Studying Geography at Bloxham School
Geography teaches students about many aspects of the world, helping them to understand events on a local to global scale, as well as the forces which shape them. It is a dynamic subject which is impacted by world events and suits students with a curiosity for the environment around them.
Geography in the Lower School
Lower School pupils are taught the basics of geography, initially focusing on the UK before moving abroad. The First Form syllabus includes investigations of South Africa and the Antarctic whilst the Second Form cover countries like China, the USA, Brazil and Australia. Whilst exploring the world students learn more about transport, sport, settlement, coastal landforms, environmental issues and places in the news.
We use a variety of teaching styles throughout the course ranging from practical map work or computer exercises, for example to look at an exotic location on Google Earth. Lower School pupils go on four field days to places such as the Black Country Living Museum.
Geography in the Middle School
The Third Form starts with a course designed to prepare pupils for the AQA iGCSE specification. This is achieved whilst learning more about British landscapes, development, weather and climate and glaciers. The GCSE course covers plate tectonics (volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.), river landforms and management, cities and tourism.
We focus on places such as Dharavi in Mumbai, Soufriere Hills Volcano in Montserrat and Phuket in Thailand, using maps, film and independent research to build knowledge. Real world events such as the Haiti Earthquake, flooding in Bangladesh and smog in Beijing are recreated from news coverage to deepen learning. Students undertake field visits to Birmingham, Weston-super-Mare or the Peak District. The syllabus does not include coursework; its place is taken by a skills and decision making paper.
Geography in the Sixth Form
In the Lower Sixth pupils study four topics for Paper 1 of the AQA Geography specification. On the physical side, this covers the landforms and processes associated with Rivers and Coasts. Equally important are the concomitant issues and management strategies. Pupils also study population geography (growth, distribution, migration, etc.) and either energy or health. Preparation for Paper 2 covers geographical skills and research techniques.
In the Upper Sixth there are three topics for Paper 3. Plate tectonics covers volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis whilst weather & climate encompasses day-to-day changes in Britain, long term patterns over time and such events as tropical revolving storms (perhaps Katrina or Nargis). The world cities course covers the character and issues of a wide range of urban environments. Paper 4B is a decision making paper based on a pre-released booklet; previous topics have included the Christchurch earthquake and dam construction in the Amazon.
We use a wide range of sources to learn more about these topics including computer and video, ordnance survey maps, data and photographs. Field trips are taken to the London Docklands, Birmingham and South Wales, with the latter being a residential course. There is no coursework for this subject.