- Mrs S Nicholl, BSc MEd PGCE (Subject Leader)
- Mr M Bennett, BSc PGCE PQH (NI)
- Mr C Hodgson, BSc MSc PGDE
Key Stage 3
In Years 8 – 10 we hope students will begin to discover the world around them and feel challenged and excited about it. We try to investigate questions such as…
- Could Slemish erupt?
- Despite all the rain, why does Ireland rarely have floods?
- Why is the population growing quicker than ever?
- Should we try to save energy?
- Could hurricanes happen here?
- Is global warming just a myth?
These questions give just a flavour of what we do at Key Stage 3.
Fieldwork is seen as an integral and essential part of the Geography Curriculum in Slemish College. Fieldwork provides a direct connection between the ‘school world’ and the ‘real outside world’. We provide local fieldtrips for all our students at Key Stage 3.
We have three simple aims at GCSE Geography:
1. Students enjoy themselves
2. They engage with their work
3. They achieve excellent grades
Our students study the CCEA GCSE course which is broken into:
- Unit 1: Understanding our natural world (Physical Geography)
- Unit 2: Living in our world (Human Geography) and
- Unit 3: Fieldwork
Units 1, 2 and 3 are assessed by examinations which are undertaken on completion of the course. Unit 1 is worth 40%, Unit 2 is worth 40% and Unit 3 is worth 20%.
Students will undertake the study of the CCEA GCE Geography course in which there are 6 assessment units covered over the 2 years of study.
A Level Geography is a course that encourages students to examine and question the world around them. As a subject, it examines both physical and human aspects. More importantly, it explores how the physical and human world interact with each other. Topics covered include: ‘Can the Rainforest be exploited in a sustainable way?’ ‘Is there a population crisis?’ ‘Is flooding a blessing, or a curse? In class we engage with local and global issues and encourage students to think beyond themselves.
The Department aims to deliver the subject using a variety of teaching techniques. These include: the use of ICT; fieldwork experience; research; ‘mystery solving;’ presentations; project work and kinaesthetic activities. As part of the learning experience we also organise a residential fieldtrip so that students can experience the world around them.
As well as the local fieldtrips undertaken in Key Stages 3 & 4, the Department also offers students experiences of a lifetime trips. In recent years we have travelled to Iceland and Italy.
In Iceland, students experienced the power and beauty of nature – observing active volcanoes, swimming in the hot springs and marvelling at the majestic glaciers carving their way through the landscape.
In Italy our students climbed volcanoes, explored the ruins of cities wiped out by volcanic eruptions and caves carved out by the Mediterranean Sea as well as sampling the famous Italian pizza and ice-cream.
A series of Geography clubs are offered for Key Stage 4 & 5 students. These are classes for Controlled Assessment support & topic specific revision classes.
A Geography House Competition is held each year. This has proved highly competitive and popular in past years.
Year 10 run a Starbucks Coffee Morning to highlight the importance of Fair Trade and raise money for charity.
Homework & Core Assessments
Homework is an essential part of the learning experience. Generally students will receive the following homework:
- At Key Stage 3 students will receive one Geography homework per week. There are also three core assessments undertaken each year. These Core Assessment tasks take a variety of forms and assess a range of skills.
- At GCSE students should expect at least 1 hour of homework per week.
- A Level students should expect between 2 – 3 hours of homework per week.