Balwearie High School

Geography

What do we study?

In the Geography Department we deal with the Physical World including topics such as Weather, the processes which cause it and weather forecasting. Landscape features like mountains, rivers and coasts and the processes which form and change them are another key topic area.  We look at the changing surface of our planet under plate tectonics incorporating the risks that earthquakes and volcanos pose. We also study the science behind why climates change and the global and local systems which cause them to do so. Finally, we also investigate natural regions like rainforests and the ecosystems they support.

To balance the physical Geography that we study we incorporate several Human and Global Topics. These include studies in Inequality, patterns of "Rich and Poor", standards of living and development issues in various countries around the world. We analyse urban areas; their development, change and planning. We focus on cities in Britain and around the world - we also deal with Industrial landscapes and their development in this context.  We study rural landscapes, with a particular focus on food production and change.

 

Staff members:

Mrs G Mearns - PT Guidance (Tyrie)

Mr I Hannah

 

Courses:

S1:

The S1 course seeks to introduce our youngsters to the basic skills in Geography such as atlas work and direction finding whilst also building up essential knowledge of world and British Geography.

The course is divided into the following units:

  1. Exploring your world and introducing aspects of UK weather and climate. This includes the main types of weather, why different parts of the UK have different climates and the importance of water and the water cycles in these phenomena.
  2. Looking at climate Biomes of the rainforest and tundra. Focusing in on the unique wildlife to that area, how humans have adapted to living in these situations and the threats that are posed to these unique environments.

S2:

Our course in S2 continues to focus and improve the geographical skills of our pupils by looking at the following areas:

  1. Earth forces: an investigation into earthquakes and volcanoes which involves plenty of active learning opportunities.
  2. How earthquakes and volcanos are predicted and the various ways in which vulnerable areas can protect themselves.
  3. Looking at the risk and damage that recent tsunamis have caused in the world.

S3:

Our S3 curriculum is divided into sub-units to allow pupils to explore elements of human and physical Geography while developing their Geographical skills and expertise. These subunits will include global tourism and its role in positive and negative impacts around the world. Understanding how different parts of the world are developed and the different health concerns that affect more developed and less developed countries. Improving maps skills and introducing Ordnance Survey maps into the lexicon.

S4 - National 4/5:

The National 4 and 5 courses are a stimulating and exciting opportunity to carry forward your studies in Geography. The course involves practical hands on learning in the class room and outside in the form of scientific fieldwork.

  • Climate Change Learn how this fast-moving scientific field is affecting our future. 
  • Development and Health.
  • Limestone Environments Learn to use maps and to explain the formation of this beautiful scenery
  • Rural Spaces Understand how modern farming has changed in the Developed and Developing worlds
  • Human Populations Address key current issues such as birth rates, death rates and population growth.
  • Urban Spaces Understand how developed and developing world cities are changing.
  • Weather Studies Understand the science and social impacts of weather systems in the UK
  • River Environments Learn to use maps and to understand flood prevention.

Added Value project A fieldtrip and write up of the scientific techniques we use to gather data on both the natural and human environments.

 

Higher Geography

Our successful Department teaches a varied and stimulating package of topics in preparation for the Higher exams in Geography. These exciting and dynamic courses will give youngsters the chance to independently gather fieldwork data and scientifically analyse it as part of an organized programme of fieldwork. We emphasise exam preparation throughout and keep parents updated with test progress on a regular basis. All resources including dedicated video lessons which afford your child the opportunity to watch a lesson before it is taught and again after as revision, all topic workbooks, revision guides, model answers and interactive games are available to pupils of Balwearie High School’s Geography Department via its dedicated website www.geographygeeks.com. The website is password protected however access details are available from any Geography teacher on request.

  • Physical Environments: investigating physical landscapes, atmospheric studies, hydrology, and biosphere.
  1. Human Environments: investigating the human world of cities, agriculture, and demographics.
  2. Global Issue: investigating the topics of climate change, water borne disease and international development. 

 

National 4/5 Travel & Tourism

There are four units in the N4/5 Travel and Tourism Course: -

  • UK and World
  • Customer Service
  • Scotland
  • Employability

Unit Content
UK and World: Pupils will learn about the impact that mass tourism can have on destinations around the world. They will study three locations where they will research different tourist attractions. They will also develop their literacy, numeracy, and organisational skills by researching and planning a travel itinerary for a customer. Lastly, they will write a report on tourism trends in the world.

Customer Service: Experiential learning and role play is used in this unit to help pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of the customer service industry. Here pupils will learn the skills of upselling and complaint handling.

Scotland: Pupils will learn about the impact that mass tourism can have on destinations around the Scotland, including Glasgow and the Isle of Skye. They will study three locations where they will research different tourist attractions. They will also develop their literacy, numeracy, and organisational skills by researching and planning a travel itinerary for a customer. Lastly, they will write a report on tourism trends in Scotland.

Employability: Here pupils will finish the course by studying three job roles in the travel and tourism industry. They will undertake an audit of their own skills and develop a CV in relation to a job role.