Geography

Our Vision

‘All students enjoy coming to Geography’

Geography is everywhere! It surrounds us and can be linked to what happened in the past, is happening now or will happen in the future. Geography is a popular subject at Holmfirth High School: the challenging curriculum is designed to showcase a sense of ‘awe and wonder’ about the earth that we live on and instil in the students a lifelong interest in the world around us. Students delve into geographical issues on a local, national and international basis as well as developing an understanding of the interconnections on a global scale. Our budding geographers will use a range of ‘Thinking tools’ to acquire and develop key concepts and skills specific to human, physical and environmental geography. The curriculum incorporates a balance between the highly important traditional skills, such as map reading, and the new and exciting technologies, such as GIS.

Key Stage 3

The Geography curriculum is designed to develop a student’s knowledge and skills based upon 6 key geographical themes: Locational Knowledge, Place knowledge, Physical Geography, Human Geography, Skills and Field Work. These skills are assessed throughout each unit of study at KS3 in preparation for the demands of the AQA GCSE Geography syllabus.

Year 7 students tackle the big question, ‘What is Geography?’ They develop an understanding of and learn to distinguish between Physical, Human & Environmental Geography. They investigate the world on a local, national & international level and will be able to identify places on maps at a range of scales and types. The local valley geography is ideal for introducing the topic of ‘a rivers journey’ where we start by making a pop-up model of the drainage basin we live in to highlight real geography in a real place. Our next unit of study introduces the importance of map reading and wider geographical skills which are used to good effect whilst investigating the cause and consequence of river flooding. Raising awareness of ‘our human footprint’ is our final unit of the year and encourages students to assess the impact we as individuals have on the planet.

Year 8 students investigate geographical issues on a global scale: we look for reasons to explain the disparity within the continent of Africa and what physical and human factors contribute to this. ‘Crazy Climates’ follows: an indepth look into what determines the weather in different parts of the world as well as what current and future weather changes are taking place. Students study ‘a tale of three cities’ London, Moscow and Mumbai, in order to develop the ability to describe and explain the similarities and differences from one place to another. ‘The Geography of crime’ gives students an insight into how geographical techniques can help record patterns of crime in our local area. The unit provides students with an insight into crime prevention methods used by home owners and the ways in which councils ‘design out crime’. Crime is investigated in a global context with a case study of the heroin trail from source to supply. The year concludes with an investigation into the rainforest ecosystem paying particular scrutiny to the plight of Amazonia.

Year 9 students continue to develop skills and knowledge around the six key geographical themes. It is here that particular emphasis is placed upon practicing the necessary skills required at GCSE level in the units studied. Students explore the UK coastline, learning the key physical processes at work and resulting landforms and investigating places where erosion takes place and how these coastlines can be managed. Globalisation is a topic that connects us with the world we live in and provides students with a chance to see where the clothes we wear come from, who the global producers of our food are and the places in which technological advances are made and goods manufactured. One of the most popular topics centres upon our ‘restless earth’ and looks at the physical processes at work at tectonic plate boundaries and the resulting impact on humans. The penultimate KS3 topic investigates the rise of China as a world super power and focuses on the physical landscape and its impact upon rural to urban migration. The final unit is designed to recap a number of important geographical skills in readiness for the rigours of GCSE.

Key Stage 4

Geography helps you to make sense of the world around you. It is hands on, it is relevant and it is fun. The AQA Geography specification covers some exciting topics such as urban issues, world development, the coastal zone, rivers and hazards, to name but a few. It is extremely relevant to the changing world we live in and combines the physical and human processes and factors that will inevitably change the future of the planet and how we live. The course will give you the chance to get to grips with some of the big questions affecting our world and to understand the social, economic and physical forces and processes which will impact upon you. A key focus of the course will look at the future and how we can manage both the physical and human landscape in a more sustainable way.

Mr J Cannon

Curriculum Leader

Mr J Cannon

Exam specifications

What Career?

Geography can literally take you places! Any aspect of Geography could launch you into a career. Interested in the environment or ecosystems? You could become a Conservation Manager or work for the Environment Agency. On a wider front, your career options could range from town planning, marketing or law to leisure, travel, tourism or teaching. Geography is the perfect subject to study alongside Science and Maths to create well rounded researchers, engineers and scientists. No career is off limits, Geography will keep your future options open!

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