The Geography Department aims to provide all students with a range of skills that enable them to access, collect, display, analyse and use geographical data of all types, equipping them for life in all spheres of business and academia. These skills include the ability to critically evaluate sources and results of analysis. We also provide the skills to access and use information about places and attempt to build a knowledge of place too. Above all we aim to provide the knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to achieve at the highest level of which they are capable in public examinations and competitions.
Perhaps the most important aspect of our work is to engender curiosity and a desire to know about the world in which we live, encapsulating real issues of the present and the future in the subject areas we cover.
The Prep receive a geographical education which equips them with a basic set of skills and a knowledge of a range of geographical locations and issues.
A broad introduction to the subject, both physical and human areas, to bring pupils who arrive from a wide diversity of backgrounds to a point where they have a strong foundation of knowledge and skills on which to build the rest of their geographical education. We study the Geography of the British Isles, Italy and introduce students to the contrasting landscapes of India.
In the second year of geographical study we look abroad and study USA, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya and The Middle East. This enables us to introduce the fundamentals of global development and interdependence.
The IGCSE course starts here and, although not every student will continue with it they will all end up with an understanding of rivers and floods, tourism and the environmental risks created by human activity. There is a strong emphasis on local fieldwork.
Students follow the programme of study leading towards qualification in the Cambridge International GCSE. This course covers nearly every geographical topic and issue, giving a full education from coral reefs to wind farms and building the confidence of students who increasingly want to engage with the topical issues that arise from the work (such as the importance of securing energy supplies for the future and the dynamics of population movements both within and between countries). The main subject areas covered in these two years are: Plate Tectonics, Population, Settlement, Agriculture, Weather, Climate and Ecosystems, Industry, Energy and Water Resources, Environmental Risks and Benefits and Interrelationships between the natural environment and human activities. The Year 9 topics also contribute to the IGCSE.
From September 2016 the Department adopted the Cambridge International A-Level and its students will sit their examinations in the summer series of 2018. This builds upon the work completed lower down in the school, building a more detailed understanding of the issues and topics covered and widening the skill set possessed by each student to include statistical analysis and critical thinking with regard to geographical issues such as the impact of enhanced global warming in High and Low Income Countries and Newly Emerging Economies. Students learn to work more independently and are expected to read, research and write in a more extended way about the subjects covered.
The Eco-Schools Club is run under the auspices of the Department. The Leicester branch of the Geographical Association is based at the school. Occasional lectures are hosted and Year 9 students enter the Worldwise Quiz every year, winning the regional round in 2012 and 2016 performing well in the national competition weekend in the Lake District. In Year 7 pupils take part in the Geographical Association Young Geographer of the Year Competition and we have also had three successful applications for the Field Study Council’s Young Darwin Scholarships.
Field trips are run to enrich the students’ understanding and skills, including trips to Bradgate Park, Leicester, East London (Olympic and Canary Wharf regeneration areas), Hunstanton and Edale (Peak District) . Numbers permitting, we also run an overseas field trip. Recent trips have included the French Alps and Iceland and in July 2018 the department will be running a combined trip to Costa Rica with the Biology department
The Department became the host for the local branch of the Geographical Association in 2016 and has subsequently begun.