Mr D O’Leary (Head of Geography & Interim Assistant Headteacher)
Ms L Donnely
Key Stage 3 Information
Key stage 3 Geography covers a wide range of topics which help our students to develop the skills they need to progress with both the subject and life in general. In year 7 students start with our topic “What is Geography?” This topic gives them a general introduction into what studying Geography at secondary school entails. We then move on to map skills where they begin to develop the skills they need to read Ordnance Survey maps which will serve them throughout their time studying Geography. The next topic is the Global Fashion Industry, this topic gives the students an insight into the contentious issues surrounding the every-day theme of fashion and how it affects the lives of the people involved in the production of clothes around the world. The next topic is Population where the students learn about the issues surrounding the ever growing population of the planet. We then move on to Sustainable Living. In this topic the students learn about how their everyday behaviour concerning recycling and waste can affect the planet.
In year 8 the students build on the skills which they have begun to develop in year 7, they also start to broaden their knowledge base so that they can continue the subject at GCSE. We start the year with the rivers topic which introduces the students to many of the processes which they will continue to learn about at GCSE and beyond. The next topic is British or European where the students learn about life in the UK and Europe. This focuses on many economic issues such as jobs and industry and introduces the issues surrounding migration within the EU. The next topic is Hazards where the pupils learn about tectonic activity and how earthquakes and volcanoes affect people. We then move on to the Geography of disease where the pupils learn about countries at different stages of development and what this can mean for the people in terms of disease and health. The last topic we cover in year 8 is the Geography of Conflict. This topic runs parallel to the Rwandan Genocide topic the students are studying in History and gives them an insight into the geographical reasons why conflicts arise.
Key Stage 4 Information.
In GCSE Geography students study the OCR Geography B syllabus. The syllabus combines the main features of innovative, relevant and interesting Geography. It consists of 3 main parts: The Key Geographical themes paper which is an hour and a half long and has questions on Rivers and coasts, Economic development and Natural hazards; The Geographical inquiry which is made up of 2 parts; the fieldwork focus (1200 words long) on Rivers and Coasts and the geographical investigation on Economic Development. The third part of the course is the sustainable decision making paper which has pre-released information that the school receives 1 month before the pupils sit the exam. This paper is designed to give students an insight into the decisions taken by government and planners that affect the environment and the lives of people around the world.
Exam Board and Structure of Course
Unit Code Paper GCSE %
B563 Key themes paper : Rivers and Coasts, Economic Development and Natural Hazards 50%
B561 SDME – Sustainable decision making paper – Theme 3: Natural Hazards 25%
B562 – Fieldwork focus Geographical Enquiry – Rivers and Coasts 25%
Geographical Investigation – Economic Development
KS3 History at Buxton covers a wide range of topics that stimulate and engage our students. Students begin Year 7 by learning the skills needed to tackle History at secondary school through our ‘What is History?’ unit followed by a wide ranging series of topics that give our students a broad view of different historical periods and themes. We begin with the Norman Conquest of 1066 and the impact this had on England. We follow this by our Castles topic, which includes a model castle building project. Our students then move on to studying about life in the Islamic world in our Islamic Civilisations unit and then the Crusades. Year 7 ends with a study about the Black People of the Americas, which is a unit of work that spans from the beginning of slavery from Africa to the Americas, and ending with the achievement of civil rights in the twentieth century.
In Year 8, our year begins with a study of the religious turmoil that England experienced during the Reformation in the Tudor reign. We then move on to looking at the gruesome nature of religious belief in the Seventeenth Century by learning about the use of torture in crime and punishment, the treatment of ‘witches’, the Black Plague and the Great Fire of London. Later in the year, we move forward in time and students study both World Wars, as a prologue in preparation for GCSE. We finish the year by spending some time studying the impact of the Holocaust and finally the Rwandan Genocide. This not only gives our students the opportunity to learn about deeply tragic events in the twentieth century but also to ask philosophical questions about how human beings treat one another.