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Geography

Don’t just live in the world, learn to change it.

The world we live in is rapidly changing, perhaps more so now than ever. Geography increases our awareness and understanding of this change and empowers us to become active global citizens. Geography at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls is an exciting, dynamic subject. Students enjoy their classroom learning and attainment is consistently high. The department runs extra-curricular activities and fieldtrips for each Key Stage.

The Department has gained the Prince’s Teaching Institute’s Mark and the Geographical Association’s Secondary Geography Quality Mark and Centre of Excellence status.

SGQM Centre of excellence   PTI 2012

 

@AGGS_geog twitter

 

AGGS_Geog

 


 

Extra-curricular opportunities

Key stage Extra Curricular
3
  • Inter-From Geography Quiz, Year 7
  • Volcano Building competition, Year 8
  • GCSE options talks provided by Geography Ambassadors, undergraduates from local universities, Year 9
  • Royal Geographical Society Young Geographer of the Year competition, Key Stage 3
4
  • Geographical Association Worldwize Quiz, Year 11
  • Subscriptions to Wider World magazine, Years 10 and 11
5
  • University and careers talks provided by Geography Ambassadors, undergraduates from local universities, Year 12
  • Subscriptions to Geography Review magazine, Years 12 and 13
  • AGGS Geography Society, Years 12 and 13
  • Trafford Grammar Schools Geography Lecture Series, Years 12 and 13
  • Geographical Association lectures at the University of Manchester, Years 12 and 13

 

Geography extra-curricular timetable

Activity Day Time Location Staff
Geography Help Thursdays, Day 4 and Day 9 12.30 – 1.10 B5 All geography staff
Geography Club
Years 7 and 8
To be advised 12.30 – 1.10 B6 Mrs Newton
Geography Society Years 12 and 13 Fridays, Day 5 and Day 10 12.30 – 1.10 B5 Mr Emms
Trafford Grammar Schools Geography Lecture Series
Years 12 and 13
Various, to be advised After school, usually 4.30 – 5.30 AGGS, AGSB, Sale Grammar Mr Lovelady
Geographical Association lectures Various, to be advised After school, usually 5.15 – 6.15 University of Manchester Mr Emms

 

 


 

Fieldwork Opportunities

The Geography Department provides a wide range of fieldwork activities for all years:

Key stage Fieldwork
3
  • Year 7 – School site – during lesson time, to investigate environmental quality
  • Year 7 – Peak District – day trip, to study differing physical landscapes
  • Year 8 – School site – during lesson time, to investigate infiltration rates
  • Year 8 – Llandudno or Blackpool – day trip, to investigate coastal processes and tourism
  • Year 9 – Salford Quays – day trip, to investigate urban regeneration
4
  • Year 10 – to investigate river characteristics and flood risk
  • Year 11 – day trip, to investigate variations in quality of life in Manchester
5
  • Year 12 – Cranedale Centre, North Yorkshire – five days, to study coasts and regeneration
4 and 5
  • Years 11, 12, 13 – Iceland – five day optional trip, to study coastal, glacial and volcanic landscapes (run every 2-4 years)

 


 

Education and Career Opportunities

Geography provides students with the opportunity to acquire an understanding of important issues and a wide range of transferable skills. Higher education and the world of work both recognise qualifications in Geography as being highly desirable for a wide range of university courses and employment types.

 

 

Geography takes you places


 

Key Stage 3 – Year 7-9

Geography is taught in six mixed ability classes which tend to approximately 30 pupils in size. Years 7 and 9 have three one-hour lessons per fortnight and Year 8 have two one-hour lessons per fortnight.

The Key Stage 3 course aims to provide pupils with the core knowledge, understanding and skills to become outstanding geographers, and aims to stimulate interest in the subject. In Year 7, students gain a knowledge and sense of place, develop their map skills and begin to study geographical issues from a local to global scale. In Year 8 and Year 9, pupils progress to investigate a wider range of issues, and by Year 9 pupils will have progressed to work more independently, analyse geographical data in detail, appreciate different viewpoints, show greater creativity and make and justify geographical decisions.

