The aim of the Geography Department is to prepare pupils to take an active and intelligent interest in the world in which they live. The Geography Department is a highly successful department and is staffed by experienced and enthusiastic subject specialists. The Head of Department Simon Ross, is a prolific writer of geography textbooks, some of which have been adopted at Queen's College, and examines for AQA. He has been awarded the Geographical Association’s ‘Gold Award’ for his ‘Essential Mapwork Skills’ book and won the ‘Silver Award’ for an online volcano study aid. Regular lectures are also organised by the Geography Association for both our pupils and members of the local community.
Lessons are taught in three adjoining classrooms, each room having TV/video and networked computers.
At Key Stage 3, Geography is studied on local, national and global scales and there is a particular emphasis on the study of environmental issues and sustainable development. In addition to the teaching of a body of knowledge, we aim to develop a number of valuable ‘flexible skills’ such as conducting investigations, processing data, working collaboratively, making decisions, and using ICT.
At GCSE, we follow the AQA ‘A’ specification, which involves the study of selected geographical themes in both physical and human geography. We currently study Rocks, Resources and Scenery, Coasts, Tectonics, Population, Tourism and Rural Change. All pupils take part in at least two field trips in the local area for example, in Year 9, all pupils take part in field investigations on Exmoor.
Those studying GCSE have several fieldwork opportunities, including visits to Cheddar Gorge, Exmoor, the Dorset coast and Northern Ireland. In addition, we also offer opportunities to travel abroad with recent trips including the French Alps, Southern Europe and a memorable voyage to Iceland.
Geographers also regularly take part in the local round of the Geographical Association's national competition 'Worldwise Quiz' and have frequently won a place in the regional finals. In previous years Queen’s has won the National Trophy and one member of the team was selected to captain the UK team at the International Geographical Olympiad in Washington, USA.