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‘….suddenly it becomes more than a subject. Geography becomes the knowledge. The knowledge of the planet, how everything works and how it is all inter-connected. It becomes what geography has always been for me – a fusion of the power of the imagination and the hard truths of science. Geography is all about the living, breathing essence of the world we live in. It explains the past, illuminates the present and prepares us for the future. What could be more important than that?’

Michael Palin

The Geography Department is an innovative and forward thinking department which empowers students with the skills and knowledge required to understand the complex world around them. Geography is a comprehensive, facilitating subject that encompasses the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live. What’s not to love?

Key Stage 3

At key stage 3, students cover a wide range of topics and develop a variety of geographical skills which serve to create a sense of curiosity about the world and to prepare them for the new rigorous GCSE specification. Key topics include: natural hazards, urban environments, river systems, tourism, the geography of crime and conflict, globalisation, ecosystems, development, superpower geographies and climate change. We encourage learning outside of the classroom for all year groups to enable students to apply their knowledge to local contexts. We also endeavour to make frequent cross-curricular links with other departments such as Science, English, ICT, History and Maths in order to help students develop as well rounded learners.

Key Stage 4

Geography GCSE numbers have greatly increased in recent years, so much so that Geography is the most popular option subject at GCSE with over 70% of Year 9 students opting to study with us.

At KS4, students will study the AQA GCSE Geography specification. This exciting course is based on a balanced framework of physical and human geography. It allows students to investigate the synoptic links between the two themes, and approach and examine the battles between the man-made and natural worlds.

Key physical geography topics include:

  • Natural Hazards
  • Extreme weather and climate change
  • Coastal and river landscapes
  • Ecosystems, tropical rainforests and cold environments

Key human geography topics include:

  • Urban issues and challenges
  • The changing economic world
  • How we manage resources (water and energy)

Students also complete a compulsory 3-day fieldtrip to Wales in order to carry out a variety of primary research methods on two of the topics above.

The geographical content and assessment methods used in this specification provide students with skills and experience to progress onto A-level and beyond.

Learning Outside the Classroom

Fieldwork is integral in helping students develop essential geographical skills and deepening understanding of content that was learnt in the classroom. At MHCHS we offer field trips throughout key stage 3-5. These include residential field trips to South Wales and the Pembrokeshire coastline plus day trips to The London Docklands, Walton on the Naze and localised fieldwork in Mill Hill. The department also offer a trip to Iceland every two years to students who study Geography at GCSE and A level.

Career Prospects

Geography students are in high demand from employers because they gain a wide range of skills and knowledge, developed through the stimulating use of contemporary issues and real-world examples. Even though many geographers end up in directly related jobs, the importance of geography lies in the number of basic skills it provides which individuals can 'market'. More and more geographers are now finding themselves in jobs that include medicine, banking, advertising, the media, business management, law and the armed forces. These careers may not appear directly geographically related, but they utilise more general skills and attributes such as the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, the application of methodical working techniques, the ability to view problems from a number of angles and some general knowledge of the world.

The revolution in Information Technology of recent years has been seized upon by geographers who use IT for data collection and analysis through the development of sophisticated computer- based Geographical Information Systems (GIS). We are in a world where over 80% of information is spatially based, and so GIS is an essential tool within business organisations and government.

Furthermore the nature of our lives is changing. It is less likely that someone will spend all their life in one company or organisation (the so-called ‘job for life’). If your career path is to be varied you will need to develop transferable skills and you will need to be flexible. Geography fosters these qualities and provides a firm base for life-long learning.

What the students are saying…

“Geography is such a fascinating subject and the teachers work hard to share their enthusiasm for it with us, whilst helping us achieve our best in exams.” A Bell, 2017

“Geography isn’t just colouring maps and diagrams- it’s just as important as maths and science. It takes hard work and determination which is motivated by the fantastic teachers we have, who are there to support you and guide you along the way, making it enjoyable.” J Vagjiani, 2017

'The teachers in the MHCHS Geography department portray both their passion and enthusiasm for Geography when teaching, and this really inspired me to engage within the subject and develop a keen interest to study it at degree level'. #LoveGeography #DiscoverTheWorld V Jain, 2017