Geography at JHNCC
The Geography Department is a vibrant department with 4 specialist teachers. The department runs several residential and one-day trips which enable students to explore their world. Previous trips have included Tanzania, New York, the North Norfolk Coast, The Shropshire Hills and Birmingham City Centre. A trip to Iceland for KS4/5 Geographers is taking place over February Half-Term 2016.
The Departmental aim is to give students a wide-range of knowledge, across both physical and Human Geography. As such, the curriculum has been planned to enable students in KS3 to experience some of the GCSE topics as part of a 5 year curriculum journey.
What do students study?
(The following topics are studied in the order typed)
Year 7 Topics – Becoming an Awesome Geographer, Astounding Places, Where do we Live?, Crime, How is life Different in Africa? and Watery World
Year 8 Topics – Our Restless Earth, Touristy Thailand, Difficult and Forbidden Places, and Crime (2016 only)
Year 9 Topics – Our Living World, Will Population Increase Cause Suffering?, Global Connections, Our Geography
Assessments are held at the end of each topic (6 times a year in y7, 4 in y8-9), based on the current topic and previous topics from the year; they will contain a mixture of multiple choice questions, short answer questions and extended answers to mimic the style of GCSE questions. These tests are designed to help students with learning to revise larger amounts of content as preparation for linear exams at KS4/5.
In order to prepare for tests, students will always be warned at least a week in advance. Their teacher will provide revision logs or other appropriate materials, though the section below, entitled ‘How to Revise for Geography Tests’ provides helpful tips.
Assessment Dates (guide only)
|Yr 7||Baseline test
and Topic 1
(end of Oct)
|Summer Exam –
All 6 topics
(End of June/
|Yr 8&9||Topic 1
(Just before Easter)
|Summer Exam –
All 4 topics
(End of June/
Students study AQA A Geography. This specification has 3 units:
- Unit 1: physical Geography – 1.5 hour exam, worth 37.5%
- Unit 2: Human Geography – 1.5 hour exam, worth 37.5%
- Unit 3: Controlled Assessment –
Project completed in school at the end of year 10, based on fieldwork, worth 25%
Topics covered are:
- Year 10 – The Restless Earth, Development, Water on the Land
- Year 11 – Population Change, The Coastal Zone, Tourism
In year 10, students complete at least 3 assessments for every topic they cover – these could be key word spelling/definition tests, questions in class or a test.
In year 11, students complete a 1 hour test on 2 of the 6 topics every fortnight. They are always aware of the topics in advance.
Students will also complete a formal mock exam during November of both year 10 and 11.
Students study Edexcel Geography. This is split into 4 units, two of which are taught in year 12, two in year 13.
- Unit 1 – Global Challenges – 1.5 hour exam, worth 60% of AS Level
- Unit 2 – Geographical Investigations – 1.25 hour exam, worth 40% of AS Level
- Unit 3 – Contested Planet – 2.5 hour exam, worth 60% of A Level
- Unit 4 – Geographical Research – 1.5 hour exam, worth 40% of A Level
Topics covered are:
- Year 10 – World at Risk, Going Global, Rebranding and Conflicts at the Coast
- Year 11 – Energy Security, Water Conflicts, Biodiversity Under Threat, Superpower Geographies, Bridging the Development Gap, The Technological Fix? Research on Tectonic Activity and Hazards
In Sixth Form, students complete assessments in class every fortnight at a minimum, but will cover at least one exam question in every class. There are also two sets of formal mock exams per year.
How to Revise for Geography Tests
A guide for parents and students
Little and often – your brain can only accept so much at a time – make sure you structure your revision into short 15-20 minute bursts, followed by a change of topic or short break.
Remove distractions – revising with music, Facebook, other people and lots of distractions will not help. Set aside revision time and don’t let anything else interfere!
Environment – Make sure you’ve got a clear space, plenty of water and have had enough food to keep your brain active.
Do something active – just reading your book will not help. You need to DO something with the information, some good ideas are:
- Make spider diagrams
- Create flash cards with questions on one side and answers on the other
- Ask somebody to test you
- Create a poem/ song/ rap/ rhyme to help your remember things
- Use videos from YouTube or BBC Bitesize
- Write notes, shorten them, write the key points from memory
- Sketch out and label relevant diagrams
- Learn specific examples in DETAIL – remember some specific numbers/ dates/ facts to access the highest marks
- Get familiar with past questions – If available, look online for past papers/ mark schemes/ examiner reports – there are only so many questions they can ask!
- Find a copy of the content/ specification online (for KS4/5) or from your teacher – go through and decide whether each thing you need to know is Red, Amber or Green – then target your revision onto your red/amber areas first
- Use the websites listed for your key stage, plus the specialist tips from your teachers when they warn you about the tests.
- If in doubt, BBC Bitesize provides lots of really good information for many topics – there are pages to read, videos to watch and miniature tests to practice with!
Parents, ask to see the revision your child is doing and make sure they’ve got everything they need – colours, paper, an area to work without distractions etc.