Geography is relevant to all of us and during lessons, we help pupils to find their place in the big geographical picture. Our geography lessons are full of up to date case studies. We look at the causes, impacts and responses to a range of processes and issues. We also look at how the world is changing and suggest sustainable solutions that will make things better for people, the economy and the environment.

Geographers at Aberdare Community School are encouraged to build up a range of geographical skills that can be applied across the curriculum. In particular, there is an emphasis on literacy and numeracy rich lessons.

All geographers at our school embark upon an amazing geographical journey both in and out of the classroom. Here is brief guide to the journey.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

This is where our geographical journey begins. We start by finding our place in the world by building up a range of geographical skills. We will take a journey along our very own Route 66, the A470. We will then use our skills to find a location for Hogwarts in Wales before carrying out our first investigation by looking at crime in our local area. We then focus on the massive problem of having 7 ½ billion people on our planet before using China as a case study. We finish our journey in year seven by looking at crumbling coastlines and tourism in Wales.

Topics for year 7:

  • What is geography?
  • Settlement Investigations
  • Overcrowded World
  • Welcome to China
  • Crumbling coastlines
  • Tourism

Year 8

Our journey in year 8 will take us through the cities of Brazil before arriving at the Amazon Rainforest. We will then look at wild weather before becoming hurricane investigators. Finally, we will look at the beautiful and diverse country of Italy. Our year 8 journey ends by looking at the problems of modern day Venice.

Topics for year 8:

  • Welcome to Brazil
  • Tropical Rainforest Investigators
  • Wild Weather
  • Hurricane Investigators
  • Beautiful Italy

Year 9

In year 9, our journey begins in the United States. We look at a range of issues including the management of crime in the city of Los Angeles, Tornado Alley and the sustainability of Las Vegas. In our big investigation for year 9, we will be deciding if we are responsible for the destruction of our planet through climate change. We will then move onto destruction of a different kind with volcanoes and earthquakes. In particular, we will look at what we can learn from the eruption of Vesuvius in Pompeii and the more recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami. We then move on to investigate the problems of the developing world with a focus on Ghana and the how the charity, WaterAid has made a difference. We will finish our journey in year nine by focusing on something closer to home, raging rivers and flash floods.

Topics for year 9:

  • USA Uncovered
  • Climate Change Investigators
  • Earthquakes and volcanoes
  • Unfair World - Poverty
  • Raging rivers and flash floods

Key Stage 4 (GCSE) - years 10 & 11

We are well prepared for year 10 because of all the fantastic work and effort we put into Key Stage 3.

We will be studying the WJEC Spec A for geography. Here is a breakdown of what we will be doing.

Our course is split into three units:

  • Unit 1 Core Geography (40%) with an examination at the end of year ten.
  • Unit 2 Options Geography (35%) with an examination at the end of year eleven.
  • Unit 3 Geographical Enquiry – Fieldwork (10%) and Decision Making Exercise (15%)

Topics for year 10:

Physical World
Flooding always seems to be in the news at the moment. We will build up our knowledge of rivers and the hydrological cycle. We will use case studies of floods on different scales. We will also make decisions about the best way forward to prevent flooding in the future.
Physical World
Climate Change
This is probably the most talked about issue in geography at the moment. We will look at the causes, short and long term impacts, along with responses and solutions to climate change. We will use case studies from both MEDCs and LEDCs.
Physical World
Living in an Active Zone
A geography classic – volcanoes and earthquakes. We will spend time understanding why and how they happen. We will also focus on how to manage such hazards in a world where so many people have no choice but to live in hazard zones.
Global World
Changing Populations
There are over 7 billion people living on our planet. Some experts say that this is a bigger threat to our existence than climate change. We will look at the causes, impacts and responses to the population explosion. We will also look at migration and the impacts in both LEDCs and MEDCs.
Global World
This is a word we hear a lot but how many of us really understand it? What does it really mean? Is it good or bad? Who are the winners and losers in world trade? What is so interesting about a red box? We will find out.
Global World
There is such a divide between rich and poor countries that we even have the terms MEDCs and LEDCs. Why do we live in such a divided world? How can we measure development? More importantly, what on earth can we do to make the world more equal? We will find out.

