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Geography

The Geography Department develops pupils’ passion for the world

Geography plays a vital role in understanding and managing some of the most pressing challenges facing us today. Over the coming years our world will change faster than ever before, affecting individuals, communities, nations, and the planet as a whole. Geography in the 21st Century is central to understanding the causes of these changes and their consequences in different places, including the problems they pose for sustainable futures of societies, resources and landscapes.

Pupils benefit from developing a distinct set of skills that will equip them well for future study and work.

Fieldwork Opportunities

The subject is popular at both GCSE and A Level within the School. There are regular visits to Iceland undertaken by the department for GCSE age pupils and Human and Physical Fieldwork visits to Studland Bay on the South Coast and Portsmouth. The department’s A Level fieldwork locations include study on the South Coast and in Henley-on-Thames, Gower, and South Wales. 

 

 

About

The Geography Department at The Oratory is an exciting place to learn about the world. The department is popular with many of our GCSE pupils choosing this option and then going on to A Level and beyond. Several pupils choose to read Geography each year at Russell Group and other universities. There is an annual entry to the Young Geographer of The Year competition run by the Royal Geographical Society, with whom we have strong links. Visits to the RGS and to Sixth Form lectures with the Geographical Association are frequent. Fieldwork remains a core emphasis of the department and most year groups are involved in such research. Recent visits have considered Natural Hazards in workshops at the Natural History Museum as well as exploring Future Energy Challenges in the Science Museum. GCSE students undertake field work on the South Coast at Studland Bay and in Portsmouth at Gunwharf Quays. These experiences develop skills so that as Sixth Form Geography pupils are well prepared to undertake more detailed studies locally and on the South Coast. The A Level residential fieldwork takes place in our final year in Gower, South Wales, and facilitates a range of Human and Physical investigations. Overseas trips to Iceland take place frequently. All students' learning is supported by a dedicated department Google Site providing pupils with course-specific links, and extension and support materials.

Mr Poynter - Head of Geography

Meet the Head of Geography

I have enjoyed exploring the world as a geographer for most of my life and the next adventure is never far off. From the River Pang to the Everest Trail and on to the freezing coast of Iceland, the subject has taken me alongside our pupils to great new experiences. Sharing this wonder and increasing awareness of the subject has grown into a fundamental part of my life. My passion for this grew from early opportunities at school to international fieldwork at Exeter University. Now through Fellowship with the RGS I continue to enjoy continued learning of Geographical research and expeditions. Come and study Geography with our department and see what you find and where it takes you.

Phil Poynter

Curriculum

Geography is the Science of our world. It is the study of the earth as home to humankind. It provides us with the tools to understand the world in which we live and the patterns, relationships and processes that occur.  There has never been a more important time to study this subject. Immense challenges face us all in the 21st Century and this subject will prepare pupils to participate in tomorrow’s world. During the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year we follow a bespoke set of enquiry orientated topics from the Geog.123 resources. At GCSE we follow the AQA GCSE exploring Physical and Human Geography. Developing our Geographical skills as well as undertaking fieldwork and carrying out a Decision Making Exercise. The A Level follows on also from AQA and involves a systems approach to study of the subject. Pupils undertake independent fieldwork in Gower, South Wales and produce a 4000 word report. Exams follow at the end of the two year courses.

Co-Curricular

The department supports pupils learning with a wide variety of experiences. Several fieldwork trips linked to the curriculum take our pupils to new and interesting places from London to the South Coast and on a 6th Form residential trip to Gower, South Wales.  Iceland and other international destinations regularly feature. Lectures in Oxford enable students to gain a wider perspective on parts of the subject beyond the syllabus with the Geographical Association and the A Level Study Day at the Royal Geographical Society is an opportunity to meet other students and consider a more serious future within the discipline. We have good links with other schools’ Geography departments and undertake joint fieldwork with them. Pupils have a superb set of resources digitally available from the RGS and Ordnance Survey. Geographical Information Systems are well used and the department runs its own Google Site.

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