Geography is about the earth’s places, peoples, environments andsocieties. It is unique in bridging the social sciences (Human Geography) and the earth sciences (Physical Geography), putting this understanding of social and physical processes within the essential context of places and regions. It tackles the big issues, such as environmental responsibility, our global interdependence and cultural tolerance. The world in which we live is likely to change more in the next fifty years than it has ever done before. Geography helps to explain why, and helps to prepare students for those changes.
Students are taught a wide-ranging combination of skills. The Geography Department develops their ability to evaluate ideas from many different sources and perspectives. Geography graduates are among the most employable. They possess the skills that employers look for. In part this is because the subject combines knowledge of science with an understanding of the arts.
The Geography department provides Lower School pupils with an in depth introduction to the subject, building skills that will be central to later work. Year 7 pupils study the following topics; Mapwork, Settlement, Tectonics, and Coasts. The focus in Year 8 is largely environmental. They study Rivers and Glaciation, Ecosystems and Rainforests, Energy and Climate change.
At GCSE, we continue to extend the core skills and understanding, as well as introduce some more difficult concepts associated with development. The department prepares the pupils for the Edexcel A exam by teaching key case studies that reinforce processes and ideas taught in class.
We also produce past question booklets so that our pupils can practise every question that has ever been set and benefit from focused feedback. Each case study has a set of associated revision notes and glossary sheets to aid them in their use of key terms.
Sixth Form and A Level
Two teachers contribute to the four papers sat at A level. We follow the OCR A specification in studying topics as diverse as River Environments, Managing Urban Change and the Growth of Tourism in Year 12, Earth Hazards, Population and Resources, and Geographical Skills in Year 13. Students at this level begin to see how the many skills developed in this subject can relate to future careers and the working world. Graduates
go into teaching, or undertake a specialist field of study, completing doctorates in, for example, Tsunamis or Glaciology.
The Department runs an annual residential trip to Cumbria to study river and glacial landscapes, this trip is likely to remain as we embark on the new linear A Level. There will also be an overnight field trip to the North Norfolk Coast. Every half term there is a lunch time lecture on topics which build on classroom teaching. Recent topics include an Update on Landslides, the Tohoku Earthquake and Super Volcanoes. There are also trips organised to the Norfolk GA meetings and to any relevant lectures designed for students down in London.
To give an idea of the exam results which pupils at Ipswich School achieve at A Level, we have provided an average of the results in Geography over the most recent three year period (2015, 2016 and 2017). Geography - % A*- B = 82%
“Thank you for giving up last weekend for us. It means a lot to us as does all the help and time you find for us.” Sixth Form Student