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Bury Grammar Schools

Geography

We live in an interdependent world where an event in one country can spark off a chain reaction that spans the whole globe.
 
Countries are in conflict, people are migrating great distances and evidence suggests population growth is not sustainable. Our planet is fragile and the challenge of how to manage issues such as climate change, the oceans drowning in plastic, flooding and the destruction of the tropical rainforest is growing.
 
In Geography at Bury Grammar School, we teach pupils to develop their understanding of the world around them and the current events which affect their lives. We investigate the earth and its people in a balanced approach to Human and Physical Geography, appreciating place, people and our relationship with the natural environment.  We promote a sense of responsibility for our planet and encourage our pupils to be resilient, global citizens.  We also endeavour to teach a range of critical and relevant transferrable skills such as map reading, problem solving, decision making and geographical enquiry.
 
Fieldwork is integral to all of our courses, with every student who studies Geography participating in fieldwork opportunities. Consequently, we travel far and wide, investigating a range of contrasting environments and themes including the tourism in the Peak District, a river study along the River Bollin, glacial environments in Snowdonia and the changing nature of Scarborough. We also offer the change to participate in optional awe and wonder expeditions, most recently to Iceland, Italy and the Azores.
 
Contributing to BGS’ diverse enrichment programme, there is a GeoClub for curious young geographers and we run Geography at the Movies, investigating the level of fact and fiction in geography themed films. A Level geographers are encouraged to attend the GA lecture programme at Manchester University.
 

Subject Curriculum

Key Stage 3

 
In Years 7 and 8 pupils are introduced to a broad range of physical and human geography and geographical skills. Topics include ‘An Icy World,’ ‘Environmental Issues,’ ‘Population Change,’ ‘Oceans on the Edge.’  Geographical enquiry is central to our approach and fieldwork is undertaken in both years; recently we have visited Castleton in the Peak District to investigate the impacts of tourism on a National Park and Snowdonia to understand post glacial landscapes.
 

GCSE

 
We follow the AQA GCSE Geography specification, and pupils continue to develop their understanding of human and physical geography.  Topics studied include ‘Natural Hazards,’ ‘The Living World – Tropical Rainforests and Cold Environments,’ ‘Resource management,’ and ‘Urban Challenges.’  Two fieldwork investigations are conducted and geographical skills are integrated into the course.
 

A Level

 
At A Level the AQA specification is followed.  Students develop their geographical understanding and their ability to ‘think like a geographer’ in topics such as ‘Changing Places,’ ‘Global Governance’ and ‘Coastal Landscapes.’ They are able to investigate, analyse and evaluate core geographical themes and develop cartographic and statistical skills.  A four day residential fieldtrip to Yorkshire is undertaken in Year 12 which complements the physical and human geography studied in the classroom and prepares students for their independent investigation, part of their A Level qualification.
 

Head of Department

Miss Tomkinson graduated from the University of Manchester with a BA (Hons) in Geography, before completing a PGCE at Manchester Metropolitan University.
 
Before joining Bury Grammar School in 2012, she gained experience in several leading independent schools in the North West.
 
She is passionate about Geography, particularly physical and environmental geography, encouraging pupils to appreciate the awe and wonder of our planet and their impact on it.

Extra-Curricular / Enrichment

  • GeoClub
  • Geography at the Movies
  • The Great Geography Bake Off
  • Geographical Association Lectures
  • National Schools Geology Challenge