The aims of the Geography Department are:
Our vision in Geography is to provide a curriculum that inspires students to develop a curiosity and fascination about the world that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Geography helps our students to make sense of a complex and ever-changing world. It explains where places are, how places and landscapes are formed, how populations and their physical environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, cultures and environments are interconnected.
`……. suddenly it becomes more than a subject. Geography becomes the knowledge. The knowledge of the planet, how everything works and how it is all inter-connected. It becomes what geography has always been for me – a fusion of the power of the imagination and the hard truths of science. Geography is all about the living, breathing essence of the world we live in. It explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?`
What can a student expect from the Faculty?
Qualified and enthusiastic teaching staff
Help, guidance and support
Quality first teaching designed to challenge, inspire and ensure progression
An interesting and relevant course for the future
- KS4 – Two field trips to contrasting locations. Past trips have included: Blackpool, Cleveleys, Salford, Bowness on Windermere and Clapham
- KS4 revision classes.
Vision & Aims
The study of Geography at DVHS provides students with a gateway into the rest of the world, which they may not otherwise experience. The department seeks to invoke a sense of wonder for students, we want our young geographers to be inspired, ask questions and inquire about the planet in which they live. The Geography curriculum at DVHS is modern and reflective in approach, encompassing the global issues of today. This ranges from examining the rising impact of plastic pollution at a local and global scale, as well as, the looming threats brought about by climate change. Importantly, our curriculum sequence in Geography frequently challenges pupils to consider and evaluate various strategies with regards to managing and protecting our planet in an effective and sustainable way. Geography is a multifaceted discipline and at DVHS we endeavour to provide our pupils every opportunity to become thoughtful, well-rounded and highly skilled Geographers through a curriculum that has human and physical geography at its core.
We aim to ensure that our students appreciate and understand the world in which they live. The curriculum is designed to allow opportunities for students of all abilities and backgrounds to expand their knowledge and experiences of the world with a clear focus on developing a cultural capital. We want students to have a vivid and clear sense of their local and global geography and be confident in articulating their opinions about this. We want students to acquire the experience and skill to be able to deploy the appropriate knowledge in any given situation.
In geography, our students examine and consider how the Earth’s major processes have resulted in some of the most awe-inspiring landforms and features like the Grand Canyon. These studies include looking at remote places like Greenland through examining the global significance of world biomes, such as the Amazon Rainforest and examining Tundra ecosystems found in the Arctic.
Key Stage 4 - Curriculum Overview
At GCSE level we follow the AQA Geography specification due to how current and relevant the topics are. This specification enables staff within the department to facilitate our goal of ensuring that our students develop an increasing awareness of the issues that we are faced with today. Importantly, students are challenged on being able to consider how we address and debate such issues in a sustainable way. We believe that this is the right course for our students as it provides a logical progression from KS3 taking a thematic approach with content chunked by physical and human geography.
Geography at DVHS continues to inspire and well-equip our students to study this subject successfully at A Level, but also, to appreciate and value the responsibilities that come with being a global citizen.
KS4 Units Include:
- The Challenge of Natural Hazards
The Living World (including hot deserts) Physical Landscapes in the UK (including rivers and coasts)
Urban Issues and Challenges
The Changing Economic World
The Challenges of Resource Management (including Food)
- Issue Evaluation
Opportunities for fieldwork at KS3 will take place around school within units such as Investigating Weather and Climate and Investigating Sustainability.
Fieldwork at KS4 is a compulsory element to the course. Students have visited places such as Bowness on Windermere and Blackpool in order to investigate tourism. Cleveleys has also been visited to investigate coastal management. Salford Quays was visited to make decisions about urban regeneration and Clapham Beck was used to see how a river profile changes as it goes downstream.
Key Stage 3 - Curriculum Overview
At KS3 our Geography Mastery exists to enable all students, regardless of background, to succeed. Students acquire knowledge beyond their everyday experiences, empowering them to understand the issues and processes that shape our world. By the end of Key Stage 3 students will be better equipped to take part in the big conversations about the world and apply their knowledge to debate about its possible futures. We achieve this through a cumulative, knowledge-rich curriculum.
There are three underlying principles that run though the course:
Knowledge of places. We use case studies to bring geography to life. We select the most relevant real-world examples and integrate these into our lessons.
Understanding of processes. Rigorous relational thinking. These are the subject specific concepts that we use to frame our understanding of the world (such as causality, impact interdependence, connection, risk, sustainability).
Application of skills to a place context. At DVHS Geographers collect and interpret cartographic, numerical and graphical data about places to reach evidence based conclusions.
Our KS3 Mastery is based around thought provoking enquiries and topics such as:
Investigating the Weather
Money, Money, Money
The development of an unequal world
We examine the UK as a case study following a regional geography approach. Students develop locational knowledge such as countries, capitals, rivers and relief. We embed second order skills by investigating causes and impacts of ageing populations in a high income country, looking at types of settlement and global systems that influence UK weather.
Sichuan, China has been selected as the location of a significantly deadly earthquake event in 2008. We study its formation at a collision plate boundary, the reasons for severe impacts, and hazard management in a newly industrialising economy.
We study Gambia, West Africa as a typical case of a youthful population in a low-income country and we examine Delhi, India in depth as one of the fastest growing megacities in the world. We study causes of the global trend towards megacities, their economic opportunities, unequal standards of living, environmental impacts and sustainable management.
Other places that are studied include:
- Nuuk, Greenland
- Grand Canyon (USA)
- Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala
- Holderness Coastline, UK
- Cliffs of Moher, Ireland.
We start the KS3 course by introducing a diverse range of landscapes around the world and use these as a framework to introduce further geographical themes such as place, causality, and viewpoints.
We then delve into the depths of the earth to understand how tectonic processes cause hazards.
We discuss the significant global changes to human populations in the modern age; the rapid expansion of the global population and the shift of human populations to urban areas. The concepts understood in each year are foundational to the subsequent year ensuring a broad depth of knowledge.
We explore the relatable topic of weather and climate in the UK which lends itself to opportunities for localised fieldwork. It also forms the intellectual groundwork the global study on climate change.
We introduce students to dramatic coastlines, landscapes that many of our students may never have experienced. Students use their acquired skills to explain landforms and discuss management and viewpoints. This foundational understanding of learning tectonics, climatology, geomorphology, demography and urbanisation is important to cover in a synoptic discipline such as geography as it lays the knowledge and skill set foundations for future years of study.
The KS3 units fall into 6 different categories, each category refers to an idea expressed in our underlying principles. These Key themes are revisited between units with increasing complexity.
Head of Geography