Geography is, in the broadest sense, an education for life and for living. Learning through geography – whether through formal learning or experientially through travel, fieldwork and expeditions – helps us all to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, as well as more informed and responsible people. The Geography Department at Chigwell School firmly believes that it is vital to give the students as many opportunities as possible to see, through independent learning, how geography has huge relevance to many of the contemporary problems affecting the world today.
At Key Stage 3, the pupils study a variety of varied topical environmental issues such as plate tectonics, rivers, coasts, population issues and also the use and misuse of the world’s resources.
At GCSE level, geography is a very popular choice and the AQA syllabus is followed. The students study a mixture of physical, environmental and human issues and sit two exams on these topics at the end of Year 11. They also experience coastal fieldwork at Walton on the Naze, and sit a final geographical issues pre-release exam paper.
In the Sixth Form, the AQA A level specification is followed. There are two examinations in Year 12 and two in Year 13. In Year 12, the students study Physical & Human Geography and Geographical Skills. The first module looks at the causes and impacts of various physical and human events and issues which affect the world such as coasts, cold environments and urbanisation. The second module looks at the application of geography in real situations. A field project studying coastline at Walton on the Naze allows students to understand how geographical reports are constructed. The second element involves studying the ‘Changing Places’ topic.
In Year 13, there are three components: the first paper is physical geography which includes water and carbon cycles and deserts and hazards. The second exam is human geography and includes global systems and global governance, changing places and urban environments. The third component involves geographical research and skills including a write-up of a fieldwork investigation and allows the students to develop their research skills as they study one topic in depth. This module also gives opportunities for independent learning skills.
We have an extensive variety of extended resources such as Geography Review magazines and Geofiles and Geofactsheets which are available to our GCSE and A-level groups.
We carry out fieldwork trips to Walton on the Naze at GCSE level and we travel to Iceland to supplement our knowledge of tectonics at A level.