All geography students enter the Young Geographer of the Year (RGS/IBG) competition, and teams are selected to compete at the Worldwide Quiz.
Geography at Queen Anne’s aims to introduce geographical topics and concepts that help students to understand the world around them locally, nationally and globally.
‘Real people, real places’ is the department’s strapline and underpins our commitment to bringing relevant and exciting geography to the classroom, as well as enabling students to engage with ‘real people, real places’ through fieldwork.
We take students to the River Pang in Bradfield, Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, residentials in Box Hill in Surrey, and Margam in South Wales, as well as local studies of Henley-on-Thames and Reading.
The girls develop inquisitive minds about the world in which they live. This will provide a solid foundation for further studies into GCSE and A Level. At GCSE and A Level geography will give you an understanding of the complexities of human and physical environments. It addresses contemporary issues and enables you to become an informed global citizen. The course aims to study the inter-relationships between people and their varied environments, and the questions, issues and problems which arise from these relationships.
- To introduce geographical topics and concepts that help students to understand the world around them locally, nationally and globally
- To have an informed awareness of topical geographical issues, including global warming and inequality
- To provide a solid foundation for further studies at GCSE and A level
Topics aim to develop both breadth and depth of geographical understanding, as well as prepare students for further study at GCSE. Throughout the curriculum, a range of learning and teaching approaches are used. In addition to the more traditional approaches, students will be involved in group activities, decision-making tasks, role plays and class presentations.
Topics currently studied include:
L4 (Year 7)
- Weather and climate
- The global economy
- The effects of the fast fashion industry
- How river change the landscape
- Flood risks
- Independent fieldwork investigations into microclimates and downstream changes on the River Pang
4 (Year 8)
- How and why are countries changing
- Changing populations
- Managing the polar regions
- Coastal changes
- Independent fieldwork investigation into the coastal process at Bournemouth
U4 (Year 9)
- Mitigation of the effects of tectonic hazards
- The world's urban environment
- The climate crisis
- Independent fieldwork incestiagtion inott housing and environmental quality in Caversham
AQA GEOGRAPHY 8035
GCSE Geography has been described as the ‘must have’ subject of today. During their GCSE, geographers will develop a more informed understanding of the world they live in, and of the most important issues facing us in the 21st Century. Moreover, GCSE geographers develop their skills of literacy, numeracy, graphicacy and spatial analysis.
The course has two units:
- Unit 1: Living in the Physical Environment Natural hazards, physical landscapes of the UK and the living world
- Unit 2: Challenges in the Human Environment Urban issues and challenges, the changing economic world and the challenge of resource management
The development of geographical skills runs throughout the course, with students developing their skills of spatial analysis and data manipulation, in addition to field work and data collection.
Fieldwork is a compulsory part of the course and students attend a 4 day day fieldwork course run by the Field Studies Council in Margam, South Wales, during which they investigate river processes and urban challenges in the local area. The fieldwork undertaken is examined in Paper 3.
There will be three examinations at the end of the two year course.
- Paper 1: 1 hour 30 minutes - Living in the Physical Environment (35% of overall GCSE grade)
- Paper 2: 1 hour 30 minutes - Challenges in the Human environment (35% of overall GCSE grade)
- Paper 3: 1 hour 15 minutes - Geographical Application. This paper will examine the fieldwork undertaken on the field trip, as well as the considering of a geographical 'issue' based on pre-released resources (30% of the overall GCSE grade)
A Level Geography
A Level Geography will give students an understanding of the complexities of human and physical environments. It addresses contemporary issues and enables students to become informed global citizens.
To study the inter-relationships between people and their varied environments, and the questions, issues and problems which arise from these relationships.
Syllabus - AQA 7037
Component 1 – Physical Geography
- Water and carbon cycles
- Coastal systems and landscapes
Component 2 – Human Geography
- Global systems and global governance
- Changing places
- Contemporary urban environments
Component 3 – Geographical Investigation
- Individual Investigation (coursework) of 3,000-4,000 words to include data collected in the field
- The issue investigated must relate to part of the specification and should be developed by the student
- This component will involve a residential field trip in L6 and independent work over the summer between L6 and U6.
