At Key Stage Three all pupils study Geography for three periods per fortnight. During this time, pupils are introduced to a wide range of geographical knowledge and skills. Textbooks provide the background while use of information and communication technology helps to encourage research skills. In particular pupils in Form 2 have the opportunity to access the crime statistics from an on-line G.I.S. (Geographic Information System) called NINIS (Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service).
In Form 1 we investigate the geography and weather of the B.R.A. site. In Form 2 the pupils investigate the coastline at Holywood, County Down. They examine coastal defence measures including groynes, sea walls and rock armour. They also determine water percolation rates at different locations on the beach. This work is then submitted to their class teachers as a completed report. In Form 3 our provision is currently under review. At Key Stage 4 they use the ICT suite to help produce some of the graphical techniques required for their Controlled Assessment report.
At Key Stage Four we follow the CCEA Geography specification. Again, fieldwork plays a significant role in the curriculum. The Controlled Assessment component is valued at 25% of the GCSE award and allows for collection, analysis and presentation of information. The tasks vary from year to year and are set by the awarding body CCEA. The remaining 75% is by examination of six themes in both physical and human geography.
A-level builds on the knowledge and skills acquired at Key Stages Three and Four. At A2 level decision-making is introduced. Fieldwork includes gathering data for their AS examination based on the Urban Heat Island effect and in Form M6 we examine coastal protection at Dundrum Bay and Newcastle in Co. Down.