Will the UK be facing energy blackouts by 2018? Why is climate change happening? How will Brexit affect the patterns of migration within the EU? Is the earthquake hazard increasing in frequency?
Geography lessons at St Paul’s inspire curiosity about the world. We pursue explanations for current global issues, whilst ensuring that all students have a secure understanding of the key concepts in physical and human geography. Students appreciate the dynamic and interconnected nature of our subject and the flexibility we have to study the most recent news events. Lessons at all levels employ a variety of teaching and learning strategies. Right from the start we encourage independent research, informed decision-making, debates and creative projects to help girls realise the complexities of the problems we face in the 21st century. In a digital age, geography is becoming an ever more interactive subject with the increasing use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
At Key Stage 3, we have worked collaboratively to create a rigorous and innovative programme of study. Across these three formative years, students develop their geographical knowledge and skills within a structure of intellectual themes of diversity, change and challenges. We ask questions as varied as ‘How can we explain the changes in polar environments?’ to ‘Should we be worried about global population growth?’
Our GCSE course follows the Eduqas (A) specification, which engages students in a blend of traditional and contemporary geography. Up-to-date case studies are used throughout to exemplify the detailed processes and features.
In the Senior School, A level geography continues to stretch and stimulate the students’ geographical imaginations. The OCR specification gives the students a deep understanding of the contemporary challenges of the 21st century, covering topics such as ‘Hazardous Earth’ and ‘Future of Food’. This course enables learners to recognise and be able to analyse the complexity of people-environment interactions at all geographical scales. The investigative geography component allows the girls to undertake an independent investigation linked to any aspect of the specification to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.
Geography comes even more alive outside of the classroom and we provide fieldwork opportunities for all age groups. Recent field trips have included the London Docklands, the Lake District, and Iceland. We encourage our geographers to question and engage with these diverse environments, promoting the essential enquiry-related skills through fieldwork investigations.
Our own student-led Geography Society has hosted a number of speakers over the last few years, displaying to students the value of this subject in the workplace. We have enjoyed a talk by Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners of Geography this term. Many of our senior students also take advantage of our proximity to the Royal Geographical Society, where they actively attend events and lectures.