The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of curiosity about places. It helps young people make sense of a complex and dynamically changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected. It builds on the students' own experiences to investigate places at all scales, from the personal to the global.
Geography at Wildern aims to create a sense of awe and wonder about our world and to appreciate that local actions can have regional, national and global consequences. We seek to inspire and enthuse our students and encourage them to empathise and be culturally aware of the different ways of life from around the world.
Geographical enquiry is at the heart of our teaching we encourage students to question, investigate, think critically and be curious about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, now and in the future. We strive to develop independence and determination in our students and provide them with opportunities to learn and think spatially using maps, visual images and new technologies. We hope that our students grow into global citizens, who explore their own space and place in the world and who take responsibility for the environment and for the sustainability of the planet.
Our department is innovative and collaborative in its approach. We work together to support and challenge each other in a constructive manner and therefore continue to develop ourselves as reflective practitioners. We will lead the way in geographical learning and teaching.
All our students will feel supported academically to make maximum progress while understanding Geography in the wider context of the world. Our learning environment will be safe, exciting and inspire our students to embrace the power of Geography.
As a team we will continue to evaluate learning and teaching within our department and think creatively about how well we are doing and how we can do better
Key Topics include:
Europe: On entry to the geography department students will be assessed on their prior geographical knowledge, understanding and skills. Students will then complete a field study of their favourite place at Wildern School. Following on from this students will investigate the physical and human geography of the British Isles. They will explore the countries that make up the British Isles and what it means to be British.Students will complete an assessment on where people live in the British Isles and will be marked on their ability to describe and explain population patterns. The topic will take the students to mainland Europe, where they will investigate the countries that make up the smallest continent and what makes some of the countries popular tourist destinations. The students will then carry out a research enquiry to assess the benefits of the EU.
North America: In this unit students will study the physical geography of the North America and look at why its so dangerous. Through this students will investigate both tectonic and climatic hazards e.g. Mt St Helens and Hurricane Katrina. The students will also look in depth at the Grand Canyon and debate whether the Sky Walk is a step too far?! Moving onto the human environment students will look at the growth of New York as well as how sustainability projects like the Highline can bring communities together and improve the urban environment. Students will complete a Hazards Assessment and will also be set a Home Study to design a travel guide to North America.
South America: In this unit students will study the physical geography of the Amazon rainforest. They will investigate the equatorial climate and how both vegetation and animals have adapted to their environment. As part of their home study, students will create their own animal and explain how it can survive in the TRF. Students will also look at the complex relationship between the human and physical environment by investigating deforestation. They will look at different stakeholder view points and take part in a decision making debate about the future of the rainforest. Students will be assessed by making a sustainable rainforest development plan.
Asia: In this unit students will mainly focus on the super power of Asia; China. With China already the world’s third largest trading entity, students will investigate the sustainability of China’s resource intensive path of development. Students will also consider how this rapidly urbanising nation is managing its population. Following on from this students will look at Dubai; building the impossible city and then invetsigate the impact that tourism has had on Thailand. Students will complete two assessments on China’s one child policy and a second on Thailand. Students will also complete two home studies on China: Fun & Festivals and an Eco Island Project.
Africa: The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the huge variation in geography that exists within the complex continent of Africa. Whilst providing a framework for our students to understand what is going on in the continent, the aim of each lesson is to involve them in the lives of people living in Africa, rather than just looking at the continent from the outside. Ultimately, students will learn that improving people's lives in a continent that is often perceived to be a ‘hopeless case' is dependent on a range of physical and human factors both within the individual countries, across the continent and on an international scale. Students will complete an assessment on Water Aid. They will also complete a home study called Aid to Africa.
Australasia/Antarctica: Students will investigate the physical Geography of this hugely diverse continent by studying a range of processes and looking at how they create dramatic landforms and environments. Violent physical processes such as flooding and bush fires will provide students with dramatic examples of nature at its most devastating. Students will inquire in to human Geography through a range of contemporary processes including the sustainability of modern living whereby we investigate the expansion of the major cities and the resource usage of Western lifestyles. Students will then compare the differences between a wide range of areas and investigate the conflict between Aboriginal and European Australians.Students will complete a home study on the Biome Project and a final project on ‘The best place in the World’. During this unit students will complete the Year 8 Exam.
Year 9 (AQA)
The aim of Year 9 is to develop and consolidate geographical skills required for the new GCSE specification (AQA)
Students will begin the year by completing a piece of fieldwork in their local area (Hedge End). This unit will give them the opportunity to develop their geographical skills e.g. posing enquiry questions, primary and secondary data collection, methodology, data presentation and analysis, drawing conclusions and writing a critical analysis.
The new GCSE course starts with The Challenge of Natural Hazards; followed by Urban Issues and Challenges and finally, Ecosystems: Rainforest. The course studies Geography in a balanced framework of physical and human themes and investigates the link between them.
Year 10 (AQA)
Students will continue to study a balanced course covering both physical and human Geography with an underlying theme of sustainability. They will begin the year by studying The Changing Economic World.
In the Spring Term students will study UK Coastal Landscapes, before spending some time revising and consolidating their knowledge and understanding to date in order to prepare themselves for their first mock examinations.
Finally in the Summer Term students will take part in a fieldtrip to Hengistbury Head. During this trip they will collect the primary data required for Paper 3. They will also study Ecosystems: Rainforests & Deserts.
Year 11 (AQA)
Students will begin Year 11 by completing the follow up work for their Fieldwork Enquiry, which they started in the summer of Year 10 with a visit to Hengistbury Head. Students will also sit 2 Mock Exams towards the end of the autumn term, and study Ecosystems: Deserts.
In January of Year 11 students will complete the final part of Resource Management: Water and then will begin a programme of revision. Students will sit 3 exams in the summer term:
Year 9 – Residential to Eden Project, Cornwall
Year 9/10 – AQA Field Studies to Hedge End Village & Hengistbury Head
Year 10 – International Trips to NYC or China