All pupils study Geography until Third Year (Year 9), after which they can choose to continue to GCSE, AS, and A2 levels.
- To develop pupils’ interest in the variety of natural and cultural features of the earth’s surface
- To help them appreciate and understand why these features differ from place to place
- To encourage pupils to keep abreast of world news and to apply their geographical understanding to it, thereby developing an inquisitive and responsible attitude to the world around them.
In the First to Third Years (Years 7-9), pupils are introduced to a wide range of themes, beginning with a thorough grounding in map work – a vital foundation for further geographical study. Physical topics include rivers, coasts, and weather; human topics include villages, towns and cities, energy, development issues, tourism, and industry. Interactions between people and their environment are studied with reference to extreme climates – hot deserts, rainforests, and tundra. A regional approach is also adopted in comparing four countries: the United Kingdom, France, India, and China.
In Fourth and Fifth Years (Years 10-11), AQA Specification A is taught, followed by the AQA Specification to AS and A2 levels.
There is a blend of formal teaching with discussion and debate, role-play, practical work, a variety of types of homework, and field trips. Pupils are helped to develop writing, graphical, numerical and ICT skills, and to present geographical ideas fluently, both orally and on paper.
Whole day field trips are held for First to Fifth Year pupils to complement work in the classroom:
- First Year: Ribchester (settlement study) and Middlebrook (retail park)
- Second Year: Ingleton (river study)
- Third Year: Malham (rocks and relief: National Park management issues)
- Fourth Year: Hebden Bridge or Liverpool Albert Dock – the basis for GCSE coursework
- Fifth Year: Grasmere (to study effects of glaciation and rural issues)
- Lower Sixth Form: Dunsop Bridge (hydrology). London: City and Docklands (day trip – various urban themes).
- Upper Sixth Form: Residential field class held in the Isle of Arran 2006-08. From 2009 these classes have been held in Mallorca.
Geography lessons are taught in specialist rooms in the Queen’s Wing, also in the Radcliffe Wing and (for Sixth Formers) in Singleton House. Data projectors are installed in these rooms and are used in almost every lesson. Some lessons are also taught in the ICT suites to take advantage of the excellent facilities. The department has a wealth of maps, programmes on DVD and video, books and magazines, and fieldwork equipment, and a growing collection of software.
All pupils receive up-to-date textbooks for their individual use, and an atlas and local Ordnance Survey map are issued to each First Year pupil, to be retained throughout their time in the school.