Two written papers, one for each of components 1 and 2. Each paper will be two and a half hours and will consist of a mixture of multiple choice, short answer and extended answer questions. Each paper is worth 40% of the A Level. Component 3 is marked by teachers in school, and moderated by AQA examiners. It is worth 20% of A Level.
Geography can lead to a wide range of degree options including: Geography, Environmental Science, Geology, African/Asian Studies, Land Management, Travel, Leisure Management. Career choices that are specifically related include teaching, surveying, environmental science, meteorology, the travel industry and cartography. In addition, skills obtained from Geography lend themselves to a diverse range of career options. Geographers are very employable.
Challenging yourself in Geography is all about independent learning. Geography is about real people and real places. Observe the world and how it connects with your lessons, ask questions about the physical and human geography you see and try to work out your own answers.
What can you do to challenge yourself?
Lower School Geographers
- Enter the Young Geographer of the Year competition, run by the Royal Geographical Society every year.
- Read one quality newspaper article per week. The best geographical reports are in The Guardian, and the BBC. If this is in another location, find out more about that place.
- Read the ‘stories from around the world’ in First News, this will help you learn what is happening, and where.
- Read fiction books and watch films set in other countries, find out about that country from the book or film, and do extra research.
- The ‘Horrible Geography’ series of books, especially for coasts, rivers and rainforests, are really fun.
- Take a virtual fieldtrip to places we study (and anywhere else) using Google Streetview
- Use Lizardpoint geography quizzes online to learn countries and features.
- Use Mapzone from the Ordnance Survey to revise map skills
- Use Digimap for Schools (RG46DX / scoams53) to find an OS map of a place, then take someone for a walk.
- Go Geocaching! You’ll need an internet-enabled phone and the app!
- Watch everything on TV by David Attenborough, Simon Reeve, Steve Backshall and Andrew Marr.
- Watch Unreported World (The content of this can be troubling, ask your parents first.)
- Watch and listen to a TedTalk on a geographical issue. These are on the internet and many of them have a geographical focus. Once you have watched one, similar ones will be suggested for you.
- All of the above!
- For every case study or example we study as part of the course, challenge yourself to find out more. You can do this with books, films, YouTube, news websites, and blogs. Always take a virtual fieldtrip there using Google Maps Streetview.
- Have a read of the WideWorld magazine, which is published four times a year by Philip Allan. A recent copy is always available in the library, and all the archived copies are online from the library portal.
- Have a read of the monthly Geographical magazine from the library, or browse some of the online articles. This is a general geography interest magazine.
- Read Factfullness by Hans Rosling
- Search the GeoActives on the Kerboodle website to get grade 9 level information on topics linked to what you are studying in your GCSE course.
A Level Geographers
- All of the above!
- Have a read of the Geography Review magazine, which is published four times a year by Philip Allan. A recent copy is always available in the library, and all the archived copies are online from the library portal.
- Read relevant articles from The Economist and The New Scientist, available in the library, on a regular basis.
- Follow Danny Dorling, Hans Rosling, Benjamin Hennig, other geographers, and university geography departments on Twitter and use the #geography to search for new articles and people to follow.
- Go on the Royal Geographical Society website, use the QAS RGS login ([email protected] geography123) to view the Monday night lectures. Or attend these in person by becoming a Young Geographer member. Also online to view without a subscription or login are microlectures, 21st Century panel talks. Follow these up by researching the person giving the lecture to find out where they teach, what their interests are, and what books or articles they have written.
- Read the journal Geography for up to date geographical research, published termly and available in the Geography Department.
- Attend the lectures of the Oxford Branch of the Geographical Association https://www.geography.org.uk/GA-Oxford-Branch
- Enter the Land Economy essay competition run by Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge university and attend the college’s annual Progress in Geography conference.
- Enter the David W. Smith memorial prize competition run by the Royal Geographical Society about issues in cities in the global south.
- When completing your NEA, consider entering the Geographical Association’s post-16 independent investigation competition and the Royal Geographical Society’s Ron Cooke award for the A Level independent investigation