Head of Faculty: Mr O.J. Russell
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The Geography Faculty has eight full time teachers; many of whom carry additional responsibilities. Geography is fortunate to be housed in the Hodgson Hall building; opened in September 2015. Geography is located on the bottom floor and has five purpose built spacious, modern classrooms.
All pupils take Geography in the Third Form (Year 9). The Faculty has recently introduced a new ‘Origin’ course which investigates Economic Development, Climate Change and a China – a synoptic place-based unit, which prepares students well for GCSE Geography. Geography is a very popular option at GCSE; on average 80-90 pupils a year opt for the subject. We currently follow the OCR B Geography specification which covers a diverse range of human and physical topics from hazards and ecosystems, to resources and urban environments.
At Sixth Form level, the Faculty offers the OCR Geography A Level. This is a two-year linear option which currently attracts around 50 students from the Lower Sixth. Current topics include Glaciated Landscapes, Disease Dilemmas, Carbon and Water Cycle, “Changing Spaces, Making Places”, Power and Borders and Global Migration, plus other units as dictated by teacher specialism. Pupils also complete an NEA – an independent research task as part of the course. Experience of teaching OCR Geography is certainly not a requirement, but an enthusiasm and readiness to engage with the course would be a considerable advantage as it forms such an important part of Faculty teaching.
The Faculty enjoys considerable success in public examinations, consistently achieving outstanding academic results year on year. Furthermore, each year a number of students apply to Oxbridge to read Geography or a related course and a tailored programme is provided to these pupils as well as to any other pupils committing to the subject at degree level. The Faculty is keen to provide a range of extension opportunities for our pupils. We host the Shropshire Branch of the Geographical Association. Through this we host lectures from top experts in a wide variety of topics.
Integral to the subject is fieldwork and we are fortunately placed with the Shropshire Hills on our doorstep, and Snowdonia very close by. We therefore have an outstanding opportunity for world-class fieldwork. Recent domestic day fieldtrips include our ‘Source to School’ rivers trip - tracing the path of the Severn, urban trips to Liverpool, coastal trips to Ynyslas and glacial fieldwork in Snowdonia. We undertake a residential fieldtrip with all Sixth Formers to Blencathra for 4 days as part of their NEA for A Level. Furthermore, we have international residential trips for a variety of year groups – recent trips include Chamonix, and we have plans to return to there and take GCSE pupils to Iceland in 2023.