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Courses: S1, S2, S3, S4, S5/6

S1:

At level 3 of People, Place and Environment S1 pupils study two main units: Desert Lands and the Sahara and Kenya – A Less Developed Country. Pupils will also be introduced to Scotland in a block of lessons and gain knowledge of Strathaven and its district. Pupils will either spent 2 periods a week for the whole of S1 in geography or they will spend 4 periods a week and rotate twice with history throughout the year.


These units will involve producing projects, solo and group research tasks and homework, usually once a week, relating to the class tasks. These units develop many skills such as mapping, ICT, working individually and as a group. Pupils will learn how to effectively structure their work, make decisions, select relevant information, annotate maps and graphs and develop research skills.

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S2:

In S2 pupils will spend 2 periods a week in geography for two blocks of lessons as they will be rotating twice with history.


In unit one of the level 3 course pupils will learn about Environmental Hazards through the case study of Volcanoes. Pupils will learn about the structure of the earth, where volcanoes are commonly found, their structure, what happens during an eruption and the benefits of volcanoes to the planet. The eruption in Heimaey, Iceland of 1973 is our case study and pupils will learn in depth about what were the effects of the eruption to both the population and the landscape.


In the second unit pupils will study Equatorial Rainforests and the case study of the Amazon in South America. Pupils will learn about the location, climate, vegetation, and the way of life of the people that live in the rainforest. Pupils will also learn about deforestation and the challenges the rainforest is facing.

These are two topics that are covered more in depth in S3/4 and pupils are able to take the skills and knowledge that they learn in S2 further as they progress with geography on to exam courses. Along with geographical skills, skills in terms of literacy, numeracy, IT and health and wellbeing are also developed.

 

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S3:

Our S3 Geography course is a level 4 course which will complete the Broad General Education (BGE) in Geography of S1-3 pupils before progressing to National 4 or 5 in S4. The course will also prepare pupils with knowledge and skills which will be required for the National Qualifications in S4. The main level of work set and assessed will be at level 4 with opportunities for pupils to receive recognition for work produced which is more developed than level 4.Some pupils may still need further opportunities to achieve level 3 outcomes and these will be provided in our S3 course. This course aims to develop geographical knowledge and skills such as research, annotating diagrams and graphs, mapping, group work and report presentation and writing. These skills will involve elements of numeracy and literacy.

In S3 pupils will study geography 3 periods per week.

Topics studied include:

- Rivers and their valleys

    - Impact of Human Activity on the Natural Environment - Tundra

    - Global Issues- Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tropical Storms

    - Impact of Human Activity on the Natural Environment – Equatorial Rainforests

    - Glaciated Uplands

    - Urban and Rural Change in Less Developed Countries

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    S4:

    Our S4 Geography course is set at National 4 or 5 in S4. Some content for this course is already covered in S2-3 to prepare for presentation at National 4 or 5.

     

    The main level of work set and assessed will be at National 5 with opportunities for pupils to be presented at National 4 should N5 not be appropriate for their ability levels or work rate.

    At National 5 level the course assessment will consist of two Components: a question paper and an assignment.


    Component 1 — question paper (60 MARKS)
    The purpose of this question paper is to demonstrate application of skills and breadth of knowledge and understanding across the three Units of the Course.
    This question paper will give learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following higher-order cognitive skills and knowledge and understanding from the mandatory content of the Course:
    ♦ using a limited range of mapping skills
    ♦ using a limited range of numerical and graphical information
    ♦ giving detailed descriptions and explanations with some analysis
    The question paper will have 60 marks (75% of the total mark).
    This question paper has three Sections.


    Section 1: Physical Environments will have 20 marks. This Section will be made up of limited/extended response questions requiring the learner to draw on the knowledge and understanding and apply the skills acquired during the Course. Questions will draw on the knowledge and understanding and skills described in the further mandatory information on Course coverage section. Topics such as weather, landscape types (rivers and limestone) and land uses are covered.


