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Geography

‘Geography is not only up-to-date and relevant, it is one of the most exciting, adventurous and valuable subjects to study today. So many of the world’s current problems boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them.’

Michael Palin, former Royal Geographical Society president, comedian, traveller and writer

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Geography at Dame Alice Owen’s aims to help students engage with a range of human and physical environments at local, national and international scales that helps them forge a complex understanding of their own and other peoples’ places in the world. All students entering Owen’s develop key geographical skills that allow them to think critically about real world decisions and are highly sought after by top universities and employers. Geography is recognised as one of the top facilitating subjects sought by Russell group universities including Oxford and Cambridge. Importantly, geography also fosters a desire to understand and contribute positively to the world.

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Fieldwork is an important part of ‘real world’ geography. We continue to offer a range of opportunities for our students to travel and experience geography first hand in many places around the UK and the world. These trips are hugely popular, and help inspire students as well as reinforce the relevance of geography to understanding the world around them.

At KS3, students follow a curriculum which covers a range of human and physical topics and develops a range of key skills:

Year 7: What is geography? Mapping, Wild Weather, Criminal geography, Microclimate project

Year 8: China, Settlements of the future, Wilderness, Coasts

Year 9: A hazardous world, Water issues and challenges, Africa, Sustaining Ecosystems

At KS4, the progress made at KS3 supports students in achieving excellent results at GCSE. We follow the OCR B syllabus (9-1). This course is an enquiry-based course and comprises of three papers; human, physical and decision-making. As part of the course there is normally a 3-day residential trip. All exams are at the end of year 11.

At A-Level we follow the AQA A level geography syllabus. As part of the course there is a residential trip, where students develop fieldwork skills that allow them to complete a geographical research project of their own design. This forms their Non-Examined Assessment (coursework). Two papers and coursework form the A-level assessment. All exams are taken in year 13.

Geography can be seen all around us and is in the news constantly. Keeping up to date with current affairs of a social, economic, environmental and political nature is core to being a great geographer.

Curriculum Map

Geography Curriculum Map

Alex Macdonald, Head of Geography