Head of Department: Mr C. Jansen Van Vuren
The study of geography develops in students an inquisitive and insatiable curiosity about the world around them, and builds up a bank of extensive knowledge about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The subject encompasses the study of both human and physical geography, covering a diverse range of places, people, resources and natural and human environments, as well as the world’s key physical processes.
At Barclay Academy, all students study geography at Key Stage 3. In Year 7, students are introduced to the concept of ‘place’, and develop their key skills of maps and map-work. They then progress onto the physical processes of rivers and flooding, before considering the human phenomena of population and its variance over time. In Year 8, students explore and deepen their knowledge of global processes and places, studying units on climate and climate change. They then embark on a case study of Brazil, considering both its climate and its population and settlements. Year 9 students begin the year with one of the cornerstone topics of geography, plate tectonics. They investigate the seismic and volcanic hazards associated with plate boundaries, and how tectonic hazards cause disasters and impact humans across the globe. They also explore the case study of Kenya, exploring in deep detail its various barriers and enablers to development (such as conflict, disease, and the recent ‘Millennium Development Goals’).
Students opting to take a GCSE in Geography at Barclay Academy follow the AQA specification. This exciting course is based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography, building upon the knowledge they have accumulated at Key Stage 3. It allows students to investigate the link between the two themes, and approach and examine the battles between the man-made and natural worlds. Students are encouraged to use their geographical knowledge critically when exploring such topics as natural hazards and the challenges they pose, deforestation and sustainability, urbanisation and the issues and challenges of human settlements, and the global challenge of resource management. In so doing, they address key and pressing questions of ethical, cultural and social significance. Students also complete their own geographical investigations and fieldwork.
At A-Level, we follow the Edexcel specification in geography (the Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE). This course is a rigorous and fascinating combination of physical and human geography, including further study of key topics such as plate tectonics and environmental change, alongside pressing human issues such as globalisation, superpowers, migration and identity. Geography is a multifaceted and wide-ranging discipline, and A-Level students also carry out their own geographical investigation – this 4,000 word project allows them to explore an exciting topic, question or issue that they find personally fascinating.