Fieldwork is used to develop curiosity in the subject and support learning. Year 7 pupils collect data on the environmental quality of the school site and participate in a day fieldtrip to the Peak District to investigate physical landscapes. Year 8 pupils collect data on infiltration rates on the school site and participate in a day fieldtrip to a coastal resort to investigate coastal processes and tourism. Year 9 pupils participate in a day fieldtrip to Salford Quays to investigate the impacts of urban regeneration.

 

The Key Stage 3 course:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
  1. Connect Four – pupils develop their place knowledge using maps on a range of scales, and undertake a fieldwork enquiry into the quality of the school environment
  2. Polar Express – pupils investigate the physical and human characteristics of Russia and assess threats to the Arctic environment
  3. Shipwrecked – pupils explore a mystery island and make decisions about living there, developing a range of map skills in the process
  4. Tiger Versus Dragon – pupils compare the physical and human characteristics of India and China, their economic growth and the implications of rapid change
  5. Geography Rocks! – pupils investigate the processes of erosion and weathering, and visit contrasting Peak District landscapes
  1. Snap, Crackle and Pop! – pupils develop an understanding of the causes, impacts and management of volcanoes and earthquakes
  2. For Richer, for Poorer – pupils develop an understanding of variations in development and how sustainable strategies can improve quality of life
  3. Go with the flow – pupils study the hydrological cycle and river flooding, including undertaking an enquiry into infiltration on the school site.
  4. Picture Postcard – pupils investigate coastal landscapes and the tourism opportunities these environments offer, including undertaking fieldwork in a coastal resort
  1. One born every minute – pupils develop their understanding of population change and investigate the strategies that governments use to manage population
  2. From Cotton to Culture – pupils investigate the fabric of Manchester and undertake an enquiry into urban regeneration at Salford Quays, including a day fieldtrip
  3. Into Africa – pupils investigate the human and physical characteristics of Africa, focusing on climate, development issues and links with the rest of the world.
  4. Frozen – pupils study glacial landforms and processes, and the recreational opportunities glacial landscapes offer
  5. Wonderworld – pupils investigate the location, characteristics and significance of some of the geographical wonders of the world

 


 

Key Stage 4 – GCSE

Exam Board: Edexcel, Specification B

Geography is taught in mixed ability classes which tend to be between 20 and 30 pupils in size. Year 10 has five one-hour lessons per fortnight and Year 11 has six one-hour lessons per fortnight. Typical pupil numbers studying geography in each year group at GCSE are over 110.

The GCSE course is relevant and exciting. It provides pupils with the opportunity to develop a greater knowledge and understanding of some of the most prominent issues facing society today.

A range of geographical issues are studied at different scales (local, regional, national and global). Examples include the urban characteristics of Manchester, flood risk and management in the United Kingdom, the Nepal earthquake of 2015, variations in development in India, deforestation in the Amazon and global climate change.

Pupils develop a wide range of skills throughout the GCSE course, including literacy, numeracy, data collection and data presentation, understanding of values and attitudes, teamwork, problem solving, decision making and use of information and communication technology.

Fieldwork is used to support learning in Geography. Pupils participate in a day fieldtrip to investigate river characteristics and flood risk and a day fieldtrip to investigate variations in quality of life in Manchester. The Department has also run optional residential fieldtrips to Iceland in recent years to investigate coastal, glacial and volcanic landscapes.

The GCSE course (teaching from September 2016):

Component Content Assessment

Component 1:

Global Geographical Issues

Topic 1: Hazardous Earth – including extreme weather events and tectonic hazards

Topic 2: Development dynamics – including global inequalities and a focus on an emerging country

Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world – including causes and challenge of urban change and a focus on one megacity

Written examination

1 hour 30 minutes

37.5% of qualification

Component 2:

UK Geographical Issues

Topic 4: The UK’s evolving physical landscape – including sub-topics 4A: Coastal change and conflict and 4B: River processes and pressures.

Topic 5: The UK’s evolving human landscape – including why places and people are changing and a focus on one UK city.

Topic 6: Geographical investigations – including one physical fieldwork investigation and one human fieldwork investigation.

