Geography is one of the broadest and most topical subjects available today. The new courses have retained a number of essential aspects of traditional geography while at the same time incorporating up-to the-minute issues and topics that are extremely relevant to life in the 21st Century.
The Geography department is one of the most popular and successful at Queen Elizabeth’s. Over half the students in Key Stage 4 opt for the subject and results have been consistently good at both GCSE and A Level.
Key Stage 3
At Key stage 3 we cover 12 topics covering Physical, Human and Environmental geography. We also focus on essential skills such as map skills and the use of G.I.S (geographical information systems). We try to contrast the areas we study between examples in the more and less developed world as well as looking at our local area.
Key Stage 4
The GCSE course studied is the Edexcel Geography B specification. This is Linear in design with the students taking three examinations at the end of three years of study. The first two papers look at geographical issues at a global scale and at a UK scale. Physical and Human geographical topics are covered in both papers. The UK paper also tests practical field work skills and knowledge. In recent years fieldwork has been carried out in Rochester, Canterbury and on the coast at Reculver.
The third examination is a decision making (synoptic) paper based a range of environmental geographical topics
Topic 1: Hazardous Earth (Climate change, Tropical storms, Earthquakes & Volcanoes
Topic 2: Development dynamics (With a focus on India)
Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world (with a focus on Mumbai)
Topic 4: The UK’s evolving physical landscape – including sub-topics Coastal change and conflict & River processes and pressures.
Topic 5: The UK’s evolving human landscape – including a Case Study - Dynamic UK cities. (London)
Topic 6: Geographical investigations – including one physical fieldwork investigation and one human fieldwork investigation linked to Topics 4 and 5.
Topic 7: People and the biosphere
Topic 8: Forests under threat (Tropical rainforests and Taiga)
Topic 9: Consuming energy resources
This GCSE was new in 2106 and was first examined in 2018. A key theme of the whole course is to make geography as a subject much more relevant and interesting to young people by focusing on topics that are or will affect their lives outside of the classroom such as climate change, threats to the natural environment, population dynamics and the changing world of work and industry. More traditional topics are also covered such as coastal studies and development.
Key Stage 5
The course we offer (from September 2016) Is the new linear A Level from Edexcel. The course is divided broadly into:
Physical Geography with topics such as Tectonic processes and hazards, Coastal landscapes and change, The water cycle and water insecurity and The carbon cycle and energy security.
Human Geography with topics such as Globalisation, Regenerating places, Superpowers and Health, human rights and intervention.
There is also an Independent investigation (coursework project) which is based on the fieldwork we carry out in Year 12. This has been done in Spain along the coast at Barcelona for the last couple of years
At GCSE we offer after school support clubs and support the school's “Eco-School” status with a number of environmentally based activities. In Key stage 3 we are involved in developing activities for the cross curricular weeks we also try to get the students out into the local area to put their theoretical skills to the test in a practical setting.