St Columbanus' College

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Geography

Introduction

Head of Department: Mr. D. Majury
                                                  Miss N McGuigan
Geography is taught at Key Stage 3 to all pupils, and is an option for study at both GCSE and Sixth Form. Geography develops knowledge, understanding, skills and competences which help students understand the world they live in. Students are taught using a range of active learning strategies. Thus allowing students of all abilities to access our curriculum and develop their skills for life.

Fieldwork is an important component of Geography in St. Columbanus. All year groups participate in a range of fieldwork activities. Year 13 pupils take part in a three day residential at Magilligan Field Centre.

Subject Information

At St Columbanus’ Geography lessons cover a range of human, physical and environmental elements. As pupils progress from Year 8 through to Sixth Form they will build on and develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and experience necessary to meet the challenges of an ever changing world.

At Key Stage 3, pupils study a range of current geographical issues and topics including;

  • Plate Tectonics
  • Fair Trade
  • Rivers
  • Coasts
  • Population
  • Development
  • Global Warming

 

At Key Stage 4 (GCSE) pupils follow the CCEA GCSE course.

This is a modular course with an examination at the end of Year 11 and Year 12. Pupils also complete coursework in the form of a controlled assessment. Pupils are given an opportunity to use their classroom knowledge and skills when completing fieldwork activities.

  • The Dynamic Landscape
  • Our Changing Weather and Climate
  • The Restless Earth
  • People and Where They Live
  • Contrasts in World Development
  • Managing our Resources

In Sixth Form pupils follow the CCEA course at both AS and A2 level.

This involves studying a wide range of topics ranging from the Amazon Rainforest to Nuclear Energy. There is a strong focus on fieldwork and practical skills. Pupils will complete both residential and day visits to Magilligan Field Centre, Breen Wood and Belfast.

Internet link: www.rewardinglearning.org.uk

Fieldwork

Fieldwork is an important part of studying Geography. In Sixth Year, pupils take part in a range of fieldwork exercises. They attend a three day residential trip to Magilligan Field Centre, where the pupils complete fieldwork on rivers, coastal ecosystems and urban centres. In Sixth year, pupils also carry out Fieldwork at Breen Wood forest, Bangor and Belfast.

In year 12, pupils carry out fieldwork at Crawfordsburn Country Park. This activity involves a river study, and is the basis for the Controlled Assessment.

In Geography, fieldwork is an essential part to helping you understand different physical and human processes that you study at any level. Being able to see, for example, how a river changes as you move downstream is one physical process in that my Year 13 Geography class looked at for their AS-Level fieldwork at Magilligan Field Centre in Londonderry. We arrived there on Wednesday 16th December and we were there until Friday 19th December so the short time frame meant that we had a lot of intense research and fieldwork to complete in just a matter of 3 days. Thursday was when we all had to wrap up warmly as we were going to be spending the most of the day wading in the Curley Burn River, collecting data that would help prove our theories about what changes we would expect the river to show as you progressed downstream. We were all exhausted by the end of the day, some of us quite cold, hungry and grumpy, but everyone thought it was an absolutely fantastic experience. A great start to the A-Level Geography course.