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Archbishop Tenison's

Church of England High School

Archbishop Tenison's CE High School
Selborne Road


‘Bringing the world into the classroom’ is our Geography department motto at Archbishop Tenisons.

‘Geography is the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live.’ (Royal Geographical Society).

Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences (human geography) with the natural sciences (physical geography). Human geography concerns the understanding of the dynamics of cultures, societies and economies, and physical geography concerns the understanding of the dynamics of physical landscapes and the environment.

Geography at Archbishop Tenisons is, in the broadest sense, an education for life and for living. Learning through geography helps us all to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, informed and responsible citizens.

At Tenisons, our pupils and students are immersed in a vast range of geographical theory, issues, concepts and real world case studies across the physical, human and environmental disciplines.

In every year group we are very proud to offer fieldtrips, workshops and/or invite guest speakers to visit ‘Bringing the world of Geography into the classroom’.

The Geography Teaching Team

Mr Green (Acting Head of Geography)
Mr Fisher (Assistant Head Teacher 16-19)
Mrs Croker
Mrs Anna Robinson (SENCO)

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 students are initially asked to complete a ‘baseline assessment’ task that will help us evaluate how much Geography they have studied and have understood from Primary school.

Pupils learn essential map skills and settlement geography in their first term at Tenisons, drawing upon local issues. Throughout the rest of Year 7, pupils study topics including ’Geography of Sport’ and ‘Food and Farming’.

Last year we had a guest speaker and workshop from the charity and development NGO ‘Farm Africa’. Our pupils took part in a range of activities to highlight the issues surrounding food security issues in Kenya and Tanzania.

Our Year 8 pupils learn about weather and climate, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, rivers and flooding, and ecosystems (with particular focus upon the tropical rainforest biome and a fantastic visit to the Natural History Museum where pupils take part in a hands-on workshop where they handle actual exhibits and artefacts from the museums vast catalogue.

In Year 9 our pupils start looking at GCSE themes, giving them an early insight into KS4 content and making for a smooth transition across the key stages.

Themes studied include, Globalisation, Development’, Sustainable development of Antarctica’ and ‘The impact of Tourism’ where pupils are taken down to Brighton to carry out a fieldwork investigation along the lines of a GCSE Controlled Assessment to whet their appetites for the year ahead (and have an ice-cream on the beach)!

Key Stage 4

In Years 10 and 11 Geography has become an increasingly popular pupils option at GCSE (AQA A).

Pupils study 6 units, one in each term and have 2 examinations, one on physical geography themes such as plate tectonics, the other on human geography themes, including population and urban change. They also complete a fieldwork investigation (Controlled Assessment) that amounts to 25% of the award. Last year pupils visited West Wittering Beach in West Sussex and carried out an investigation into coastal transportation of sediment (longshore drift).

Key Stage 5

Students studying Geography at AS and A2 focus on a range of contemporary themes that run alongside more traditional elements. 

Many of our successful students go on to study Geography at undergraduate level at university.

AS topics include: natural hazards and energy issues. During Year 12 our students spend a week in Shropshire carrying out fieldwork spanning both physical and human elements of the course in preparation for the skills examination.

A2 topics include the geography of conflict, weather and climate and associate hazards and globalisation and development.

Year 13 students recently took part in a live Skype interview with Danny Fyffe in Timor Leste, Asia who is working with local farmers providing appropriate technology such as drip irrigation to improve the lives of Timorese people (‘Globalisation and Development’ unit of study).

We also look forward to speaking with Mark Notaras, former editor of Our World for the United Nations University (UNU) about his efforts working on Conflict Resolution in Timor in the aftermath of civil war there (‘Contemporary Conflicts and Challenges’ unit of study).

The future…

National Maritime Museum and The Queens House, Greenwich.

2014 is as very special year for us all at Archbishop Tenisons and in Geography it is all the more significant.

In 1714 the Longitude Act was passed which laid down a challenge (and offer of a lucrative prize) to anyone who could solve the biggest navigational problem known to man at that time: calculating the longitude of any given place on the Earth.  Exploration and world trade (essentially Geography) would reap the rewards of such a discovery.

We are planning on taking Year 7 to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to uncover the story of this important geographical discovery that started 300 years ago this year which provides excellent links to their Map skills unit of study.

Geography Club

The Geography department is also planning to start a Geography club this year. We hope to involve students in a range of activities and initiatives at lunchtime once a week.

Eco Schools Status

One such initiative that we hope to become involved in is the ‘Eco Schools’ programme where we will aim to improve our ecological footprint in the hope that we can achieve the ‘Green Flag’ award, an internationally acknowledged for environmental excellence.

The Royal Geographical Society

We are also very excited about our closer links with the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

We aim to work very closely with the RGS in piloting some of the new Geography Curriculum and by appointing some of our former students (now Geography undergraduates) as ‘Geography Ambassadors’ verified by the RGS.

Proposed Iceland Trip

Geography also has its eye on 2015 with a trip to Iceland pencilled in.

It would span all the Key Stages and form part of a ‘Geography Enrichment’ programme. Watch this space for further news and updates….

© Archbishop Tenison's CE High School