Geography is about places. It is not just knowing about places themselves, but understanding the interdependence and connectivity of places. It is about empowering tomorrow’s adults to develop real global understanding and global citizenship so they have the intellectual understanding to participate individually and collectively in shaping the world around them. This knowledge and understanding of other places, cultures and societies underpin sensitivity and tolerance and contributes to good citizenship. Good geographers develop a range of skills which make them highly employable and which are relevant to any future workforce. They are able to understand the language of maps, which linked to competency in ICT and the application of statistics provides a wealth of geographical information, which is frequently used by both business and government. Such information is best interpreted by geographers who are used to problem solving and decision making and who have built up and developed their expertise through geographical enquiry’.
David Bell (2005) from ‘The Value and Importance of Geography’ in Teaching Geography Volume
30 Number 1 Spring 2005 pp12-13
Therefore, Geography at St Peter’s enables skills to be developed through a variety of ways. These skills fall into several categories: Geographic resource interpretation skills include: using maps, photographs, diagrams, cartoons, images, statistics, keys, graphs, text, models, internet, speeches, surveys, films, TV, video clips and GIS. This making students at St Peter’s well equipped for the world we live in today.
THE DEPARTMENT’S APPROACH TO GEOGRAPHY
As a department within a school that is heading towards a more vocational approach we need to ensure that our subject is exciting and relevant. Listed below are the characteristics of Geography teaching that we encourage at all times with our pupils in all key stages.
We encourage geographers to:
• Note and credit all sources.
• Feel their opinion is valued but it must be informed.
• Ask questions and keep asking questions.
• Be aware of the reliability and bias of all sources.
• Appreciate the nature of data, the need to use judgement and informed guesstimates.
• Be aware of stereotypes and generalisations.
• Be aware of current issues and topical events.
• Appreciate that there isn’t always a clear answer or one answer.
• Appreciate an understanding of Geography is necessary to understanding and participating in
the world at large, whether one studies Geography further or not.
• Appreciate that Geographers can and should change the World.
• Develop empathy.
We can encourage these through:
• Discussion with pupils (class, small group and one-to-one)
• Direct questioning
• Written comments in books
• Nature of tasks set
• Providing pupils with varied reading
• Modeling this approach/leading by example