As geographers we aim to make sense of the diversity around us. We live in a multicultural society and interdependent world where incidents in one place are caught up in chains of events spanning the globe. Within the department we encourage pupils to engage with both local and global events in an attempt to understand the connections that exist between them and the wider world. We hope that by the end of their time at Dean Close our pupils will have learnt to appreciate how people’s attitudes differ and that these differences may influence social, environmental, economic and political issues whilst at the same time developing their own values and attitudes.
A Big Idea that spans all that we do in the Geography Department is the concept of Place. This can involve anything ranging from in depth study of a multiple hazards associated with Haiti, or to the social, economic, environmental pressures on the Dorset coastline.
With the recent specification changes at A level and GCSE, we are now able to explore a greater breadth of Geography at GCSE and then go into depth at A level.
At A Level pupils have two teachers with the work split largely into Human Geography and Physical Geography whilst at GCSE there is one teacher who teaches the whole of the course.
GEOGRAPHY OUTSIDE THE CURRICULUM
Andrew Goudie is an Old Decanian and a Professor of Geography at Oxford and. The Society meets two or three times a year with the aim of exploring and discussing ideas outside the regular curriculum. Previous meetings have looked at the impact of landscapes and a wide range of global issues and how these impact on people both directly and indirectly.
Fieldwork is a central part of both the GCSE and A Level courses but at present there is no fieldwork in Fourth form. 15% of the GCSE examination is based on primary data collection and is examined in the external exams.Each pupil should experience one human and one physical fieldwork. At A Level, one module ‘Investigative Geography’ worth 20% of the overall A Level grade is am independent investigation where pupils must collect and present their own data.
It is not difficult to find the many and varied references to the benefits of school geography. For example:
Fieldwork is the best and most immediate means of bringing the two aspects of the subject together in the experience of the pupil. Therefore, fieldwork is a necessary part of geographical education; it is not an optional extra. Bailey, P. (1974) Teaching Geography NEWTON ABBOT, p184
A Level fieldwork : Snowdonia, Cheltenham, Leckhampton
GCSE fieldwork : Snowdonia, Bewdley, Bristol