Miss S. McKeown

Miss A. Callaghan

S1 Geography

Geography is delivered to each S1 class as part of a whole Social Subjects course by the same teacher throughout the year. The first half of the year covers the overall theme of Scotland, so in Geography we look at how the landscape was formed through glaciation, weathering and erosion. We also learn map skills and other Geography skills like drawing graphs and doing field sketches.

The second half of the year is more diverse as we look at Brazil in Geography – studying the contrasts between living in the city of Sao Paulo and living in the Amazon Rainforest.

S2 Geography

In S2, pupils will be taught by a specialist teacher, where possible, in a rotation system where they will spend approximately 5-6 weeks on each topic and will move between class rooms

The first unit in Geography focuses on Natural Disasters as we study how they are caused, how to predict them, how to limit the damage caused and also what kind of short term or long term aid is required to help countries to rebuild. There is a slightly different approach to homework in this unit as pupils are asked to research a topic for a presentation, with a twist!

The second unit in S2 concentrates on cities and coastal areas as an introduction to aspects of the physical and human environment courses covered in National 4-6.

S3 Geography

This course covers a wide range of topics building towards next year’s National 4 or 5 qualifications as we introduce pupils to some new skills and topics under the main headings of Physical Geography, Human Geography and Global Issues. There will also be a project towards the end of the year which will build understanding of what will be required the following year in their Assignment in all future National levels.

Topics covered in S3 will include Ordnance Survey Map Skills, Weather, Glaciation, Rivers, Population, Settlement, Trade and Aid. All of these are studied in greater detail in later years throughout the higher levels and so our new S3 course gives a good grounding for National 4, National 5 and Higher.

National 4

National 4 level is assessed in school and has no final exam. In order to pass this, each pupil must successfully negotiate all of the Outcomes in the assessment materials throughout the year. An individual Added Value Unit Project should also be completed to finalise a pass.

Successful completion of National 4 level will not necessarily mean the pupil is ready to move on to National 5 level as the standard of individual input increases dramatically, particularly in the area of the Assignment

National 5

The National 5 course has an Assignment which is worth 20 marks. These are sent to SQA before the final exams and results are added to the final exam to give an overall grade.

Throughout the year, there are individual assessments which not only test knowledge and understanding of the subject, but also the skills required in answering the questions. There will be a Prelim exam in January/February which will assess the pupils under conditions designed to replicate the final exams.

Topics covered in both of these courses are:

  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Global Issues (two from: Environmental Hazards, Climate Change, Development & Health

The final exam lasts for 2 hours 20 minutes and has three sections (as above) with a mixture of compulsory questions and a choice of Physical Geography topics. There are 80 marks available in this exam, giving a total of 100 marks when added to the Assignment.

Pupils are encouraged to attend any field trips arranged throughout the year to ensure success in the National 5 assignment.

National 6

Having successfully completed a National 5 course, the pupils will then go on to complete a National 6 (Higher) course. This follows on with the introduction of some completely new topics and a deeper study of other topics which have already been looked at briefly in earlier years. There will be separate skills-based questions throughout the year and also in the final exam at the end of the year.

An Assignment must be completed which shows a greater understanding of the topic and a greater use of geographical skills than used previously. This ideally requires attendance at a Field Trip in order to obtain the information required.

Topics covered at National 6 level will include:

  • Physical Geography
  • Human Geography
  • Global Issues (River Basin Management, Development & Health)

These topics, including skills-based questions, will mainly be covered in the final exam, although pupils can choose a topic from them to research for their individual Assignment. There will be a Prelim exam in January/February and the Assignment will have to be completed and sent to SQA before the final exam

The final exam is now only one Paper worth 60 marks which lasts 2 hours 15 minutes. It includes compulsory questions from Physical Geography and Human Geography and a choice of two questions (from 5) in Global Issues.. There is also a section called “Application of Geographical Skills” included in the paper. The four sections are worth a total of 60 marks – usually 15 each for Physical and Human Geography, 20 for Global Issues and 10 for Application of Geographic Skills. There is a greater focus on Knowledge and Understanding in this paper.

The Assignment is worth 30 marks and here the emphasis is greater on the skills used in gathering and preparing the information used.