department then, aims to develop the analytical and communication skills young people need to make sense of the world around them, as well as cultivating a sense of wonder in the subject itself. We are convinced that our commitment to a 'Thinking Skills' approach coupled with the effective use of ICT and stimulating fieldwork opportunities enables our learners to achieve this. We want students to develop informed opinions, about local and global issues, to appreciate that people have different viewpoints and to empathise with others when seeking solutions. In short we want to empower students to become fully aware and active global citizens of the future.
KS3 - we teach in line with the national curriculum. In Year 7 the subject is delivered as part of a Coordinated Curriculum exploring the geography of the UK through the study of the local area of Horwich, major UK physical features including rivers and settlement developing cartographic, field sketching and graphicacy skills related to the UK. Year 8 moves to a global scale containing 6 units of study including: Me and My World, Sustainable Sport, Who wants to be a billionaire? Into Asia, Endangered Ecosystems and Wish You were Here? Year 9 is underpinned by issue evaluation also through the study of 6 units: Hazardous Earth, My Stuff, Global Footprints, Who wants to live forever?, Life on the Edge and Crime & Geography. We have a variety of educational visits at KS3 including fieldtrips to Salford Quays and Blackburn Rovers with an enrichment opportunity for gifted and talented students to attend a Geography and leadership training weekend in Dorset.
At GCSE we deliver WJEC Syllabus B covering the themes of; Challenges of Living in a Built Environment, People and the Natural World Interactions, People, Work and Development and the new controlled assessment creating posters examining the issue of global warming and a fieldwork project based on the River Douglas. As part of the course we visit the River Douglas, which runs past the school, to collect primary data used for the project.
Post 16 we are delivering GCE Geography AQA (2030). At AS we study units on Rivers , Floods and Management, Coastal Environments, Population Change and Energy Issues. This includes a week-long residential field course to the Loch Ranza field centre on the Isle of Arran in November. At A2 level we examine: Plate Tectonics and Associated Hazards, Challenges Facing Ecosystems and World Cities. This includes a personal investigation on a topic of the student’s choice. This year we have also taken over the running of the Applied A-Level and BTEC Travel and Tourism courses.
Extra Curricular – the department runs a KS3 Geography homework club, coursework support sessions after school for GCSE students and a mentoring programme for GCE students when completing their Individual Studies unit. We have also been the lead department for the RESPECT environment group and we have organised Global Action weeks across the school departments.
The department has continually improved over the last 7 years and at GCSE we have gone from the low 40% mark to 63.5% A*- C grades. At A2 level we have gone from 27% A-C and a 63% pass to an average of 65% A-C and 100% pass.
We are a high profile, contemporary subject, popular with students at RBHS. Evidence shows that students who study geography become some of the most employable people in our society. It is paramount then, that the teaching of Geography is vibrant, topical and engaging and I believe we achieve this at RBHS. We feel it is our responsibility to nurture the citizens of the future who will possess the decision-making skills to analyse both local and global issues in order to determine creative, sustainable solutions.