All pupils at Nottingham High School study Geography in Years 7-9, after which it is a very popular option subject for both GCSE and A Level studies.
The curriculum in Years 7 – 9 constitutes a wide breath of study, allowing pupils to find out about their local environment before moving on to National and then Global issues by the time they reach Year 9. Throughout this time they study Physical, Human and where appropriate, Environmental Geography.
In Year 7, pupils study map skills via ordnance survey and digital maps. We follow this up by studying settlements, flooding, The British Isles, National Parks and sport. We also like to look at some practical Geography by carrying out a survey of mobile phone signal strength around the school. In Year 8 pupils study population, ecosystems, Brazil, global warming, crime and rivers.
The Geography team is run by 4 full time staff who are all experts in their field as well as being passionate about their subject. They are highly motivated to helps students of all ages to achieve their very best.
This culminates with a trip into the Peak District to carry out measurements of different river characteristics. The Year 9 curriculum explores what it means for a country to be ‘developed’ and how this may change over time leading to the need for ‘redevelopment’ of certain areas of land. This provides the stimulus for our field visit to the London Docklands to assess the changes and to judge how successful they have been. The year continues with studies of plate tectonics, USA, globalisation and tourism.
At IGCSE, pupils explore four areas of Geography – tourism and urban settlements on the Human side followed by coasts and plate tectonics on the Physical. We use all four topics to study Geographical Skills and these are enhanced by our field visits to Nottingham CBD and the Holderness Coastline, both provide important case studies for our pupils. The final part of the specification allows pupils to become better at Decision Making, gathering evidence to justify and evaluate different choices.
Our current A Level syllabus follows on from the IGCSE providing a balance between Human and Physical Geography. In Year 12 we study rivers and coasts whilst on the Human side we look at population changes and food supply.
The highlight of the year for many students is the residential field course to Slapton in South Devon. Taken over five days and focussing on the Physical Geography it is an ideal place to carry out river studies whilst examining coastal change. The Year 13 course follows a similar pattern; the Physical Geography topics are plate tectonics and weather & climate. The Human Geography topics are Globalisation & Development along with Conflict & Challenge. The fieldwork opportunities in Year 13 are limited to local studies.
As well as the curriculum based trips that we run every year we also aim to offer extra-curricular opportunities to GCSE and A Level students. Our most recent field visit was to Iceland and this will be repeated in 2017.