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Strangford College, Newtownards

Geography

Our Vision

The Geography Department at Strangford College aims to provide all students with a varied and enjoyable learning experience of Geography, both in the classroom and through fieldwork activities at all key stages.  It is intended that students will gain a broad knowledge and understanding of Physical and Human Geographical processes, features and interactions.  It is also hoped that the study of Geography will be beneficial in enabling students to develop skills such as analytical thinking, enquiry and teamwork which are transferable to the world of work.

Staff: Mrs J Greenaway (Subject Leader); Miss T Gillespie

Key Stage 3

Students study each of the following topics:

Year 8: 

  • The definition of Geography - also distinguishing between Human and Physical Geography.
  • Economic activity - how this has changed over time in Northern Ireland and the skills and qualities required for the world of work today.
  • Map skills - such as direction, scale, grid reference, map symbols.
  • Geology – rock types, formation, uses and location in the UK and NI.
  • The geography of food – where our food comes from, food miles, impacts on the environment and economy and Fair Trade.
  • Ecosystems - world biomes and a study of our deciduous woodland ecosystem, considering plants, trees, wildlife and food chains.
  • ‘Fieldwork’ – Bird of Prey display.

Year 9:

  • Geography in the news – researching a recent Geographical news story and distinguishing between fact and opinion.
  • Natural disasters – hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, with particular reference to the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Also reducing the risk of natural hazards.
  • Map skills – latitude and longitude.
  • The study of population – global population growth, distribution, density and change due to natural increase and migration. Also issues related to migration.
  • Cities – capitals of Europe, growth and distribution of megacities. Also accessibility in the built environment.
  • Rivers – the water cycle, major rivers of the UK, river features and processes, impacts and management of flooding.
  • Fieldwork – river study at the Colin Glen River, Belfast and visit to Skytrek.

Year 10:

  • Threatened fragile ecosystems – coral reefs, sand dunes, tropical rainforests and sustainable development.
  • Map skills – world map projections and distorted maps.
  • Cotton and the environment - conflict, colonialism, child labour and GM crops.
  • Global warming and climate change – causes, impacts and case study.
  • The European Union – member and applicant states, history and aims of the EU, BREXIT, working in the EU, minority languages and tourism.
  • Plastic oceans – ocean currents and the problem of plastic.
  • Fieldwork – study of the management of the sand dunes at Murlough Bay for tourism, beach clean from Murlough to Newcastle and coastal management strategies at Newcastle.

Key Stage 4

GCSE students study the CCEA Geography course, which has no coursework and in which students are assessed in three examinations on each of the following units:

Unit 1 – Understanding our natural world:

  • River environments
  • Coastal environments
  • Our changing weather and climate
  • The restless earth

Unit 2 – Living in our world:

  • Population and migration
  • Changing urban areas
  • Contrasts in world development
  • Managing our environment

Unit 3 – Fieldwork:

  • Geographical enquiry
  • Data collection, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and conclusions

Key Stage 5

BTEC Travel and Tourism – students follow the Edexcel Subsidiary Diploma which is 100% course based and covers the following units over the two-year course:

  • Investigating the Travel and Tourism sector
  • The Business of Travel and Tourism
  • Customer Service in Travel and Tourism
  • The UK as a destination
  • Preparing for employment in the Travel and Tourism sector
  • Retail travel operations

Fieldwork: an investigation of customer service at Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast.

A Level Geography – students will follow the CCEA AS and A2 courses in which assessment is by examination in the following units:

AS Geography (Year 13)

  • Physical Geography:
    • Rivers
    • Ecosystems
    • Weather
  • Human Geography:
    • Population
    • Settlement
    • Development
  • Fieldwork:
    • Skills and techniques

A2 Geography (Year 14)

  • Physical processes:
    • Plate tectonics – theories and outcomes
    • Dynamic coastal environments
  • Process and issues in Human Geography:
    • Cultural Geography
    • Ethnic Geography
    • Tourism
  • Decision Making Exercise

Fieldwork for AS and A2 to be confirmed.