Head of Department: Mr Banin
Teachers: Mr Bainbridge, Mrs Donnelly, Ms Lombard and Mr Conroy
Our vision is to create a department which:
1. Provides all students with the opportunity to make progress and reach their full academic potential.
2. To develop and enhance the students geographical and personal skills as well as their knowledge and understanding of the world around them by providing fieldwork opportunities throughout all key stages.
3. To increase all students understanding and appreciation of different global cultures, their lifestyles and viewpoints.
4. To promote a culture within our student body, through lessons, fieldwork and events, of sustainable futures and environmentally sound lifestyles and behaviours.
5. To create a curriculum and learning activities which leads to students who enjoy and are engaged by the subject and who develop their own passion and interest in the subject.
As a department we believe strongly in the value of fieldwork: it enables students to better understand the concepts taught in the classroom; it also gives them valuable experiences in team work and an appreciation of the natural environment in which they are working.
Key Stage 3
Year 7: Topic 1 - Map Skills; Topic 2 - Africa; Topic 3 - A Water World.
Year 8: Topic 1 - Our Natural World; Topic 2 - China; Topic 3 - Weather and Climate.
In Key Stage 3, we introduce key concepts in geography and enable students to study a diverse range of places around the globe. There is fieldwork in both Year 7 and Year 8. We take all students in Year 7 to conduct a hands-on investigation of the River Chess in June, whilst Year 8s undertake a comparative study of deciduous and tropical forests by visiting Burnham Beeches and The Living Rainforest in the same day. The techniques used during the fieldwork, and the following write-ups, become increasingly challenging for the students.
In the Year 7 topic on Africa, we also have a link with Idimu Junior High School in Lagos, Nigeria, which helps students make real connections with people in a different part of the world.
Key Stage 4
We follow the new AQA GCSE specification:
Year 9: Topic 1 – The Economic Future of the UK; Topic 2 - Tectonic Hazards; Topic 3 - A city in a Low Income Country (LIC) – Rio de Janeiro; Topic 4 - Rivers; Topic 5 – Geographical Skills
Year 10: Topic 1 - Weather Hazards; Topic 2 - Ecosystems/Tropical rainforests; Topic 3 - Cold Environments; Topic 4 - Economic World in a Newly Emerging Economy (NEE) - Nigeria; Topic 5 – Coasts.
Year 11: Topic 1 – Urban change in the UK (with a focus on London); Topic 2 – An urban LIC case study – Rio de Janeiro; Topic 3 – Resource Management and Energy Security; Topic 4 – Rivers.
As with Key Stage 3, the students who choose Geography for GCSE, and we have historically been one of the most popular options subjects, have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork outside of school in each year. The current year 9 students visit Stratford-upon-Avon in May to explore the impacts of tourism in that locality, as well as getting to do a 'trial run' of GCSE fieldwork skills. Year 10 complete a trip to Worthing and Littlehampton on the south coast to look at coastal processes and coastal management. Year 11 complete urban fieldwork in London, comparing two very different areas: the King’s Road in Chelsea and the Shepherd’s Bush Market area.
Key Stage 5
We follow the new Edexcel A Level specification:
Year 12 (Physical Geography): Topic 1 - Tectonic Hazards; Topic 2 – Coasts.
Year 12 (Human Geography): Topic 1 - Globalisation; Topic 2 - Diverse Places.
Year 13 (Physical Geography): Topic 1 – Water Insecurity; Topic 2 – Carbon Cycle and Energy Security.
Year 13 (Human Geography): Topic 1 – Superpowers; Topic 2 – Health, Human Rights and Intervention.
Geography is a popular choice at A-level, with two classes and over 30 students taking the subject each year in the past two years. In March, over twenty of the cohort are going on a four-day visit to Iceland, which will hopefully be a great way to say goodbye to Geography at Burnham Grammar School. A new five day residential to Betws-y-Coed in Snowdonia has been completed by year 13 students this September to support them in writing up their non-examined assessments, worth 20% of the A-level.