Geography

Our life is shaped by our local and global environment. Geography studies the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. Geography is related to economic progress. Geographical factors influence agriculture, industry, trade and commerce.

Thus, geography influences the economic, social and cultural life of a nation.

Pupils will have a broader understanding for physical and human processes that impact the resources and landscapes of our planet. They will examine principles, models and theories relating to geographical phenomena. Each year group has fieldwork experience in a range of places. Pupils debate options, draw on their imaginations, make conclusions and generalise. We hope to develop a love for Norfolk and the UK, as well as global case studies. Pupils develop a more cosmopolitan and internationalist outlook. Pupils will develop scientific attitudes and the ability to draw valid conclusions from independent thinking.

Geography is a combination of art and science. Its scope and study are broad and comprehensive. Geography has well established itself as a science.

Successes

Pupils more and more are choosing geographical based degrees as they not only enjoy the learning but also recognise the variety of skills that the subject provides. We offer tailored advice from our wealth of experience to help choose universities and university courses based on the person themselves. Recent courses chosen include Geography at Edinburgh, Sheffield and Leeds, Geomatics at Newcastle, Environmental Management at Oxford Brookes and Geography and Business Management at a variety of institutions.

Field trips and activities

Year 9 fieldwork

In term 3 we spend 2 days looking at the regeneration of Stratford and the docklands of London.The E20 area of London now has flats worth £350,000 to £450,000. The economy of the area is more diverse. The borough of Newham now contributes to the world city status of London, with its international sporting facilities, wetland parks and bird sanctuary. We use our travel cards to board a boat from Greenwich to the Thames Barrier and spend a night at the Youth Hostel in Surrey Quays.

Year 10 GCSE fieldwork

At the end of term 3 pupils have the opportunity to go on a 5 day trip to north Wales. Physical and human fieldwork data has to be collected and analysed for an exam. The first day is a hike to Snowdon along the Miner’s Track, to investigate glacial scenery and other physical processes that created this landscape. The second day is the River Conwy investigation led by the Field Study Council. The final day is a tourism and rural settlement survey of Snowdonia.

Year 12 – IB Diploma – Internal Assessment fieldwork

Students have a choice of a physical or human investigation. Either the restoration and physical changes along the River Glaven, or the quality of life changes along a transect across Norwich.

Year 12 – A level fieldwork

At the end of term 2 students go on a 6 day trip to London and Dorset. The 2 days in London will be spent investigating social patterns in the capital and the impacts of various regeneration projects.

In Dorset students work alongside Barry Cullimore of Leeson House field study centre. The first session will assess rocks, weathering, slope processes (mass movement) and human impact on slopes of Swanage Bay. The second day will investigate rural settlements of the Isle of Purbeck. The final day will observe coastal processes and landforms at Chesil Beach, Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.

Year 13 – A level fieldwork

Students will undertake sand dune data collection and analysis at Holkham in preparation for an examination. They will also attend a London lecture conference run by the Geographical Association, for case studies on natural hazards.

Co-curricular activities

The Geography Society meets during the Saturday hobby slot, with topical films and discussions. This is very useful for students considering Geography or Environmental Management at university.

Each year we have two teams entered for the Worldwise Quiz competition run by the Norwich branch of the Geographical Association for Schools from Suffolk and Norfolk. Students are selected from Years 9 to 11 to take part. There are several elective slots for training and selection of teams. Over the past 3 years the school has come 2nd place twice and in 2016 won the competition. Gresham’s geographical adventure abroad is open to all geography students. These are run every 2 or 3 years during October half-term. Previous trips have included visits to Morocco and Iceland.

Curriculum

Year 9

Michaelmas Term – Development Studies

A comparison of quality of life and ways to measure development between LEDCs and MEDCs. An examination of cores and peripheries. A study of slum housing in LEDC cities. To discuss appropriate technology or other forms of aid, bottom-up and top-down development. The issues of free trade, fair trade and debt repayments. Gender matters in development.

Lent Term – The Geography of hazards, disasters, crime and drugs

Disaster preparedness for tropical cyclones and landslides or avalanches. The issues for who and potential pandemics of diseases. The geography of war, and issues of maritime or land boundaries and disputes e.g. Spratly Islands in South China Sea. Chernobyl nuclear accident, BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, Bhopal and Union Carbide chemical accident, Bangladeshi textile factory collapse. The Aral Sea disaster. Illegal trade in wildlife, e.g. Ivory trade and hunting of elephants in Kenya. The geography and fear of crime in cities. Heroin trade in South East and Central Asia or cocaine trade in Central and South America.

Summer Term – Urbanisation and World cities

Students look at the growth of cities in various parts of the rich and poor world, and the challenges facing the people and governments of urban growth. London is investigated as a case study of a World city.

Years 10 and 11 GCSE

We are opting for AQA GCSE Geography from September 2016, for more information click here.  All pre-IB Geography students will follow the Cambridge IGCSE course from September 2017, for more information click here.

Years 12 and 13 A level

We are opting for Cambridge International A level Geography for September 2016, for more information click here

Year 12 and 13 IB Diploma

Paper 1 for Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL):
Populations in transition – population change, responses to high and low fertility, migration, gender and change. Disparities in wealth and development – measurement of regional and global disparities, origin of disparities, disparities and change, reducing disparities. Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability – atmosphere and change, soil and change, water and change, biodiversity and change, sustainability and the environment. Patterns in resource consumption – changing patterns of resource consumption and conservation strategies.

Paper 2 – There are seven optional themes, two required at SL, three at HL:
Freshwater – issues and conflicts, oceans and their coastal margins, extreme environments, Hazards and disasters – risk assessment and response, leisure, sport and tourism, the geography of food and health, urban environments.

Paper 3 – HL only – Global Interactions:
Measuring global interactions, changing space – the shrinking world, economic interactions and flows, environmental change, socio-cultural exchange, political outcomes, global interactions at local level.

Internal Assessment – Fieldwork study:
You will be required to write up an internal assessment piece of work based on a specific topic that is 2500 words.