Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live. Geography at Helsby High School is designed to prepare pupils for an ever changing world and to equip them with the necessary skills to become successful in the world of work.
Key Stage 3
At KS3, pupils will receive 3 lessons a fortnight. Topic areas currently include: rivers and floods, earthquakes and volcanoes, population and migration, map skills, changing climates, energy issues, adventure landscapes and London 2012.
Key Stage 4
Geography is all about making sense of the world in which we live and at KS4 you will tackle a number of very pressing issues and challenges such as:
- Can we predict when an earthquake is going to happen?
- Why do people live near active volcanoes?
- Is an ageing population a challenge or an opportunity?
- Why do people migrate both within and between countries?
- What are the likely effects of climate change across the world?
- How has the movement of ice shaped the landscape?
- What are the causes and effects of river flooding?
- Are shanty towns ‘ghettos of hope or despair’?
The Geography Department at Helsby High School is a well-resourced department with a great wealth of resources available at your fingertips including: contemporary journals, online articles, text books and geographical magazines to name but a few. As a geography student you will be expected to partake in private study and to take responsibility for your own learning. You will be taught in a calm and relaxed atmosphere in which you will be encouraged to debate and to question and to partake in regular class discussions.
Key Stage 5
Why study A-Level Geography at Helsby High School?
Geography acts as a bridge between the Arts and Sciences bringing together and analysing information from a variety of sources and developing skills of communication, data collection and the use of various kinds of graphs and statistics.
In choosing Geography at Helsby, you would be joining a very enthusiastic and hardworking department in which you can expect to be taught by well qualified and experienced staff. As a member of this team you will be valued as an individual, whilst being challenged academically, allowing your real potential to emerge as a Geographer, both in the classroom and more importantly, in the field.
What does the course involve?
As a Geographer you will deal with issues that are central to society and the environment. At A level, all candidates will study core human and physical geography. In each area of study candidates will consider the values and attitudes of decision makers, consider their own values and attitudes to the issues being studied and support their learning of ideas through the study of specific case studies. Candidates will also develop a variety of geographical skills, which will broaden and deepen existing knowledge and help to support learning in other subject areas.
The Geography course asks questions and seeks solutions to problems and issues that affect us all. For example;
- Can the world feed itself?
- Are current population growth rates unsustainable?
- What are the causes and effects of international migration?
- Are GM crops the solution to global food shortages?
- Is an ageing population a problem or an opportunity?
- What are the causes of river flooding?
- What are the soft and hard engineering approaches to flood prevention?
- What are the causes of desertification?
- Is nuclear power the solution to Britain’s growing energy demands?
The end result of studying human and physical geography is that you will have better understanding of how mankind and the earth work together. And it’s not all theory either. You’ll get the opportunity to visit places of geographic interest and to roll up your sleeves and participate in fieldwork.
What course units will I take at AS?
Unit 1 will cover:
- Core physical module: Rivers, floods and management
- Optional physical modules: cold environments, coastal environments and hot desert environments and their margins.
- Core Human module: Global population change
- Optional human modules: Food supply issues, energy issues and health issues.
Unit 2 will cover:
- Basic, investigative, ICT, graphical, cartographical and statistical skills.
- Research skills and the assessment of AS fieldwork.
Unit 1 is worth 70% of your AS mark and will consist of a 2 hours written examination paper sat in the summer term.
Unit 2 is worth 30% of your total AS mark and will consist of a 1 hour written examination paper. This paper will be sat at the end of the autumn term. Opportunities for resists will therefore be available in the summer term.
What course units will I take at A2?
Unit 3 will cover:
Physical options (choose at least one of these):
- Plate tectonics and associated hazards.
- Weather and climate and associated hazards
- Challenges facing ecosystems
Human options (choose at least one of these):
- World cities- evolution or revolution?
- Development and globalisation
- Contemporary conflicts and challenges
Unit 4b will cover:
- The process of issue evaluation
Unit 3 is worth 30% of your total A level mark and will consist of a 2 hour written examination paper. This paper will be sat in the summer term.
Unit 4b is worth 20% of your total A level mark and will consist of a 1 and a half hour written examination paper. This paper will be sat in either the autumn or summer term.
Teaching and learning
In choosing Geography at Helsby, you would be joining an enthusiastic and hardworking department. All members of the Geography team aim to develop relaxed and productive working relationships based on mutual respect. As a member of this team you will be valued as an individual, whilst being challenged academically, allowing your real potential to emerge.
A variety of teaching and learning styles will be employed throughout the year including: group work activities, private reading, problem solving, decision making exercises, PowerPoint presentations, use of ICT, group discussions and lively debates, and of course, practical fieldwork activities.
What can I do after the course?
The study of Geography is highly regarded by Universities and employers. Universities and Colleges of Further Education recognise the academic rigour and skill development inherent within the discipline, and in particular, of its ability to nurture analytical, interpretive, evaluative, decision making and critical thinking skills. Geography is highly respected by employers and is particularly useful for students who wish to pursue a variety of professional career paths including; surveying, marketing, hydrology, planning, law, environmental management and administration.
Head of Department:
- Mr A Mellors
- Mr E English
- Mr P Howe
- Miss J Mackay
- Miss C Riley
- Mrs G Thomas