GEOGRAPHY (A Level)
Our Geography department has enormous success in the Sixth Form. At A-Level our students do exceptionally well and over the last few years around 40% of our students gained an A* grade at A2 level.
We have specialist, award-winning teachers delivering the course. Raphael Heath, our Head of Geography was presented with a Pearson Teaching award in October 2016 and the Ordnance Survey Award for Excellence in Secondary Education by the Royal Geographical Society in June 2015. We are recognised as a Centre of Excellence in GIS (computer mapping) Education and are a Geographical Association Centre of Excellence for our teaching. Our staff have published educational resources hosted on the Geographical Association and Royal Geographical Society websites and have had articles published about our excellent work in teaching in leading magazines and journals. They have spoken at national and international education conferences and run training for other teachers around the country.
Our A level course is the Eduqas specification. This offers a vibrant range of interesting topics which are relevant to the modern world. These include understanding the complexities of population changes and migration issues, the mechanisms of the carbon and water cycle, investigating changes to the human landscape, and an exploration of physical geography processes including tectonic hazards and climatic processes. The course involves 4 days of fieldwork to give students hands-on, practical experience of conducting research. Recently these trips have included studying flood risk mapping, using sophisticated GIS mapping techniques to process our field data. We also have looked at urban regeneration projects in order to examine their success. Students are supported in producing their own individual investigation as part of the A level course.
For both A Level and IB, it helps that we are specialists in the use of digital technology to enhance student’s learning. Students routinely use laptops in lessons so they can access stimulating and complex information to develop their understanding. Our learning materials are all hosted online allowing students and parents to return to the topics at any time to help with their revision.
We have run numerous foreign field trips to Iceland and Morocco over the past few years. These are fantastic experiences for our students to study some unusual geography up close, and to experience new cultures and landscapes which are very different to those in the UK. In October 2016 we are taking a group to Rome and the Bay of Naples in combination with the Classics department.
We also run a sixth form Geography Society where students can explore geographical issues beyond the curriculum. We prepare students for applications to university and for Oxbridge interviews and give students the opportunity to enter national competitions. We have great success in these - in the last two years our students have won the Trinity College Cambridge essay prize, the Royal Geographical Society Young Geography of the Year, The Geographical Association Post 16 competition, a bronze medal at the International Geographical Olympiad, and the GDST Geography competition.