Switch on your television, listen to the radio or pick up a newspaper and the environment seems to be top of everyone’s agenda. We are bombarded with facts and figures relating to the need for energy conservation and climate change. For instance, did you know that:
each person in Northern Ireland uses an average of 145 litres of water per day;
every household in the UK generates around six tonnes of carbon dioxide every year; and
UK households are wasting approximately £979 million worth of energy per year by leaving gadgets and appliances unnecessarily on standby.
Sustainability is the buzz word of the 21st century. The study of geography helps students have a clearer understanding of this important world issue. Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments – both its physical features and its political and cultural characteristics. Geographers work to examine and solve issues like those above by looking at:
patterns on the earth and the processes that created them;
how places differ from one another;
the impact of people on the environment;
the sources and impact of pollution; and
strategies for environmental protection and restoration.
Geography involves a synthesis of facts, figures, ideas and perspectives to help us understand and protect the world we live in. By studying geography, students learn about important contemporary issues like global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution and flooding.
Key Stage 3
OS Map Skills
Weather and Climate
Make your own weather instrument
OS Map Skills
Rivers and Coasts
Fieldwork at Magilligan Field Centre
Population and Migration
Country Study (Kenya)
OS Map Skills
The Restless Earth
Make your own volcano
Climate Change and Ecosystems
At GCSE we study the Northern Ireland CCEA Geography course, an outline and details re given below:
Studying Geography will enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts, their responsibilities as global citizens and an awareness of other people’s views of the world, and its environments, societies and cultures. By completing GCSE Geography, students will be well prepared to continue their study of Geography at Advanced level.
Studying Geography can prepare students for a range of careers in urban planning, cartography, GIS applications, climatology, hydrography, environmental management, weather forecasting, research, journalism, landscape architecture, surveying, aerial photography and teaching.
Content and Assessment
Pupils can further their studies by following the GCE AS/A2 course, again this course is the CCEA specification.
Students have the opportunity to carry out their own fieldwork investigation and to develop key geographical and statistical skills. Geography appeals to students who enjoy investigating how their world works. The qualification builds on knowledge and understanding gained in GCSE Geography, but also suits students who are studying GCE Environmental Technology or the Sciences. Students acquire skills in report writing, investigation, in the analysis and interpretation of complex data and in justifying complex decisions. These skills are valued in further and higher education, as well as in the workplace.