Welcome to Geography
The S3 Geography Course

If you want to learn more about our amazing world, follow a well-planned course with lots of fun and engaging learning activities, including extensive opportunities to use your iPad and other technology and would like to develop a wide variety of transferable skills, highly prized by employers in today’s highly competitive job market then Geography is the subject for you!

In Geography we use a wide variety of teaching methods to suit all types of learners. While you will be working independently on your own some of the time there will also be plenty of opportunity to be working in pairs, larger groups or as a whole class. The entire Geography course is available digitally through iTunesU on your iPad. You will also be using your iPad to access a wide range of apps, carry out research for investigations and debates, produce presentations, record field work data etc.

Key transferable skills that Geography develops and can be used in other subjects, at college, university or the world of work include processing and interpreting a range of information in written, audio-visual, numerical, statistical and graph form. Geography also calls on pupils to develop a range of unique and highly sought after skills such as interpreting maps, using geographical information technology and the collection and processing of data through fieldwork and other practical research skills.

The S3 Geography course is divided into three sections:

  • Global Issues
  • The Human Environment
  • The Physical Environment

Topics covered in Global Issues:

Water, the most important natural resource? - Learn why we shouldn’t take water for granted, how poor access to water can affect people’s lives, how demand for bottled water is created by big business, the impact of bottled water on the environment, how to calculate your own water footprint, how to use water in a more sustainable way and how water can lead to war.

Tsunami’s - Learn how are caused, how they affect people and landscapes and what can be done to manage the threat that they cause to millions of people around the world.

Topics covered in The Human Environment:

Urbanisation, the making of our cities - Learn why growing numbers of the world’s population choose to live in cities, how the sites for cities were chosen, why cities grow, why new towns are built. Plan and design Scotland’s next new town! Learn what causes traffic congestion and how this issue is being tackled in British cities. Evaluate whether the building of the new Forth Road Bridge, is a good idea or not? Discover the housing problems in the Indian city of Mumbai.

Food and farming - Learn where our food comes from, about the different types of farming in Britain today, how British farming has changed, farming and the environment, as well as about food miles and fair trade food.

Population - How does Scotland shape up? Learn how our population compares to other countries. Find out what is happening to the population of Scotland and elsewhere and what this will mean for our country and others.

Topics covered in The Physical Environment:

Our Dynamic Coastline - Did you know that the coastline of Great Britain is 17,820 km long? Find out how dramatic coastal features such as caves, arches, stacks and spits are formed. Study coastal features and tourism at the coast using Ordnance Survey maps.

Scotland’s Weather - Find out why it always rains in Scotland, how the weather is measured, how air pressure affects the weather and how to read specialist weather maps.

Homework:

Pupils are expected to take responsibility for their own learning and progress. Homework is a key part of this. As well as getting some formal set homework to develop skills and deepen your knowledge and understanding, other tasks you should expect to get include carrying out brief research tasks in preparation for your next lesson. You may also be expected to revise for assessments or simply catching up with coursework not completed in class using the course material available on your iPad using the iTunesU app.

Assessment:

There will be continuous formative assessment in the form of individual and group tasks. Students also receive three formal assessment over the course of the year covering one topic from each of the three units of work detailed above.

Progression:

This Geography course has been carefully designed to provide the basic skills and a broad knowledge base to progress easily onto National 4 and National 5 Qualifications in fourth year.

Studying geography can be the gateway to a wide range of careers. Most employers, colleges and universities are looking for young people with a good range of recognised and well-respected qualifications and geography is one of them.

Some careers where having studied Geography could be a distinct advantage include: cartographer, estate agent, chartered surveyor, remote sensing analyst, GIS specialist, market researcher, planner, social worker, housing officer, transport manager, retail buyer, travel agent, logistics manager, location analyst, charity co-ordinator, aid worker, diplomat/civil service, flood prevention officer, risk assessor, weather forecaster or presenter, disaster manager, civil engineer, geologist, hydrologist, soil conservationist, oceanographer, coastal engineer, estate manager, forestry ranger, environmental consultant, pollution analyst, conservation officer, marketing manager, teaching, tourism officer, media researcher, civil aviation etc.

