The study of the world around us, both from a physical as well as a human perspective is what makes the work of geographers as diverse as it is compelling.
On any given day, pupils could be delving into the issue of climate change, studying landscapes and their characteristics or looking to understand how trade and globalisation affect and change our world. Often, the top media stories of the day are underpinned by geography; whether it’s crime statistics, the spread of disease or sustainability to name a few.
As a department we seek to provide our pupils with the opportunity to access the curriculum though as many different mediums as possible with particular emphasis on digital learning resources and ICT. We always aim to provide a source of inspiration for pupils (from beginners to experts) by exemplifying top quality, but accessible, geographical issues using different platforms.
Following a broad introduction to the subject from T2 to S2, pupils have the option to pursue their studies at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.
Geography - National 5
At National 5, pupils focus on three areas: Physical Environments, Human Environments and Global Issues.
Physical Environments covers location of landscape type, formation of key landscape features, land-use management and sustainability and weather. Landscapes from contexts within Scotland and/or the UK are studied and these could be either glaciated uplands and coastal landscapes or upland limestone and rivers and their valleys.
Human Environments looks at contrasts in development, world population distribution and change and issues in changing urban and rural landscapes. Learners will study and compare developed and developing countries drawn from a global context.
Global Issues covers a diverse range of issues: climate change, the impact of human activity on the natural environment, environmental hazards, trade and globalisation, tourism and health. Learners will study major global issues and the strategies adopted to manage these. Two topics must be studied for the course assessment.
Geography - Higher
At Higher, pupils expand on the knowledge gained at N5 with topics ranging from atmosphere; global heat budget; redistribution of energy by atmospheric and oceanic circulation; cause, characteristics and impact of the Intertropical Convergence Zone; Hydrosphere; formation of erosional and depositional features in river landscapes; hydrological cycle within a drainage basin; interpretation of hydrographs; lithosphere; formation of erosional and depositional features in glaciated landscapes and formation of erosional and depositional features in coastal landscapes.
Human topics and global issues similar to N5 are also covered.
Geography - Advanced Higher
At Advanced Higher, the course aims to enable candidates to understand the ways in which people and the environment interact in response to physical and human processes. As such they will study spatial relationships to develop a balanced and critical understanding of the changing world; further acquire a geographical perspective on environmental and social issues and their significance; further develop skills of independent research, fieldwork, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation; further develop skills and techniques to collect, extract, analyse and interpret information to explain geographical phenomena using appropriate terminology; further develop expertise in the use of maps, diagrams, statistical techniques and written accounts.
As well as classroom learning, opportunities for practical activities including fieldwork are essential in this area so that learners can interact with their environment.
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