Written examination

1 hour 30 minutes

37.5% of qualification

Component 3:

People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions

Topic 7: People and the biosphere –including the distribution of biomes, the importance of the biosphere and how humans modify it

Topic 8: Forests under threat – includes threats and management of coniferous forests and rainforests

Topic 9: Consuming energy resources – including the growing demand for energy and environmental impacts of energy use

Written examination

1 hour and 30 minutes

25% of the qualification

 


 

Key Stage 5 – AS and A2 Level

Examination Board: Edexcel

Geography is taught in classes which tend to be between 10 and 20 pupils in size. Typical pupil numbers studying geography in each year group at A Level are over 40.

The course is relevant and exciting and helps pupils develop geography-related and broader attributes that are important for post-18 education. It provides pupils with the opportunity to develop a greater knowledge and understanding of headline global issues and empowers them to consider how these issues can be tackled to enable sustainable futures.

A range of geographical issues are studied at different scales (local, regional, national and global). Examples include coastal erosion on the UK coastline, the regeneration of Scarborough, tourism threats to Machu Picchu, the emergence of China as a global superpower, water conflicts in North Africa, changes to the global carbon cycle and their implications, and changing carbon the impacts and management of global climate change.

Pupils further develop a wide range of skills throughout the course, including literacy (including essay and report writing], numeracy [including statistical analysis], data collection and data presentation, understanding of values and attitudes, teamwork, problem solving, decision making, independent learning and use of information and communication technology.

Fieldwork and research are very important aspects of the course. Pupils participate in a five day fieldtrip to The Cranedale Centre in North Yorkshire. This supports pupils in developing their understanding of geographical processes and issues, and supports them in developing the skills required to undertake their own Independent Investigation which is 20% of the A Level course.  The Department has also run optional residential fieldtrips to Iceland in recent years to investigate coastal, glacial and volcanic landscapes.

Independent learning is an important aspect of the A Level course. Pupils are expected to read about the subject, using our aggs_geog Twitter account and other sources. Throughout the course, pupils have the opportunity to attend numerous university style lectures that support and enhance their learning. These include Geographical Association lectures at Manchester University and the Trafford Grammar Schools Lecture Series, which the department recently initiated. Pupils also run their own Sixth Form geography society, GeogSoc, and the Key Stage 3 Geography Club.

The A Level course (teaching from September 2016):

Area of study Content Assessment
Area of study 1: Dynamic Landscapes Topic 1: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
Earthquakes and volcanoes – causes, impacts and responses
Paper 1: Written examination
2 hours
30% of A Level qualification
90 marks
Examines Areas of study 1 and 3
Paper 3: Written examination
1 hour 45 minutes
20% of A Level qualification
60 marks
Based on a geographical issue within a place-based context that links to synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas
Topic 2: Landscape Systems, Processes and Change
Option 2.2: Coastal Landscapes and Change
Area of study 3: Physical Systems and Sustainability Topic 5: The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
Physical processes controlling water circulation and the growth, impacts and management of water insecurity
Topic 6: The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
Physical processes controlling carbon movements and changes to carbon stores, including reliance on fossil fuels
Topic 7: Climate Change Futures
Links to the water and carbon cycles, the threat of climate change and mitigation/adaptation strategies
Area of study 2: Dynamic Places Topic 3: Globalisation
Interdependence, shifting wealth and regional/national inequalities, plus environmental and cultural impacts
Paper 2: Written examination
2 hours
30% of A Level qualification
90 marks
Examines Areas of study 2 and 4
Topic 4: Shaping Places
Option 4.1: Regenerating Places
Area of study 4: Human Systems and Geopolitics Topic 8: Superpowers
Superpower characteristics, the changing pattern of dominance and geopolitical influence and conflict
Topic 9: Global Development and Connections
Either Option 9.1: Health, Human Rights and Intervention Or Option 9.2: Migration, Identity and Sovereignty
Independent Investigation An independent investigation relating to the compulsory or optional content, incorporating fieldwork data (collected individually or as part of a group) and own research and/or secondary data. Coursework
3000 – 4000 word written report
20% of qualification
60 marks