“Geography is all around us. It is about the real world, right now.”
Geography is the integrated study of the Earth’s people, places, landscapes and environments. It mixes the arts and the sciences and bridges the learning gap between many other subject areas including History, Biology, Chemistry, Maths, English, Business Education and ICT.
All pupils have the opportunity engage which a wide variety of learning resources. For example, pupils develop their problem solving and researching skills by utilising ICT, fieldwork and diagrams, internet, maps, videos, news articles, photographs and books.
We aim to encourage every student to have pride in their work and take responsibility for their own learning. We promote the development of transferable skills which can be valued beyond the walls of the classroom.
The Geography Course in S1, S2 and S3
From S1 until the end of S3, all pupils will experience a broad general education where they will work across the experiences and outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence.
In S1, all pupils will attend the Social Subjects department for three periods every week, during which time they will be taught history, geography and modern studies.
In S2 pupils will still have three periods of Social Subjects every week. Half the year they will be taught History by a member of History staff, and then for the other half of the year they will switch to be taught Geography by a Geography teacher.
Pupils start off finding out 'What is Geography' and develop their mapwork skills. They then look at the effect Weather has on us. This leads on to Farming and the use we make of the land. Pupils then find out where people live and why in the Settlement unit. The focus throughout S1 is mainly on Scotland and the British Isles.
In S2 we go global and look at the world’s Empty Lands, how human activity is restricted there and the challenges people living there face. This is followed by a unit on the restless Earth Forces our planet experiences where we look at how earthquakes and volcanoes happen and the effects they have on both people and the environment. Pupils then compare and contrast life in a Developed Country (Scotland) with a Developing Country.
In S3, pupils are given the opportunity to choose which two of the Social Subjects they wish to specialise in. For full details of the choices available, see the S3 Coursing Handbook. Courses in S3 will deliver experiences and outcomes, which will prepare pupils for appropriate National Qualifications in S4.
Geography is the study of people and places. The S3 geography course opens up the world to our pupils and allows them to see the impact we have on Earth. Local and global issues of topical concern are covered. Geography gives pupils the opportunity to develop a variety of skills which will help them in many ways both in school and in the wider world beyond. Describing places and explaining links aids their literacy. Handling figures and processing data helps their numeracy. Drawing maps and interpreting them develops their visual and artistic skills. Looking at places in the past also gives them a historical perspective. By also fostering in our pupils a caring attitude towards our environment hopefully Geography can develop successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
The course is split up into three main areas. Physical Environments focuses on landscape and scenery and how people use these areas. Human Environments looks at topics such as population, development and change through comparisons between developed and developing areas of the world. Global Issues considers topics such as climate change, environmental hazards, trade, globalisation, tourism, development and health communicators.
Pupils will be working on Experiences and Outcomes at Third and Fourth Level. The course prepares pupils for qualifications in Geography at National 3, National 4 or National 5 in S4.
Geography courses in S4, S5 and S6
In the Senior phase, pupils work on courses that lead towards National Qualifications at the end of S4, S5 and S6.
In S4, S5 and S6, pupils can choose to take courses in the Geography department. Each course takes five periods per week. For full details of the courses available, see the S4/5/6 Coursing Handbook. Courses currently offered in the Geography department in S4, S5 and S6 lead to awards in:
- Geography at National 3, National 4, National 5, Higher and (where demand exists) Advanced Higher. The course embraces both aspects of both Physical and Human Geography. In Higher Geography, the physical core looks at various spheres – Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere and Lithosphere. The human core focuses on urban, rural, industrial and population geography. Issues of environmental concern such as Development and Health, Urban Change and Rural Land Resources will be highlighted and be accorded prominence. The National 4 and 5 courses give students the opportunity to explore different landscapes mainly within Scotland/Britain; human issues in developed and developing countries; and environmental hazards on a world scale and evaluate strategies adopted to manage these.