Head of Department: Mr Bainbridge

Teachers: Mr Bainbridge, Mr Conroy, Mrs Covus & Mr Gill

Our Vision 

Our intent is to deliver a broad, balanced and relevant geography curriculum that inspires and enthuses each BGS student. Our aim is for each student to develop geographical knowledge of varying natural and human environments, including the interactions between them, spanning the entire globe. As a result, we will increase understanding of different groups of people from a diverse range of places, including their lifestyles, potential viewpoints and economic circumstances (Caring Individuals). We will, where possible, provide fieldwork opportunities for students in each key stage, as well as developing their decision-making and problem-solving skills through a range of current, real-world issues (Responsible Learners).

This is because fieldwork brings learning in the classroom to life and it enables students to conduct their own investigations. Finally, we will equip students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to tackle climate change and create a more sustainable future, in both the local and wider community (Active CitizensPrepared for their Future). 

Key Stage 3

Year 7 : Topic 1 - Reading Maps; Topic 2 - Introduction to Africa; Topic 3 - The Lungs of the Earth; Topic 4 - Expanding Cities; Topic 5 - Water Worlds and Crowded Coasts.

Year 8 : Topic 1 - Understanding Climate Change; Topic 2 - Introduction to Asia; Topic 3 - Expanding Populations, Diminishing Resources; Topic 4 - Tectonic Hazards; Topic 5 - Ice Worlds; Topic 6 - The Geography of the USA.

In Key Stage 3, we introduce key concepts in geography and enable students to study a diverse range of places around the globe. In year 7, after we introduce maps as a fundamental aspect of geography in the first term. We then do a short introduction to Africa, before using this continent to explore a range of key concepts and issues in both physical and human geography. These include tropical rainforests, rapid urbanisation, rivers and crowded coastlines. In year 8, we introduce the year by exploring perhaps the defining issue of our age: climate change. In a similar vein to year 7, we then introduce Asia. This vast and diverse continent then becomes the key 'thread' for us to study rising populations, declining natural resources, tectonic hazards and ice worlds. We finish the year with a contrasting look at the USA. 

Key Stage 4

We follow the AQA GCSE specification:

Year 9 : Topic 1 – Ecosystems/ Tropical Rainforests; Topic 2 - Tectonic Hazards; Topic 3 - A City in a Low-Income Country (LIC) – Rio de Janeiro; Topic 4 - River Landscapes; Topic 5 – Geographical Skills; Topic 6 - Cold Environments.

Year 10 : Topic 1 - Weather Hazards and Climate Change; Topic 2 - Resource Management and Energy Security; Topic 3 - The Economic World, Closing the Development Gap and Nigeria; Topic 4 - Coasts.

Year 11: Topic 1 – Urban Change in a UK City ( London); Topic 2 – Resource Management and Energy Security.

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 Edexcel A-level specification:

Year 12 (Physical Geography): Topic 1 - Tectonic Hazards; Topic 2 – Coasts.

Year 12 (Human Geography): Topic 1 - Globalisation; Topic 2 - Regenerating 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 35 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 four-day residential is being planned for the summer term of year 12, providing our students with the opportunity to test out their theoretical understanding of the subject in the real world. It also supports them in writing up their non-examined assessments (NEAs), worth 20% of the A-level.