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As a department, we strive to ensure that each student gains a sense of wonder and interest in places by using a range of teaching techniques and variety of topics. We aim to use literacy, graphicacy, cartography, numeracy and visual stimulus to encourage students to ask questions about the world. We use maps when appropriate to help students think spatially and at various scales.
We believe that fieldwork is a key element of Geography. It enables students to gather, present and analyse information about the real world. This experiential learning allows students to be independent in their learning and put theory into practice. In turn, this encourages students to think laterally about current issues and alternative sustainable futures as a result. It is our passion and enthusiasm for the subject which drives the success of the department. Our goal is to help develop resilient global citizens who understand their own roles and responsibilities on a local, national and global scale.
Geography topics at Year 8 and 9 are wide and varied, ranging from looking at Urbanisation and migration to Natural Hazards and Coastal processes. We ensure a balance of physical and human Geography. KS3 students have three lessons a fortnight.
GCSE Geography is one of the most popular options at IGS. We follow the GCSE AQA (A) specification. Fieldwork and controlled assessment is based on a study of the River Wharfe and Backstone Beck. Physical Geography units include Rivers, Glacial Environments and Restless Earth whilst Human Geography includes Tourism, Changing Urban Environments and Development.
Uptake at A-Level is also high with six groups across Key Stage 5. We currently follow the AQA specification studying Rivers, Coasts, Population and Health at AS-Level and Natural Hazards, Weather and Climate, World Cities and Conflict at A2. We take the opportunity for fieldwork very seriously and offer a course at each stage with AS and A2 students normally going away for at least one night. In the past this has been to the Cranedale Centre in North Yorkshire and Rhyd-Y-Creuau FSC centre in North Wales.
Fieldwork is a pivotal part of Geography at Ilkley Grammar School and much is done to encourage participation in Geography outside the classroom. We currently run fieldwork for Years 10, 12 and 13 as described. In addition to this, Post-16 teams have been entered for local GA debates and Year 8 have an opportunity to see real rainforest animals as Zoolab are invited to school to present in conjunction with our Rainforests unit.