At Key Stage 3, Geography students study six topics each year with a mixture of human, physical and environmental Geography. This include a wide range of topics such as Rivers and Flooding, Luton and its place in the wider world, Urban environments, Tropical Rainforest, Weather, Conflicts, Biomes, Natural hazards, Water and Energy Issues. The learning is topical and events in the news feature highly in our programme of study. Learning is also enquiry based and students get the opportunity to investigate a wide range of issues that concerns us all in our changing world. Furthermore, the Geography department offers students the opportunity to take part in fieldwork activities such as visiting Kew Gardens in London to study biomes, study urban areas in Milton Keynes and visit London Aquarium to support learning on Antarctica and Oceans.
Learning at Key Stage 3 Geography is very active and students get a chance to develop and practice a range of skills such as debating, organisation, team working skills, written and oral communication, analysing data and information, map reading and numeracy skills. This is done is activities such as preparing documentaries on an issue such as deforestation of rainforests and conditions in sweatshops, problems solving activities and mysteries, whole class debates, imagining a future world after famine or a nuclear disaster and role plays.
At Key Stage 4, students follow the Edexcel B syllabus. Students sit three exams at the end of Year 11 and complete one piece of controlled assessment. Each unit contains six topics. Unit 1 is based on physical geography and students study topics such as Plate Tectonics, Climate and Change, Battle for the Biosphere, Water World, Coastal Change and Conflict and Extreme Climates. Unit 2 is based on human geography and students study topics such as Population Change, Consuming Resources, Globalisation, Development Dilemmas, Changing UK economic and Changing Urban settlements in the UK. Unit 3 is based on Making Geographical Decisions where students are given an issue and have to justify and argue how the issue could be solved. The controlled assessment (Unit 4) is often based on an urban issue and students go out for a day collecting date to support their hypothesis. The controlled assessment then has to be completed partially at home under low conditions and partially at school under exam conditions.
Areas of study are very topical and concern us all in our changing world. Students have also got opportunities to take part in fieldwork activities. The Geography Department offers fieldtrips to Costa Brava in Spain studying coastal change, volcanic activities and sustainable urban areas in Barcelona; a trip to London to study urban change and the impacts of the 2012 London Olympics and a trip to North Norfolk studying coastal erosion and management.