There are many reasons why Geography is one of the most popular subject choices at St George’s College from GCSE to A Level.
Geography is both an art and a science subject and is recognised by Universities with either a BSc or a BA degree. It provides an excellent balance for many other subjects and Geography graduates have one of the highest employment ratios once they have earned their degrees. Many of our A Level Geographers go on to read Geography or Geography related courses at University.
The new AQA A Level course in the Lower Sixth has proved to be very popular and seeks to build on foundations laid at GCSE Level. The exam style includes short answer questions, in which students need to develop their understanding of processes and their ability to analyse unseen material and to assess content alongside their own knowledge. It also includes longer essay questions that encourages evaluative thinking and reasoning to build on their case study knowledge. An individual piece of coursework is required and students are given the opportunity to collect data or simply to learn possible fieldwork techniques on a number of trips during the year. This includes two separate visits to the south coast, a day of fieldwork in East London and numerous small trips in the local area (for example into Addlestone for the ‘Changing Places’ unit). Student then collect their own fieldwork data during their summer holiday, based on a topic most of interest to them, in a location that is fully their choice.
The AQA course is an exciting syllabus which studies hazards, population and environment, coastal landscapes, global systems of global governance, water and carbon cycles and changing places. The material covered includes both physical and human geography. Students cover a huge range of concepts and ideas, with links to the sciences in physical geography, politics and economics in human geography; as well as many other subjects. Indeed the students studying A Level geography could be doing two sciences or two other humanities alongside it – both of which are suitable and appropriate choices.
The Geography Department is made up of six full time and one part time members of teaching staff. Five of the staff currently teach A Level, where each class will have two teachers (one for human geography and one for physical). Students may be asked to prepare presentations to give to the rest of the class, or they could be involved with group work, debates or global summits. We are situated in the Henderson Centre (the same building as the Sixth Form Centre), with five purpose built class rooms, including one with ICT provision. We pride ourselves on maintaining a friendly relationship with all our students, whilst always ensuring we challenge them to work to the very best of their ability.