Geography at the CPA is an essential ingredient in the development of our students as global citizens. In an age where our world is becoming a global village, understanding and appreciation of the world is now more important than ever before.
Students are given the opportunity to explore different places, people and natural processes. More importantly our students are able to develop a mental map of their community, town, region, country and the world so that they can understand the “where” of places and events. They learn how people and their environment interact, and how a diverse range of economies, societies and environments are interconnected.
Knowledge and understanding is based upon a variety of case studies from around the world, widening students’ cultural points of reference wherever possible. For example this academic year students have learnt about population density in India, Migration – Mexico to USA and the Palouse waterfall in the USA.
Geography is taught at Key Stage 3, once a week. The lessons are based around the half termly Linked Learning themes, where links are established with other subjects. At key stage 4 lessons are taught twice a week. We are currently following the OCR B GCSE Geography Short Course. This course entails 2 topics, Coasts and Rivers, and Economic Development and a controlled assessment on rivers.
Over the year; skills, knowledge and understanding is assessed by short written tests, oral work, written work of various styles and an end of year tests.
There is one specialist classroom with an interactive whiteboard. The department has access to ipads and laptops when needed; an intervention room is available for students who wish to work independently from the group. The classroom displays are updated with students’ work and relevant learning aids relating to the themes being taught.
The philosophy for teaching is that interaction with students is the best way to motivate, engage and extend their understanding. Learning coaches actively encourage and support individuals or groups of students to get the most out of their learning.
On joining the CPA our induction baseline finds pupils typically have weak basic literacy skills with 85% of them have reading ages significantly below that of their chronological ones. 100% of our pupils have SEND and 14% have specific learning difficulties which poses a barrier to learning, many have had disrupted prior educational experiences or extended periods of absence from education. Geography lessons are planned to be engaging and supportive to the individual needs of each pupil.
Desirable outcomes and vocabulary are modelled and assessment criteria is shared by the teacher so there is clarity and pupils know what success looks like
As a school we encourage through praise and reward via the whole school RAISE procedures.