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Stour Valley Community School



"Geography is a subject which holds the key to our future."
Michael Palin (President of the Royal Geographical Society & a Monty Python)

At SVCS we believe Geography to be an exciting and dynamic subject that affects us all in a rapidly changing world! Here in the Geography department we believe in providing students with a variety of stimulating and interesting lessons, we are also a member of the Geographical Association.

In addition to this Geography:
  • Provides pupils with knowledge and understanding of people, places and the environment.
  • Allows pupils to develop and practise a wide range of skills, for example:
    Practical Skills e.g. fieldwork.
  • Intellectual Skills e.g. problem solving, decision making.
  • Social Skills e.g. group work.
  • Literacy Skills e.g. extended writing.
  • Numeracy Skills e.g. constructing graphs.
  • Graphical Skills e.g. communication of spatial information.
  • ICT Skills e.g. presenting information using ICT resources.
  • Thinking Skills e.g. learning how to learn.
  • Allows pupils to develop and clarify their attitudes and values towards people, places and environments in a multicultural society as part of the global community.

Key Stage 3

At KS3 students study a range of topics which are a mix of ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ geography, as well as covering issues that link to components of the GCSE course. We use a range of resources offered by the Geographical Association and the Royal Geographical Society to keep our curriculum relevant and robust.

Geography at KS3 is delivered by one specialist geography teachers with assistance from Humanities Teachers, a range of techniques are used in lessons which include model making, note taking, active learning strategies and group work. Each teacher has their own room and access to a range of resources. Resources available include a wide range of DVD’s, text books, a full complement of atlases and ArcGIS geographical information systems package and subscription to Digimap for Schools.

Students are taught in 5 Humanities sets according to ability and are set alongside History and Religious Studies

Range and content

Year 7

  • How can map skills help at a music festival?
  • To defend or not defend? That is the question.
  • How are we affected by micro-climates?
  • What are the implications of migration on the UK?
  • Why is China so geographically interesting?
  • Where should we build the houses we need? 

Year 8

  • Could floods be our fault?
  • How can we make areas safe?
  • What makes weather and climate so extreme?
  • What makes India so geographically interesting?
  • How is development changing in South-East Asia and beyond?
  • Should we change our holiday destinations?

 Year 9

  • What difference can I make to climate change?
  • How are we causing environments to become more extreme?
  • How dangerous is the Earth?
  • What are the dynamics behind globalisation and development?

Fieldwork at KS3 currently involves a joint Humanities trip to Clare town for Year 7 students. Year 8 students visit Colchester Zoo and Year 9 students will soon have the opportunity to visit Iceland. Fieldwork around the school site takes place during lesson time and is linked to individual units.

Key Stage 4

At KS4 students use the knowledge, understanding and skills they have acquired to help them tackle the rigours of the GCSE course. They are supported through the use of revision sessions, guides and internet links, including the department Twitter feed @SVGeographers

We follow the EdExcel Geography B: Investigating Geographical Issues course which explores how geography can help us make sense of our fast-paced, ever-changing world.

Range and content

Students will study a range of topics over the two years, these are as follows:

Component 1:

Topic 1: Hazardous Earth
Topic 2: Development dynamics
Topic 3: Challenges of an urbanising world

Component 2:

Topic 4: The UK's evolving physical landscape; Coastal change and conflict and River processes and pressures

Topic 5: The UK's evolving human landscape; Dynamic UK cities

Topic 6: Geographical Investigations - one physical fieldwork invesitgation and one human fieldwork investifation linked to Topics 4 and 5

Component 3:

Topic 7: People and the biosphere

Topic 8: Forests under threat

Topic 9: Consuming energy resources

There are three exams in total lasting 1 hour 30 minutes.

Exams take place at the end of Year 11 incorporating a mixture of question types.

This course is part of the new GCSE courses incorporating the 9-1 grading structure.