Our world is an amazing place. Geography lessons seek to provoke and answer questions about the natural world and our place in it.
Pupils develop a knowledge of places and environments, the ability to read and interpret maps and an understanding of current issues affecting people and our environment. Lessons aim to develop the geographical skills of questioning, observing, recording and comparing. Pupils are encouraged to develop a broad outlook on life, and a good awareness of topical issues, both at home and in the wider world.
Towards the senior end of the School, Geography lessons take place in a designated Geography Room, with maps, displays and a variety of resources. These include the use of a computer and DVD facility, an interactive whiteboard, and a wide range of textbooks. From Year 5 upwards lessons are taught by a Geography specialist.
Practical activities, such as orienteering or conducting a weathering survey, are included in lessons wherever possible. The use of ICT is encouraged for research and to enhance presentation of data.
Fieldwork is a vital part of Geography. Local field study projects are undertaken in lessons and on Activities Days, such as examining the impact of tourism in the Wendover Woods, or studying the environment at Tring reservoir.
In Year 7, the girls have a week's residential Field Trip in Yorkshire. This week is always a highlight of their time at Godstowe as the girls return with renewed enthusiasm for the subject, together with a greater understanding of the topics studied in school.
The idea that we have an impact upon our environment is an important one which spills over into our life at Godstowe. For example we have a paper recycling scheme to reduce the amount of waste we produce. Over fifty girls are involved in the 'Starfish Squad' and proudly wear a specially-designed badge. Furthermore we have close links with the local district council, who help us to find ways of increasing our social responsibility and citizenship. We are also a registered Eco-School.
In the Lower Division, Geography is often taught as a termly or half-termly topic. Localities in developing countries are studied, focusing on Kenya in Form I and India in Form II. This involves studying the physical features of the country, comparing lifestyles of individuals, methods of transport, food and wildlife. Form II also study global issues such as poverty, climate change and the adverse effect of people on the environment. Resources include videos, books, posters, photographs, artefacts and talks from people who have visited the countries.
Fieldwork is encouraged in both year groups. In Form I, girls have opportunities to use their map skills around the school grounds. In Form II, the environment topic involves looking at environmental issues at school, and a visit to College Lake in Tring.
Specialist Geography teaching for two lessons each week is provided. The pupils learn to use maps and atlases confidently, study mountain and rainforest environments, examine rivers, and look at traffic and its impact on their local area. Lessons involve a range of activities including games, role plays, creating 3D models, individual project research, group poster displays, and fieldwork in the local environment.
Teaching in a specialist room for two lessons a week is provided. Pupils gain a wider range of skills, through a variety of geographical activities, including orienteering around the school, group presentations on earthquakes and volcanoes, individual projects on threatened environments, and microclimate investigations. Resources which are stimulating and challenging are used to enhance pupils knowledge and understanding.
The Common Entrance syllabus is followed, and pupils receive two lessons each week in a specialist room, with access to a wide range of resources. Pupils are encouraged to take an increasing responsibility for their own learning, and for effective co-operation with others through research projects, investigations, group work, and regular homework. The students acquire the attitudes, skills and knowledge necessary for success. Topics studied include tourism, coasts, industry, plate tectonics, transport, industry and rivers which forms an essential part of their fieldwork experience in Yorkshire in Year 7.