Geography is everywhere – without it you are lost. It helps you to understand the complex and dynamic world in which you live.

In Geography we aim to help Sixth Form students to develop an understanding of their global responsibility and interdependence as well as encourage them to develop their own opinions and attitudes.

‘Geography is one of those richly comprehensive subjects whose relevance is all around us. Where we come from, what we do, what we eat, how we move about and how we shape our future are all directly the province of the Geographer. More than ever we need the geographer’s skills and foresight to help us to learn about our planet – how we use it and we abuse it’ – Michael Palin

Geography is one of the most fascinating and interesting subjects that anyone can study! It draws on factual knowledge from both the sciences and the arts and aims to develop analytical skills of the sciences and the descriptive and interpretative skills of the humanities.

The specification studied in our Sixth Form emphasises the changing nature of the world we live in. The main aim of the course is to enable students to develop an understanding of how and why physical and human environments are changing while at the same time acquiring valuable Geographical skills. The course places great emphasis on the interdependence of places and on people’s attitudes and values so that you gain an awareness of and an insight into Geographical issues such as climate change.

During the A-level course the main physical Geography topics covered are coastal systems and landscapes, hazards (volcanic, seismic and storms) and water and carbon cycles. While the main human Geography topics covered are global systems and governance (globalisation), changing places and population and the environment.

The skills students use in their Geographical studies make them of potential interest to a wide range of employers. The close link between the subject and the world around us makes for a long and varied list of related careers. Statistics show that, compared with other subjects, Geographers are among the most employable. This is because Geographers possess the abilities and skills that employers look for. Employers want people who can work in a team.

Fieldwork is an essential component of our geography course and is an ideal setting in which to develop teamwork and leadership skills. The Geography Department recognises the value of fieldwork and we have taken all the available time allotted to make use of this with a variety of topics and locations to give the pupils a taste of their environment. We don’t just look at the world outside; we go and explore it to fully appreciate its complexities and interrelationships. At GCSE and A-level, students participate in fieldwork during residential trips to Snowdonia and North Yorkshire, whereas, at Key Stage 3, fieldwork takes place locally and regionally such as in the Peak District or in Scarborough.

Our Geographers understand the links between places and people. They can look at complex systems in a straightforward way. Our Geographers are taught a wide-ranging combination of skills, drawing in ideas from many sources. This ability to view issues from a wider perspective is appropriate for working in many different areas. If your career path is to be varied you will need to develop transferable skills and you will need to be flexible. Geography fosters these qualities and provides a firm base for life-long learning.