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Geography

Head of Department: Ms M Bosa BA (Trent University, Canada), BEd (Queens University, Canada) 
Email: marisa.bosa@epsomcollege.org.uk

Geographers are charged with understanding the world through two lenses - from a geophysical perspective as well as a socio-economic one. We are concerned with understanding patterns and phenomena we observe in the world around us, be they physical or sociological. A true grasp of this subject can help us to predict and prepare for an uncertain future.

Geography creates global citizens of us all; our students understand the issues facing the world now and in their future, and appreciate the complex relationships between people and place which shape our lives and our world.

The Geography Department at Epsom College is excellent. Our teachers are experts in their fields, and integrate a wide variety of teaching strategies in all lessons. We use contemporary technologies like Geographical Information Systems (GIS), weather data from our own weather station, and smart technologies found on every smart phone to enrich both classroom and outside learning. Our curriculum is built at every stage around opportunities to take our learning into the outdoors and apply what we have learned to real-world situations.

At Epsom, geography will take you to a new level of understanding of the world around you, and will equip you for whatever uncertainties the future may hold.

Fieldwork and Enrichment

Geography is a subject which requires outside study. At all levels we integrate fieldwork into our courses both as a compulsory element and as enrichment; compulsory work is local to ensure everyone is able to attend, but we look to enthuse our students with a love of the world as well, so our enrichment opportunities stretch further afield.

 In the M4 Year we visit Box Hill to conduct a microclimate study, collecting data using iPads, students' smart phones and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) before mapping the effect the landscape has on local climates using the advanced GIS software, ArcGIS.

At IGCSE in the Upper Fourth we conduct coastal fieldwork at Cuckmere Haven, as well as other local and virtual fieldwork opportunities throughout the year. In the Fifth Form we plan to conduct fieldwork in London examining the impact of regeneration and variations in socio-economic characteristics across the city. We also aim to have one trip in the two years that takes us further afield; in 2018 this will be a visit to the volcanoes of Sicily.

At A-level, fieldwork is a compulsory element of the course once again, and we take a four-day field course to the Jurassic Coast and Bournemouth. There are also several opportunities to conduct other day trips throughout the year to enrich studies and to help with the individual research project. We also aim to have a trip once over the course of the two years of A-level that allows further exploration. In October 2017 the Upper Sixth group will visit the enchanting and exciting country of Iceland.

Follow the links below to learn more about Geography at Epsom College.  

Courses

At Key Stage 3, which encompasses the Lower School and our Middle Fourth year, we follow our own course which explores all areas of the subject from a contemporary and exciting perspective.

Year 7/Third Form

  • A rough guide to Geography - introducing Geography as a discipline including an understanding of place and space; integrating a variety of essential geographical skills such as mapping skills; census interpretation; and fieldwork. Our fieldwork takes them to Box Hill in the summer term to put their mapping skills into practise.
  • Hazardous Planet - an investigation into the variety of hazards that we face here on Earth and how humankind can adapt to overcome vulnerability and even harness the power of hazards.

Year 8/Lower Fourth

  • Water Works - recognising that understanding one of the most precious resources on the planet is important to our future, we explore how water shapes landscapes and civilisations and what the threats are to our future water supply. We spend a day investigating reasons for changes on the River Tillingbourne.

  • Populations in Crisis - exploring the reasons for population growth, the rates of change in different parts of the world and the challenges and opportunities posed by population change.

Year 9/Middle Fourth

  • Weather and Climate - an investigation into weather systems in the UK and further afield, from depressions to tropical storms. Students gain an understanding of the physical processes behind our weather.

  • Development Dilemmas - we explore different ways to view and classify countries and debate the best way to do so. We think about how development is measured and presented and how this can distort the way in which a place is perceived.

  • The Geography of Globalisation - we explore this important geographical concept through an enquiry into the iPhone. We investigate the human cost of the iPhone and question the costs and benefits that Globalisation has brought to our modern world.

IGCSE

Examination Board: Edexcel. 

Upper Fourth: Hazardous Environments, Economic Activity and Energy, Coastal Environments.

Fifth Form: Urban Environments, Globalisation and Migration.

We conduct at least four fieldwork investigations throughout the course, which can involve virtual fieldwork, local fieldwork, or trips further afield.

A-level 

Examination Board: OCR

Paper 1. Physical Systems

We study the core unit; Earth's Life Support Systems (Water and Carbon Cycles) and Landscape Systems (Coastal Environments)

Paper 2. Human Interactions

The core unit is Changing Spaces; Making Places, and our two chosen options in the Global Connections unit are Global Migration and Human Rights.

Paper 3. Geographical Debates

In this paper we study two options. The first will be Disease Dilemmas and the second is Hazardous Earth, completed in Upper Sixth.

Independent Investigation

Coursework is in the form of an independent investigation over which students have complete control of topic. We conduct a four-day field course in the summer term in which we teach the skills through both coastal and urban fieldwork, and students define their title and conduct individual investigations on the basis of this experience.

Department Staff

Head of Department
Ms M Bosa BA (Trent University, Canada), BEd (Queens University, Canada)

 

Department Teaching Staff

Mrs A Cowlin BA (Sussex)

Mr D Nuthall BA (Nottingham) 

Mr G Sandhu  BA (Kings)

Mrs A Venables BSc (Bristol), MEd (UCL)

Mr R I Whiteley MA (Cantab)

Facilities

The Geography department has some of the most up-to-date teaching facilities in the College. Laptops, iPads, personal mobile devices and other technology are regularly integrated into lessons which take place in purpose-built, airy classrooms. In the sixth form we are fortunate enough to have our own Harkness Table in the seminar room, which we use to encourage independent thought, discussion and evaluation.

Further Education and Career Prospects

Geography, as a subject which requires you to develop a wide skill-set, is a subject highly sought after by employers. The balance between intellectual skills, research skills and transferrable skills which are gained through study at A level and degree level mean that a wide variety of career options are also open to you. The list of careers is endless but includes financial risk analysis, development, research scientists, environmental analysts, oil exploration, government, planning and surveying and conservation to name but a few.

Geography was identified by The Telegraph as one of ten ‘recession-proof' degree subjects and regularly appears as one of the most employable degree subjects worldwide in post-graduation employment reviews. This is reflective of the value placed on graduates who are attuned to the world around them but have also proven ability to research, project-manage, communicate and present a wide variety of ideas effectively.