Topics for year 11:

Theme 9
Changing Coastlines
There are over 11,000 miles of coastline in the UK. The coastline is a battleground and we will be making a decision on the best way to protect the coastline against erosion and rising sea levels.
Theme 10
Tourism is the fastest growing industry in the World. We will look at the many different places where tourists go both in Wales and other places in the World. We will also investigate the positive and negative impacts of tourism and suggest sustainable solutions so everyone can benefit.
Theme 11
Retail and Urban Change
We will be looking at the day time and night time geography of Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay. We will also be looking at how our shopping habits impact upon the lives of people in developing countries.

We will also be completing two controlled assessments which will mean we will need to carry out some fieldwork. The locations for fieldwork will include Cardiff, the Pembrokeshire coastline and the Brecon Beacons. In the future, there will also be a trip to either Italy or Iceland to look at the management of volcanic activity.

Key Stage 4 GCSE Leisure and Tourism

This is an additional option which will run for the first time this year. We will be following the WJEC specification for GCSE Leisure and Tourism.

In this GCSE, we will be looking at the impact leisure and tourism has in a range of different locations around the World. This is a great GCSE to choose if you are interested in working in the leisure and tourism industry. The GCSE is assessed by examinations and controlled assessments in both year 10 and 11.

Year 10 Unit 1 Leisure and Tourism Choices
What does leisure and tourism mean? We will investigate what leisure and tourism actually means and the difference between them.
What makes up the leisure industry? We will look at sport and physical recreation, arts and entertainment, countryside recreation, home-based leisure, children's play activities, attractions and catering.
What makes up the tourism industry? We will look at travel agents, tour operators, tourist information, on-line travel services like Expedia and Trip Advisor, accommodation and catering.
Where does leisure and tourism take place? We will look at a massive range of places where leisure and tourism takes place including leisure centres, sports venues, National Parks, theme parks, coastlines etc.
How does leisure and tourism meet the needs of different people? We will look at the vast range of people who take part in leisure and tourism and the jobs that they create.
Year 11 Unit 2 Leisure and Tourism Destinations
Why do people travel? We will investigate how far people are prepared to travel to get to their choice of leisure or tourist activity.
How do they get there? We will look at the massive range of options available for getting to a destination and consider the impacts they have.
Where do people go? We will investigate the types of tourist destinations and consider the reason why people want to go there.

Key Stage 5 (WJEC - A Level Geography) - years 12 & 13

This is a fantastic opportunity to build on your knowledge about our world in the 21st Century. You will be studying key themes and case studies to understand the causes, impacts and responses to a range of physical and human processes and issues.

Year 12

G1 – Physical Environments

In this topic, we will study a range of physical environments. In particular, we will be investigating the causes, impacts and responses to climate change. We will also investigate tectonic hazards with a focus on recent earthquakes and volcanic activity. We will also be investigating rivers in detail with a special focus on the perils of flash flooding in both MEDCs and LEDCs.

All pupils will go on a fieldtrip to investigate one of these processes in more detail.

G2 – Human Environments

In this unit, we start by looking at the major challenges that over 7 billion people create on our planet. We will be looking at how and why population changes. In particular, there will be a focus on migration, disease, coping with high birth rates and the challenges we face with our ageing population. We will also be looking at settlement change in MEDCs with a special focus on the problems of inner city life and the changing countryside.

All pupils will go on a fieldtrip to investigate one of these topics in more detail.

Year 13

G3 – Contemporary Themes & Research

This is where we begin to look at specific topics in even more depth. On the physical side, we will look at extreme environments. In particular, we will look at the natural processes at work and how humans cope with extreme environments. On the human side, we investigate the issues surrounding development and approaches to solving the problem of extreme poverty.

We will also complete a fieldwork investigation based on a range of amazing topics.

G4 - Sustainability

This is a fantastic unit where we get to study 4 of the biggest issues facing us in the 21st Century, Each topic is based around the idea of sustainability and include:

  1. Sustainable Food supplies
  2. Sustainable Water Supplies
  3. Sustainable Energy
  4. Sustainable Cities