Field Work:

Field work is an important part of Geography. Our S3 Geography course offers students opportunities to take part in field work activities in the school grounds, the local community and further afield.
The Geography National 4/5 Course

If you want to learn more about our amazing world, study using a well planned course, which has lots of fun and engaging learning activities, including extensive opportunities to use your iPad and other technology and would like to develop a wide variety of transferable skills, highly prized by employers in today’s highly competitive job market then Geography is the subject for you!

In Geography we use a wide variety of teaching methods to suit all types of learners. While you will be working independently on your own some of the time there will also be plenty of opportunity to be working in pairs, larger groups or as a whole class. The entire Geography course is available digitally through iTunesU on your iPad. You will also be using your iPad to access a wide range of apps, carry out research for investigations and debates, produce presentations, record field work data etc.

Key transferable skills that Geography develops and that can be used in other subjects, at college, university or the world of work include processing and interpreting a range of information in written, audio-visual, numerical, statistical and graph form. Geography also calls on pupils to develop a range of unique and highly sought after skills such as interpreting maps, using geographical information technology and the collection and processing of data through fieldwork and other practical research skills.

There are 4 units of study in Geography National 4 course:
  • Global Issues
  • Physical Environments
  • Human Environments
  • Added Value

Global Issues Unit

1. Climate Change
Here the key topics of study are the causes of global warming, understanding why it is a problem for us as individuals and communities both here in Scotland and elsewhere in the world. We finish off by looking at how both we at both on a local and global scale can reduce and manage the effects of global warming.

2. Environmental Hazards
In this very popular unit we firstly investigate how the structure of our planet causes earthquakes and volcanoes before going on to study how people manage these two environmental hazards. After this we look at the causes of hurricanes and how people manage the risks they present.

Physical Environments Unit

1. Glaciated Landscapes
In this section we study the impressive landscape features of upland areas shaped by massive glaciers during the many ice ages that have affected Britain in the past. Then we go on to look at how people use our mountain areas for sport, recreation and commercial uses today and how this can lead to issues between competing land users. Mapwork is an important part of the course in this section.

2. Coastal Landscapes
Here we look at the formation of features found on the coast of Britain such as arches, caves, stacks and spits. Mapwork is an important part of the course in this section.

3. Weather
This section looks at what causes our weather here in Britain, weather forecasting and reading specialist weather maps.

Human Environments Unit

This unit is very much about looking at the developed and developing world. The 3 sections are:

1. Population and Development
Here we learn why people are unevenly spread across the planet, the effects of rapid and slow population growth on countries as well as why some parts of the world are more developed than others and how we actually measure development.

2. Cities and Urban Change
Here we study the changes taking place in the different zones of Edinburgh and then go onto look at the shanty town of Dharavi, in the city of Mumbai, India.

3. Rural change
Here we study the changes taking place in farming on the Great Plains of the USA and in Kerela, India.

Added Value Unit:

The key focus of this unit is developing pupil skills and applying their geographical knowledge to a topic of their choice. Pupils will have the opportunity to collect data by doing a day’s field work in Edinburgh. Topics covered by pupil’s this year include crime, environmental quality, shopping and transport.

Assessment:

At National 4 progress each of the four units will be assessed by pupils producing evidence of their progress through a variety of activities such as presentations, posters, written responses to questions and participation in group tasks. These will be internally assessed by your Geography teacher .

At National 5 progress in each of the units assessed in a similar way to National 4, but in addition you will be required to sit an externally marked exam paper worth 60 marks.

Homework:

Tasks will include doing research in preparation for your next lesson and exercises to develop skills and deepen your knowledge and understanding. In addition homework may include revising or simply catching up with coursework not completed in class.

Progression:

Pupils who successfully achieve National 4 Geography can progress to National 5 Geography. While those achieving National 5 may progress onto Higher Geography. Higher Geography could then lead onto studying the subject at Advanced Higher. Geography is unique amongst the social subjects as it can be studied as either an arts or science degree. Geography is a highly flexible entry qualification to a wide range of other college and university courses and because of its diverse nature and wide range of transferable skills is highly sought after by a wide range of employers. To get more ideas about where Geography can take you in terms of careers read the progression section for Higher Geography further on.
The Higher Geography Course

Entry:

This course is intended for those students who have achieved National 5 Geography or equivalent. Higher Geography is also open to students if you already have a National 5 or Higher in History, Modern Studies or English.

