Head of Department: Mr Bainbridge
Teachers: Mr Banin, Mrs Donnelly, and Mr Conroy
Our vision is to create a department which:
1. Provides all students with the opportunity to make progress and reach their full academic potential.
2. To develop and enhance the students geographical and personal skills as well as their knowledge and understanding of the world around them by providing fieldwork opportunities throughout all key stages.
3. To increase all students understanding and appreciation of different global cultures, their lifestyles and viewpoints.
4. To promote a culture within our student body, through lessons, fieldwork and events, of sustainable futures and environmentally sound lifestyles and behaviours.
5. To create a curriculum and learning activities which leads to students who enjoy and are engaged by the subject and who develop their own passion and interest in the subject.
As a department we believe strongly in the value of fieldwork: it enables students to better understand the concepts taught in the classroom; it also gives them valuable experiences in team work and an appreciation of the natural environment in which they are working.
Key Stage 3
Year 7: Topic 1 - Map Skills; Topic 2 - Africa; Topic 3 - A Water World
Year 8: Topic 1 - Our Natural World; Topic 2 - China; Topic 3 - Weather and Climate.
In Key Stage 3, we introduce key concepts in geography and enable students to study a diverse range of places around the globe. There is fieldwork in both Year 7 and Year 8. We take all students in Year 7 to conduct a hands-on investigation of the River Chess in June, whilst Year 8s undertake a comparative study of deciduous and tropical forests by visiting Burnham Beeches and The Living Rainforest in the same day. The techniques used during the fieldwork, and the following write-ups, become increasingly challenging for the students.
In the Year 7 topic on Africa, we also have a link with Idimu Junior High School in Lagos, Nigeria, which helps students make real connections with people in a different part of the world.
Key Stage 4
We follow the new AQA GCSE specification:
Year 9: Topic 1 - Geographical Skills; Topic 2 - Tectonic Hazards; Topic 3 - A city in a Low Income Country (LIC); Topic 4 - Rivers; Topic 5 - Coasts
Year 10: Topic 1 - Weather Hazards; Topic 2 - Ecosystems/Tropical rainforests; Topic 3 - Cold Environments; Topic 4 - Economic World; Topic 5 - A city in a High Income Country (HIC)
(The current Year 11 follow the outgoing GCSE specification).
As with Key Stage 3, the students who choose Geography for GCSE, and we have historically been one of the most popular options subjects, have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork outside of school in each year. The current Year 9 students visit Stratford-upon-Avon in September to explore the impacts of tourism in that locality, as well as getting to do a 'trial run' of GCSE fieldwork skills. We are currently planning new fieldwork opportunities for Years 10 and 11. There is a requirement to do at least two visits as part of the new GCSE. Year 11 visited the London 2012 Olympic site in October to support their learning about regeneration and improving urban areas.
Key Stage 5
We follow the new Edexcel A Level specification:
Year 12 (Physical Geography): Topic 1 - Tectonic Hazards; Topic 2 - Coasts
Year 12 (Human Geography): Topic 1 - Globalisation; Topic 2 - Diverse Places
(The current Year 13 follow the outgoing A Level specification).
Geography is a popular choice at A Level, with two classes and over 30 students taking the subject each year in the past two years. The current Year 13 students undertook their fieldwork on a four-day residential visit to Liverpool and Blackpool last year. In March, over twenty of this cohort are going on a four-day visit to Iceland, which will hopefully be a great way to say goodbye to Geography at Burnham Grammar School. We are planning a new, week-long residential trip to the Lake District to support the new A Level course.