Geography News

Geography

Introduction to Geography

Geography at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn is exciting, relevant and challenging. Geography is essentially about examining the interrelationships between people and the physical environment. It examines the causes, impacts and management implications of a variety of physical and human processes.

Geography requires pupils to:

  • find out about the changing world we live in and the key issues facing humanity and our environment
  • challenge injustice and inequality and seek reasons for these
  • seek to find alternative solutions which may contribute towards a more sustainable future for all

Through geography at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn, learners develop an understanding of a wide range of local to global issues from dairy farming in Pembrokeshire to the impact of globalisation. They also learn about a range of different places such as misconceptions about South Africa and Ethiopia to the housing issues in Brazil and Mexico. Through Geography learners develop many key skills for active citizenship and participation in society. These include literacy, numeracy, ICT as well as map skills, problem solving, teamwork, independent research and empathy.

The department uses a wide range of teaching and learning strategies from class debates and role plays to writing formal reports and letters. It also seeks to develop learners’ understanding of Geography through fieldwork. In the recent past there have been local trips to Cwmrheidol and the HEP station, Llys-y-Fran Country Park and the Preseli Mountains, the River Wyre, Llanrhystud as well as urban fieldwork in Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthen, Swansea and Cardiff Bay.

The geography department aims to:

  • build an extraordinary learning community that goes beyond the curriculum
  • foster a spirit of enquiry and continual improvement.
  • draw on the rich variety of experience and views to support a coherent and inclusive approach to teaching and learning
  • nurture links with other schools and departments locally, nationally and globally

For learners we seek to engender:

  • knowledge and understanding of the planet Earth and its peoples
  • lasting awareness of the world around us
  • sensitivity and empathy towards all others
  • tolerance and independent thinking
  • preparedness for an active citizen’s role in a changing world

In our department every person’s opinion counts and is valued, the pupil voice is encouraged and listened to.

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3

Geography continually seeks to ensure learners are engaged and actively learning. Our key aim is to ensure all learners become active, critical thinking citizens for society through the development of a geographical mind. The KS3 Curriculum Map here is an outline of the themes and topics covered through Year 7, 8 and 9.

During Key Stage 3, there are six main themes that learners explore:

  • Wales and the World
  • Mapped World
  • Human World
  • Physical World
  • Challenges to People
  • Threatened World


Year 7

During Year 7 learners mainly focus on Wales and the local area and how ds3540we are interconnected with other places. Learners will develop ideas in sustainability;  from the food they eat at home and the water their families use to the future of farming in Wales. Learners also develop skills in mapwork, discussion/debate, group work and role plays.

Year 8

In Year 8, learners begin to extend their knowledge of the world and contemporary issues through topics that look at issues ranging from population policies in China to the threat of oil exploration on Antarctica. Learners also carry out rivers fieldwork in Llanrhystud and have the opportunity to make 3D models to show how countour lines are used to show relief. Learners also build on their skills from Year 7.

All students also have the opportunity to participate on an activity residential trip to Pembrokeshire during the summer term.

Year 9

In the final year of Key Stage 3, learners begin to consolidate all their skills and knowledge in readiness for the GCSE course. They explore topics that include dispelling myths and misconceptions about Ethiopia and South Africa, the range of indicators available to geographers to measure development as well as the impacts of natural hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Learners also have the opportunity to produce newscasts/short-films on climate change as well as using GIS mapping software to present information.

 

Assessment

Learners are assessed at the end of each unit of work studied. Four of the units each year are assessed against the National Curriculum in Wales’ Key Stage 3 Programme of Study (please click here to view this document). These are:

  • Locating places, environments and patterns
  • Understanding places, environments and processes
  • Investigating
  • Communicating

Learners also regularly self- and peer-assess work using success criterion and are provided with opportunities to self-evaluate to identify targets for improvement.

Meeting your child’s needs

Learners are taught in form groups. Differentiation is through task, outcome and resources used. Support is available every day during lunchtime and after school and ICT facilities are also available.

Homework

  • This is essential for learning. All homework must be written down in diaries.
  • During Key Stage 3, homework is set once per fortnight.

Support from the department

  • Homework/Controlled Assessment Task drop-in support every lunchtime.
  • ICT and more in-depth support every Tuesday after school.

 

How to help your child’s learning at home:

  • An Atlas at home would be great
  • Ask your son/daughter questions about local and global issues
  • Encourage your son/daughter to read newspapers and watch the news and other geographically related programmes.
  • Any visits in towns or the countryside are great ways for your child to see that geography is all around them.

ks3 circle image

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4

What you will study

 Over the two years you study GCSE Geography, you will develop an understanding of four main themes:

Theme 1: River and Coasts
Theme 2: Population and Settlement
Theme 3: Natural Hazards
Theme 4: Economic Development

The order that these are covered during Years 10 and 11 will vary from year to year (see GCSE Geography Course Outline) but learners will complete all four themes during this GCSE. The examining board for this GCSE is OCR and learners follow Specification B. The specification can be viewed here.

What skills you will need to succeed

  • Geographical enquiry and problem solving skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of patterns and processes
  • Knowledge and understanding of environmental change and sustainable development

The focus of the course is the synthesis between human activity and the physical environment.

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What you can do at the end of the course

A good GCSE pass (C+) is useful for all post-16 studies, particularly Geography A level and any course that includes Environmental Issues.

Subjects which complement Geography

Science, Maths, Business Studies and languages all have links with the subject. It can also be studied alongside any of the Humanities subjects as the content has aspects that relate directly to them.

ks4 course outline

Key Stage 5

Key Stage 5

What you will study

GCE A level Geography will provide you with a sound understanding of both physical and human geography and their interrelationships. It will provide you with skills such as research, problem solving, statistical analysis, cartography and GIS, decision making as well as report writing. With this understanding and these skills you will develop into responsible and active citizens capable of working towards a more sustainable world. At Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn A Level students follow the WJEC specification. The specification can be viewed here.

In the classroom during the first year (AS), you will get a solid grounding in geography. You will study two compulsory topics that are linked with two of the biggest challenges facing our world – flood management and population change. There will also be a range of geographic investigative work and fieldwork. Field trips include day visits to Cardiff Bay for urban fieldwork and the River Teifi for physical fieldwork. It is also hoped that in the near future we will be offering a cross-curricular humanities trip to the United States.

In the second year (A2) you’ll step  up to topics like sustainable food, water and energy supply, globalisation and development.

What skills you will need to succeed

  • Interdependence
  • Collaboration
  • Decision-making
  • Evaluation and analysis
  • Cartography, ICT, statistics
  • Literacy

What you can do at the end of the courseds3534

Most of our students go on to study further at university. Geography isrecognised by all universities as a subject that provides students an excellent grounding in the subject but also develops transferable skills. These skills include the ability to manage yourself, work as a team, be an independent enquirer, be creative and also to be an effective participant.

Geographers are also known to be some of the most employable people. Geographers have the core and personal skills and qualities that employers are seeking. Former students have gone on to use their geography qualifications to pursue careers in advertising, environmental management, law, social services, development work, urban planning, GIS, politics and finance.

Subjects which complement Geography

Geography is a holistic subject for future strategists. It combines equally well with the sciences as the arts and languages. Students in the past have opted for geography with:

  • Chemistry
  • French
  • Maths
  • Biology
  • English
  • Physics
  • Sociology

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