Welcome to the Geography Department

“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

St. Mark’s Geography Department seeks to enable students to make sense of their world, and to understand the processes, both human and physical that shape it. Geography is a contemporary and dynamic subject which addresses many of the issues that are extremely relevant for today’s school children.

Teaching Staff
Mr N. Morgan (Acting Head of Department)
Ms. O. McCann

Key Stage Three
All students in Years 8, 9 and 10 receive timetabled classes of geography each week.
Key Stage Three pupils will have the opportunity to study the following:

Year 8
• Who am I?
• Map Skills;
• Settlement;
• Weather and Climate;
• Field Work – Mapskills competition in school grounds

Year 9
• Rocks;
• Weathering – Rivers and Coasts;
• Field Work – South Down trip involving rock identification and coastal erosion

Year 10
• Tourism;
• I’m a teenager;
• Plate Tectonics – Volcanoes and Earthquakes;
• Globalisation;
• Field Work – Plate Tectonics in Ireland – Field Trip with Mourne, Cooley & Gullion Geotourism;
• Field Work Trips

Key Stage Four – GCSE
Year 11 Coursework 25%
• Fieldwork Inquiry – How a river changes from Source to Mouth
• 1500 words

Year 11 Unit 1 – Written Exam 37.5%
• Physical Geography written paper.
• Rivers, Coasts, Weather and climate, and Earthquakes and volcanoes

Year 12 Unit 2 – Written Exam 37.5%
• Human Geography written paper
• Development, Resources, Population and Settlement

GCSE Syllabus
Unit 1: Understanding Our Natural World – 37.5%
A: The Dynamic Landscape
• The Drainage Basin: a Component of the Water Cycle;
• River Processes and Features;
• Coastal Processes and Features;
• Sustainable Management of Rivers;
• Sustainable Management of Coasts

B: Our Changing Weather and Climate
• Measurement of the Weather Elements;
• Weather Systems in the British Isles;
• The Causes and Consequences of Climatic Change

C: Restless Earth
• Rock Types;
• Plate Tectonics Theory;
• Tectonic Activity in the British Isles;
• Earthquakes: Can They Be Managed?

Unit 2: Living In Our World – 37.5%
A: People and Where They Live
• Population Growth, Change and Structure;
• Settlement Site, Function and Hierarchy;
• Urbanisation in LEDCs and MEDCs

B: Contrasts in World Development
• The Development Gap;
• Factors Contributing to Unequal Development;
• Sustainable Solutions to Deal with the Problems of Unequal Development

C: Managing Our Resources
• The Impact of Our Increasing Use of Resources on the Environment;
• Increasing Demand for Resources in LEDCs and MEDCs;
• Managing Waste Helps to Protect Our Environment;
• Sustainable Tourism Can Help to Preserve the Environment

Students must complete a geographical investigation that is supported by a fieldwork report. The fieldwork report must be no more than 2000 words. It must be based on primary data collection and investigate two or three hypotheses with a maximum of four.

Students are assessed on their ability to:
• Plan some aspects of work to be carried out in the field;
• Investigate using geographical skills, including enquiry skills;
• Collect and record data in the field;
• Develop a written report to present, analyse and interpret the above data;
• Draw and justify conclusions, and communicate outcomes appropriately; and
• Evaluate methods of collecting data and suggest improvements to the investigation

Students must complete research and data collection under limited supervision. However, they must complete all analysis and evaluation work under direct supervision by the teacher. At present fieldwork is carried out in the form of a River Study through Killowen Field Centre.

Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 pupils study the CCEA Specification for AS and A Level.

AS1 Physical Geography (including fieldwork skills)
• Fieldwork Skills;
• Fluvial Environments;
• Ecosystems;
• Atmospheric Systems

AS2 Human Geography (including skills and techniques)
• Skills and Techniques;
• Population;
• Rural and Urban Environment;
• Development

A21 Human Interactions and Global Issues
• Impact of Population Change;
• Issues in Ethnic Diversity;
• Tourism

A22 Physical Geography and Decision Making
• The Nature and Sustainability of Tropical Ecosystems;
• The Dynamic Earth;
• Decision Making

Useful links

CCEA Geography Microsite

National Geographic

International Database

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

Where might Geography lead you?

It is a subject that helps young people into work. Many employers prize the knowledge and skills that studying geography can provide.

It could take you places, and in to a great career including:
GIS, Cartographer, Town planning, Regional Development, Aid workers, Disaster Manager, Coastal Manager, Hydrologist, Eco-Tourism advisor, Media Researcher, Environmental Consultant, Conservation officer, Social Worker , Teacher.

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