Mr Stephen A Beggs
Mr Mark Dickson
Mrs Katie Williamson
The Geography curriculum extends pupils’ interests and knowledge beyond their immediate experience. This helps them to interpret the information about people and places which they acquire from television, books, magazines, the internet and other sources. It is an enjoyable and challenging subject which pupils should find relevant to their lives.
The Geography department is comprised of three general classrooms with each classroom containing an interactive board and a USB mini-projector which is used to display pupil work to the class. One of the classrooms has recently had a 75 inch Clevertouch Interactive Touch Screen installed, which offers the latest touchscreen technology. The department also avails of resources, such as iPads, differentiated cubes and mini whiteboards in order to make lessons more interactive and engaging for pupils.
We have a large resource room which has desk space for senior pupils to undertake private study. The room also has a computer, laptop and exemplars of past papers and mark schemes in order to foster an independent study habit amongst pupils.
- Members of the department have experience in marking GCSE, AS and A2 examinations. This allows us to disseminate what we have learned to our pupils, thereby improving their examination technique in the process.
- The Geography department regularly has pupils attending the prestigious Villiers Park Course. Villiers Park Educational Trust helps able young people to develop a passion for learning and the study and life skills to ensure they reach their full academic potential. This allows gifted and talented students to gain places at leading universities.
- In the 2022 Summer A2 examination series, 95.8% of our students achieved A*-B compared with Northern Ireland statistic for boys in grammar schools of 76.5%. At AS level, 88% of our boys achieved A*-B. Only 69.6% of boys in grammar schools undertaking the CCEA AS Geography examination achieved this.
- In 2015, Curtis Irvine achieved 6th place in NICCEA A Level Geography.
- These results reflect our willingness to improvise and employ new teaching strategies, as well as encouraging students to become more independent with regards to their learning.
Key Stage 3
Topics taught at Key Stage 3:
What is Geography?
Latitude, longitude and location
Weather and climate
Rocks and fracking
Weathering and erosion
Rivers and flooding
One from either the geography of tribes, pirates or plastic pollution
Plate tectonics and plate boundaries
Weather and climate change
Earthquakes and volcanic activity
At Key Stage 3 we aim inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We aim to equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Key Stage 4
In following the CCEA GCSE specification for Geography, we allow students the opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation of the world they live in and its peoples. It encourages them to consider how they can contribute to a sustainable environment and provides them with opportunities to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical thinkers with enquiring minds. Physical Geography fieldwork, completed at the Colin Glen Forest Park and in conjunction with Colin Glen Trust also enables students to develop and apply their learning to the real world.
Key Stage 5
Pupils study 2 Assessment Units for AS Geography in Year 13 and 2 further Assessment Units for A2 Geography in Year 14. Classes are taught by more than one member of the Geography department in order to allow pupils to experience differing teaching styles and avail of their particular expertise in their area of the course. By studying A-Level Geography,(comma inserted) students will learn about geographical concepts and processes, interactions between people and their environment, the challenges of sustainability and the importance of attitudes and values. They will then be able to relate what they have studied to the world around them. Students will acquire and develop skills of data collection, observation, recording, presentation, discussion as well as interpersonal skills, ICT and practical skills gained through fieldwork investigation, in this case a study of the changing fluvial characteristics of the River Roe, while on a residential stay at the Magilligan Field Centre.
Employers seek a mixture of skills, qualifications and experience when they recruit for a job. Upon studying Geography, pupils will be exposed to a variety of learning activities which will enable them to become:
- Good communicators with strong presentation skills
- Competent in using ICT
- Independent researchers
- More able to work effectively in a team in a variety of roles
- Effective at managing time and deadlines
- Good at combining information from a variety of sources through excellent writing skills
Statistics show that geographers are among the most employable compared with other disciplines. Some of the fields of work for which geographers have the necessary skills include marketing, leisure and tourism, environmental work, using Geographical Information Systems, management, urban and rural planning, surveying, the Armed Services, law and architecture.
The Russell Group, which represents 24 leading UK universities, lists Geography as a “facilitating subjects”. Facilitating subjects are the subjects most commonly required or preferred by universities to get on to a range of degree courses. They help you keep your options open when choosing a degree, and many of the top universities will ask you to have at least one A-level in a facilitating subject when you apply.