About Higher Geography

If you want to learn more about our amazing world, follow an interesting, well planned, up to the minute course, which has lots of fun and engaging learning activities, has extensive opportunities to use your ipad and other technology and enables you to develop a wide variety of transferable skills, highly prized by employers in today’s highly competitive job market then Geography is the subject for you!

In Geography we use a wide variety of teaching methods to suit all types of learners. While you will be working independently on your own some of the time there will also be plenty of opportunity to be working in pairs, larger groups or as a whole class. The entire Geography course is available digitally through iTunesU on your iPad. You will also be using your iPad to access a wide range of apps, carry out research for investigations and debates, produce presentations, record field work data etc.

Key transferable skills that Geography develops and can be used in other subjects, at college, university or the world of work include processing and interpreting a range of information in written, audio-visual, numerical, statistical and graph form. Geography also calls on pupils to develop a range of unique and highly sought after skills such as interpreting maps, using geographical information technology and the collection and processing of data through fieldwork and other practical research skills.

There are three units taught at higher level. These are:

  • Physical Environments
  • Human Environments
  • Global Issues

Physical Environments:

This unit is divided into four sections:

(i) Lithosphere - This section is in two parts. Firstly we will study the formation of glaciated landscapes and features such as corries, hanging valleys, eskers and drumlins. In the second part we study the formations found in coastal landscapes such as arches, stacks, spits and Tombolo’s. Map work is also a key feature of this section.

(ii) Atmosphere - here you’ll examine the systems which transfer energy around our planet and which in turn drive our global weather systems.

(iii) Biosphere - In this section you study one of our planet’s most vital, but least acknowledged resources - soils! Find out what makes podzols, brown earth and gleys so different!

(iv) Hydrosphere - Here learn about drainage basins, the hydrological cycle and hydrographs.

Human Environments:

This unit is divided into three subsections:

(i) Population - Here we study the use of taking a census and other methods of collecting population data. Then we study the the different population structures of countries and the consequences of these. Then we finish up studying the causes and consequences of forced and voluntary migration in different countries.

(ii) Rural landuse conflicts & their management - This section is in two parts. Firstly you study the causes of conflict between landowners and those using our upland areas for leisure and recreation and how these conflicts can be managed. Secondly you study impact how rainforest or semi-desert areas of the world are being degraded by farming practises.

(iii) Urban - here you investigate how transport and housing issues in Mumbai and Edinburgh and strategies that are being used to manage these issues

Global Issues:

In this third unit two topics are studied in depth. These are:

(i) Development and Health - In this section we look at three topics. Firstly we investigate how the level of development in different countries is measured and why there are differences. Then we look at Malaria, the causes of the disease and strategies to manage and reduce it. Lastly we look at primary health care strategies used by governments and health organisations to reduce death rates in the developing world.

(ii) Global Climate Change - Here we study the human and natural causes of climate change, the effects locally here in the UK, the effects globally using case studies of Florida and Bangladesh while we end up looking at the the strategies being used to tackle climate change.

Assessment:

For Higher Geography students need to sit internal unit assessment for each of the three units described above. In addition students are assessed externally by the SQA using an end of course exam worth 60 marks and completion of an assignment worth 30 marks.

Homework:

Pupils will be expected to take responsibility for their own learning and progress. Homework is a key part of this. Questions and other tasks are usually issued on a weekly basis. Homework will also include carrying out research tasks in order to prepare for lessons. There may also be a requirement to finish tasks begun in class to ensure notes are kept fully up-to-date. The whole Higher course is available on iTunesU and this should help pupils keep up to date. Time should also be spent revising in preparation for assessments and exams.

Cost:

There are no costs for this course.

Progression:

Higher Geography is a very flexible qualification and offers a number of different progression pathways. It is a subject which equips you many transferable skills, informed attitudes and a wide knowledge base highly prized both by a wide range of employers and further education institutions. For example skills such as map interpretation, information processing and data analysis are highly prized by employers such as landscape architects, urban planners, the armed forces, transport companies, market researchers, cartographers, geographical information specialists, estate agents, tourism services, the civil service etc. If you’re considering University Geography can be studied as either a science or arts degree. Higher Geography is also a very useful entry qualification for many other college and university courses.
Geography Photos
Stacks Image 39788