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Geography fascinates and inspires: the beauty of the earth, the terrible power of earth-shaping forces – these things can take us out of ourselves.

Geography deepens understanding: many contemporary challenges – climate change, food security, energy choices – cannot be understood without a geographical perspective.

Geography serves vital educational goals: thinking and decision making with geography helps us to live our lives as knowledgeable citizens, aware of our own local communities in a global setting.

Geographers are skilful: using maps, mediated images of people and place, numerical data and graphical modes of communication. Geographers get to grips with the geographic information systems that underpin our lives, making them skilful and employable.

Geography can nourish and enrich a whole lifetime of learning.

In this spirit we offer a broad and varied Geography curriculum at Sandringham School.

At Key Stage 3 we study a variety of physical and human topics. In Year 7 students develop their fundamental map skills and locations, extreme environments, rivers and look at China in depth. In Year 8 we study earthquakes, coastal geography, Antarctica and the Halley VI research base, glaciation, Africa and weather. In Year 9 students learn about the geography of conflict, volcanoes, population and development. There are also opportunities to develop fieldwork skills both within lessons and outside of lessons. We currently run two trips at Key Stage 3 where year 7’s visit a river and year 8’s take part in an urban investigation. Groups are taught in mixed ability tutor groups and lessons are differentiated to allow all students to reach their potential. The overall aim of KS3 Geography is to enable students to understand and interpret their world.

At Key Stage 4 we follow the AQA specification and study a range of physical and human topics. The physical units include the challenge of natural hazards, living world and physical landscapes in the UK. Human units include urban issues, the changing economic world and the challenge of resource management. These make up two (one physical and one human) of the three exams sat by the students at the end of year 11. The third exam is based on the compulsory fieldwork we complete at the start of year 11 where we visit Norfolk. The third exam also involves a pre-release booklet that students receive before the exam.

At Key Stage 5 students follow the Edexcel A Level course and students are examined at the end of the two years. In year 12 students look at tectonic processes and hazards, coastal landscapes and change, globalisation and regenerating places. In year 2 students study about the water cycle and water insecurity, the carbon cycle and energy security, climate change futures, superpowers and health, human rights and intervention. Fieldwork is an integral part of the course with trips offered to Dorset, Stratford Olympics site, Sizewell B nuclear power station and Iceland. Assessment is completed through three exams (80%) and a piece of coursework (20%). The course provides students with an in-depth understanding of the world and many of the challenges we face as well as developing many of the skills useful to employers and universities.

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