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
IB exam results (2014-17): average grade between level 5 and 6 each year. Extended essays in Geography average a B grade each year.
A level exam results: A*- B (2014) 71% (2015) 75% (2016) 53% (2017) 56%
IGCSE exam results: A* – A (2014) 39% (2015) 46% (2016)  59% (2017) 54%

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:

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 Westminster and spend a night at the Youth Hostel near St Pauls. We also visit the Dockland Museum near Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier, city airport and take a ride on the Emirates cable car after a trip on the DLR.

GCSE fieldwork
All students have to attend one physical and one human day of fieldwork for an examination. There is no coursework in the reformed AQA GCSE we have chosen. The fieldwork section of the Paper 3 exam is partly based on the data collected on these two fieldwork days. The human fieldwork day is in villages and towns of north Norfolk, assessing tourism. The physical fieldwork day is either on the Norfolk coast or the River Glaven.

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.

Geography is an excellent subject choice for Extended Essays. Past titles have included urban heat island analysis of Hong Kong and Lausanne, residential quality of life in Moscow and nomadic pastoral impacts in Oman.

A level fieldwork
In Year 12 students can attend a 2 day field trip to London. This will investigate demographic and socio-economic patterns in the capital and the impacts of various regeneration projects.

Sixth form field trips (Year 12 IB and A level)
There is an optional 5 day trip to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, during the Easter holiday. There is no coursework for A level Geography, so this trip is linked to the exams in Year 13. The trip will also engage students thinking of geology, earth science or social study subjects at university.

A half day trip along the north Norfolk coastline to investigate management and physical processes in Cley and a couple of other locations.

Co-curricular activities
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.

Iceland Geography trip – (October 2018): We run a trip abroad every 3 years, open to years 9 to 13. The tour includes: The Blue Lagoon, “Golden Circle Tour”, Gullfoss or Golden Waterfall, Kerid (a dramatic volcanic crater lake), Great Geysir or Strokkur, Þingvellir, Thingvellir National Park, Sólheimajökull glacier walk, Vík village, basalt columns and impressive cliffs of Reynishverfi, Skógafoss waterfall, Ejyafjallajokull Visitors’ Centre, ‘greenhouse’ town of Hveragerdi, geothermal power plant at Hellisheidi, tour of Reykjavik, Volcano House and one night swimming in outdoor heated pools.

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 within cities, regions and countries. 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 landslides or avalanches. The geography of war, and issues of maritime or land boundaries and disputes e.g. Spratly Islands in South China Sea. Choose either the Chernobyl nuclear accident, BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Bhopal and Union Carbide chemical accident or the 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 follow the AQA GCSE Geography syllabus. There is no coursework, but instead an exam based on 2 days of fieldwork data collection and analysis in classes afterwards.

Year 10 topics: Tectonic and weather hazards, Climate change, Tropical rainforests and hot deserts, Coastal and glacial landscapes in the UK.

Year 11 topics: Urban issues and challenges, The changing economic world, Food or water or energy resource management.

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035

A level
We follow the Cambridge International A level Geography. There is no coursework.

Year 12 topics: Population, Migration, Settlement, Hydrology and fluvial geomorphology, Atmosphere and weather, Plate tectonics, Rocks and weathering, Slope processes.

Year 13 topics: Environmental Management, Economic Transition, Hazardous environments, Coastal environments

http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-international-as-and-a-level-geography-9696/

IB Diploma
There is now a new syllabus we follow as of September 2017.

Year 12: Paper 2 Core (SL+HL): Changing population, Global climate – vulnerability and resilience, Global resource consumption and security. Paper 1 Option 1 (SL+HL): Freshwater – Drainage basins. Paper 1 Option 2 (SL+HL): Oceans and coastal margins or Extreme environments. Internal Assessment (SL+HL): River Glaven or Norwich quality of life study.

Year 13: Paper 1 Option 2 (SL+HL): Oceans and coastal margins or Extreme environments. Paper 3 (HL only): Power, places and networks. Human development and diversity. Global risks and resilience. Paper 1 Option 3 (HL only): The Geography of food and health. Paper 2 Core (SL+HL): Revision.

Geography staff

Simon Brown
Simon graduated from Durham University in 1994 and in 1995 did his Geography PGCE at Cambridge University. He has taught Geography at Colchester Royal Grammar School (1995-97), Kenton College in Nairobi (1997-99) and Eltham College in London (1999-2005). He was Head of Humanities at Suzhou Singapore International School in China (2005-2009), Head of Geography at International School Brunei (2009-2014) and since 2014 has been Head of Geography at Gresham’s. Simon is an examiner for IB Geography and has been an A level examiner. Simon’s other interests at Gresham’s include Saturday Ultimate Frisbee hobby and Garden Club.

Sophie King
Sophie graduated from Loughborough University in 2008 with a BSc in Geography having specialised in Human Geography. After a year working at Headington School for girls in Oxfordshire as a graduate assistant Sophie knew teaching was for her and returned to university to complete a PGCE in secondary Geography at the University of Nottingham; during which time she had an article published in the GA publication ‘Teaching Geography’.

Sophie joined the department in 2010 as a teacher of Geography having completed her NQT year at a school in North Nottinghamshire. Sophie became Assistant Housemistress of Oakeley in January 2017.

Sophie Mullan
Sophie grew up in Thyolo Malawi on a tea estate, moving to England permanently at the age of 18. She then studied Environmental Geography and International Development at the UEA. Sophie has climbed to Everest Base Camp and spent three months in Zambia researching the role of tourism within the South Luangwa region. Following this, Sophie completed her PGCE at the University of Cambridge, moving on to study the barriers to Secondary Education in Southern Malawi for her M.Ed.

Dominic Atkinson
Dominic joined Gresham’s in 2009 as Head of Geography. Since then her has run the DoE Award, is Housemaster of Farfield and Master in Charge of Cricket. Dominic’s interests in Geography include developmental and urban geography. Dominic is a Chartered Geographer and has written for various companies on a range of topics.  He also runs fieldwork trips in the UK and abroad.