Geography is a wonderfully diverse and dynamic subject that enables students to develop an appreciation and understanding of the world.
Geography fosters a unique knowledge of the nature of some of our most topical affairs, whether in the field of politics or in environmental studies, with climate change and resource depletion high on the international agenda now more than ever. The study of these contemporary issues and the development of a sense of environmental responsibility are critical in our 21st century global society. The great breadth of Geography as an academic discipline is one of its real strengths. It develops many important skills and uses a variety of approaches, including developing an aptitude for decision-making, use of ICT, data handling, communication, teamwork and problem-solving.
Within the Geography Department, we look to inspire pupils and follow the ethos that:
"Geographers are interdisciplinary innovators, shaping the future of our world and the story of our species. Geography is about learning how to understand the links between disciplines and to use those links to develop new, world-changing discoveries. It is these people that the world needs if we are to build a more socially and environmentally sensitive, informed and responsible, economically and politically stable society"
Geography is the subject which holds the key to our future
Humanities is introduced as its own core subject at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi and the disciplines of History & Geography are blended together to comprise it until Year 7. A topic-based approach is followed initially wherein pupils complete research-based projects and present to their peers in class. This introduction to independent research and analysis helps develop not only early geographical skills, but also 21st-century skills in categories such as the acquisition of knowledge, application of knowledge and communication.
As students move through the Prep school the curriculum moves from physical geography to human and environmental geography. Critical thinking becomes further developed linking the curriculum to real-life concerns. The students are also taught about the very current issue of sustainability and environmental awareness.
In upper Prep (Years 7 & 8), Geography breaks away from History to operate as its own distinct subject. The curriculum from this point onwards is focused on a scaffolded development of the core skills required to excel at GCSE level. Higher-order cognitive skills such as synthesis, critical thinking and evaluation become increasingly important and more emphasis is placed on helping the students engage deeper with them. The students are also taught how to make their own Google Sites to enhance their digital literacy and are encouraged to discuss global issues such as climate change and the move toward the usage of more renewable energy sources.
By Year 9 topics are designed to provide the building blocks that pupils will need should they choose the subject for GCSE. We give students the opportunity to complete fieldwork around the school site and also work to develop their analytical and teamworking skills throughout the year. Geography is an extremely popular option subject at GCSE. At Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, we follow the IGCSE (9-1) Cambridge International Examination. This involves a thematic based learning approach and allows pupils to focus on the Geographical Processes that shape our world through a study of Physical, Human and Economic Geography at all scales from local to global in different parts of the world.
In the Edexcel International A-Level specification, the course is underpinned by 7 core concepts of Space, Scale, Place, Environment, Interdependence, Diversity and Change. These concepts are used to develop the students research and analytical skills and enhance the teaching of topics including, Global Challenges, Geographical Investigations, The Contested Planet and Geographical Research.
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