    Section 2: Human Environments will have 20 marks. This Section will be made up of limited/extended response questions requiring the learner to draw on the knowledge and understanding and apply the skills acquired during the Course. Questions will draw on the knowledge and understanding and skills described in the further mandatory information on Course coverage section. We study developed and developing countries in terms of development indicators and population. Also studied are urban and rural areas including characteristics and recent changes and developments in both developed and developing world countries.


    Section 3: Global Issues will have 20 marks. This Section will be made up of limited/extended response questions requiring the learner to draw on the knowledge and understanding and apply the skills acquired during the Course. Questions will draw on the knowledge and understanding and skills described in the further mandatory information on Course coverage section. Pupils will study environmental hazards and the Impact of human activity on the natural environment – Tundra and Equatorial Rainforests.

     

    Component 2 — assignment (20 MARKS)
    The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate challenge and application by demonstrating skills, knowledge and understanding within the context of a geographical topic or issue.


    This assignment will give learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following higher-order cognitive skills, knowledge and understanding:
    ♦ choosing, with minimum support, an appropriate geographical topic or issue
    ♦ collecting information from a limited range of sources of information, which should include the use of fieldwork where possible and/or maps
    ♦ processing the information gathered, using geographical skills/techniques
    ♦ drawing on knowledge and understanding to explain and analyse key features of the topic or issue
    ♦ reaching a well-supported conclusion, supported by evidence about the topic or issue studied
    The assignment will have 20 marks (25% of the total mark).

     

    National 4 covers the same geographical topics and focuses on internal unit tests at that level. Pupils are also required to complete an Added Value Unit. The purpose of this assignment is to show application of the skills, knowledge and understanding pupils have gained to research a geographical topic or issue of choice. Pupils can choose a topic or issue they have studied in class or any other geographical topic or issue.
    To complete the assignment you will need to:
    - Choose a geographical topic or issue to research.
    - Collect relevant evidence from at least two sources of information.
    - Organise and use the information you have collected.
    - Show your knowledge and understanding to describe and briefly explain some key features of the topic or issue.
    - Apply your geographical skills.
    - Present your findings about the geographical topic or issue.

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    S5/6:

    Higher
    The Higher qualification in Geography gives learners a sophisticated understanding of geographical processes and information. This covers a range of topics, from glaciation to the growth of the human population.

    Independent study and cooperative learning are encouraged. Learners will gain sophisticated skills in analysing and communicating complex geographical ideas using maps and other diagrams.
    The course comprises three mandatory units:

    - Physical environments - Atmosphere     , Hydrosphere, Lithosphere and Biosphere

    - Human Environments – Population, Rural, Urban and Industry

    - Environmental Interactions – River Basin Management and Development and Health (our chosen topics)

     

    The achievement of a Higher Course award in Geography is recognised as a general entry qualification to both further and higher education.

    More specifically, it is referred to as a preferred entry qualification to a number of Units at Higher National level with a geographical and environmental focus and in higher education it is valued as an entry qualification to Arts, Social Science and Science faculties in many universities.

    During the Course in Higher Geography emphasis is placed on the provision of geographical experiences. These experiences also develop evaluative and investigative skills.

    In the Geography: Physical Environments and Geography: Human Environments Units of the Course the focus of study is on specific features of physical and human environments.

    The Geography: Environmental Interactions Unit develops an awareness of the inter-relationships between these environments.

     

    Advanced Higher


    The Course in Advanced Higher Geography builds on the concepts and skills developed at Higher level Geography. The achievement of the Advanced Higher Course award in Geography can contribute to the entry qualifications to both further and higher education.


    The study of Geography at Advanced Higher level provides an increasingly sophisticated development of skills through a range of learning experiences. There is an increased emphasis on developing skills of independent study, co-operative learning, objective thinking and the ability to communicate clearly and confidently.


    The skills of independent study, research and critical evaluation which are emphasised in Geography at Advanced Higher level are highly valued by higher education institutions and are transferable to many situations in general employment.


    The principal aim of the Advanced Higher level Course in Geography is that, by using the concepts and techniques of geographical analysis, candidates develop a detailed understanding of aspects of the contemporary world which are of concern to all citizens.

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