The Geography Department
Key Stage 3
Geography is an exciting and highly relevant subject in the complex and dynamic world we live in today and the geography programme at Barton Court reflects this. Students in Year 7 and 8 study a range of both physical and human geography topics including: population, natural hazards, development, physical landscapes of the UK, globalisation and the geography of the major world regions.
To reflect the breadth and depth of the subject, the geography course is divided into twelve units covering issues at the local to the global scale. Emphasis is also placed on developing skills such as map-reading, ICT and using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to analyse digital sources. Independent learning is also encouraged through homework and the use of research projects.
Student progress is assessed regularly through homework and in-class modular assessments, using grades linked to the GCSE programme to prepare students for the rigors and demands of Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 4
Geography forms part of the English Baccalaureate and more than 50% of students opt to study it to GCSE level. The Edexcel B course starts in year 9 and is run over three years. The new syllabus consists of 3 modules, two of which will be worth 37.5% with the remaining module worth 25%. These modules are entitled ‘Global Geographical issues’, ‘UK Geographical Issues’ and ‘Making Geographical Decisions’ respectively. All are tested by externally-assessed written examinations.
Fieldwork is an integral component of the GCSE programme and students will undertake one physical field work investigation and one human field work investigation as part of the ‘UK Geographical Issues’ examination paper.
Key Stage 5
The department runs one post-16 A level course following the Edexcel specification. Students study the following topics for Paper 1 (worth 30% of the total A-level): tectonic processes and hazards, the water cycle and water insecurity, the carbon cycle and energy security and coastal landscapes and change. For Paper 2 (also worth 30%), students study globalisation, superpowers, rebranding places and migration. Paper 3 (20%) is a synoptic investigation of a geographical issue, while the remaining 20% is made up of a 3000-4000 word fieldwork report on a relevant topic of interest to the student.
Beyond The Curriculum
Fieldwork is an integral part of Geography and students participate in outdoor work at all levels. Enrichment Days allow KS3 students to explore the physical and human geography of their local area on trips to the city and coast.
KS4 students are required to undertake UK-based fieldwork, while KS5 students will participate in a field trip to West Somerset.
The department also runs booster classes (with help from sixth form students) to offer extra help with the GCSE course.
The department is based in two main teaching rooms. In addition, staff are able to book additional ICT facilities for certain tasks or projects.