Geography is the study of where places are and what they are like. It looks at how people live in different parts of the World and how and why places change.
At Bodmin College we learn about global, national and local issues. The World in which we live is likely to change more in the next 50 years than it has ever done before. Geography explains why this is and helps us to prepare for those changes. There has never been a better or more important time to study Geography!
The Bodmin College Geography Department is a dynamic and forward thinking department and is equipped with a modern geographical laboratory with over 25 computers as well as an extensive collection of up to date fieldwork equipment.
Field trips within the department include visits to Perranporth beach, Paignton Zoo, Cardinham Woods, Rock and Polzeath and we also encourage local work within Bodmin town. In addition the Geography department offers two residential trips; Year 9 can go to Dorset for 4 days and study the Jurrasic coastline and biannually we carry out a trip to Iceland; this trip is available to Year 10, 11, 12 and 13.
In the first two years, students can look forward to one 100 minute lesson of Geography per week. During these early years students will be engaged in a range of engaging geographical topics whereby we develop their research skills, use of ICT, map reading, team work, literacy and numeracy. The pupils will study 3 topics within Year 7 and another 3 within Year 8; both years will include a variety of physical and human geography, plus one trip out with the department.
At the end of each topic the students will be given an assessment, in some cases this will be a small project, an exam paper or an extended piece of writing. Extended learning will be a variety of tasks relevant to each topic covered, with a focus particularly on reading.
In Year 7 the students will cover 3 topics. The first topic is Natural Hazards focusing on earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and flooding. The second topic will be Map skills followed by Coasts; the Coasts topic includes a trip to Perranporth beach where the students study the history of the area, the landforms, coastal management and tourism industry.
In Year 8 the students will cover 3 topics. The first topic is Population and Settlement. The second topic will be Ecosystems and Savannah Grasslands; this topic includes a trip to Paignton Zoo to study animal and plant adaptations within the Savannah. The final topic is Economic Activity.
AQA GCSE Geography
- Living with the physical environment: the challenge of natural hazards, physical landscapes in the UK, the living world and geographical skills. Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes – 35% of GCSE
- Challenges in the human environment: urban issues and challenges, the changing economic world, the challenge of resource management and geographical skills. Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes – 35% of GCSE
- Geographical Applications: issue evaluation, Fieldwork and Geographical skills. Written exam with pre-release resources made available 12 weeks before the exam: 1 hour 15 minutes – 30% of GCSE
The students begin their GCSE course with a unit on Physical Landscapes within the UK moving into River Landscapes and Coastal Landscapes. The AQA GCSE course requires every student to attend 2 field trips. The first field trip takes place within Year 9 at Cardinham Woods; at the woods we measure the river to find out if it follows the typical characteristics expected of a textbook river. The first GCSE year ends with a focus on Urban Issues and Challenges; the students will be expected to research megacities and the issues that occur when cities grow too rapidly. The year ends with a residential trip to Dorset which includes a range of geographical studies as well as activities such as high ropes, abseiling and archery.
In Year 10 the students study Natural Hazards; they will focus on tectonic hazards, weather hazards and climate change. This is then followed by The Changing Economic World. The year ends with studying The Living World which contains a focus on Tropical Rainforests and Hot Deserts. As the students’ progress through the GCSE course they will be regularly assessed; encouraging the students to develop revision techniques and ultimately becoming more and more confident when faced with GCSE exam papers and varierty of challenging command words.
In the final year of GCSE Geography the students will cover Resource Management. In addition the second fieldtrip will take place whereby the students will be expected to carry out work within the local town. Then within the summer term a pre-release booklet will be issued and the students will spend time familiarising themselves with the booklet in preparation for the summer exams. The remaining time within Year 11 will be for intense, focused and rigid revision; there will also be after school revision sessions available throughout Year 11.
AQA A-Level Geography
This A-Level consists of three components:
- Physical Geography: 40% of the A Level grade and it is assessed within a written examination (2 hours 30 minutes). This component consists of topics such as Coastal systems and Hazards; then within Year 13 Water and Carbon cycles. Geographical Skills will be assessed throughout this component.
- Human Geography: 40% of the A Level grade and it is assessed within a written examination (2 hours 30 minutes). This component consists of topics such as Changing Places; then within Year 13 Global Systems and global governance, plus Resource Security. Geographical Skills will be assessed throughout this component.
- Geography Fieldwork Investigation: 20% of the A Level grade and it is assessed within a 3,000-4,000 word individual investigation. The investigation must be based on a question or issue relating to any part of the A Level course. In addition Geographical Skills will be assessed throughout this component.
In Year 12 the students will have 2 Geography teachers. One teacher will deliver the human geography course and one will deliver the physical geography course. Year 12 will study Hazards and Coastal Landscapes within physical geography, plus Changing Places and Global Systems and global governance within human geography. During this year the students must also develop and practise their geographical skills. The A-Level course requires the students to produce an Independent Field Investigation and each student is expected to spend 4 days carrying out fieldwork. In Year 12 the students visit Rock for 2 days and the teaching staff will demonstrate potential ideas and methods the students could use to develop their own piece of independent fieldwork.
Finally in Year 13 the students will need to complete their independent fieldwork investigation; this piece of work will require independent primary and secondary data collection. In addition Water and Carbon Cycles will be covered within physical geography and Resource Security will be covered within human geography. The students must regularly practise and submit practise exam questions especially focusing on how to write an outstanding essay style exam answer worth 20 marks.