Pupils are encouraged to look at their world and ask questions...
Why is the land the shape it is?
Why is that supermarket there?
What can I do about Global Warming?
The Geography Department at Hamilton College tries to answer these and many more questions to help young people make sense of their environment. This is important in order that they can find their place in the world and understand and accept their responsibilities as a Global Citizen of the twenty first century.
Pupils develop an understanding of basic Geography in S1 & S2. National 4/5, Higher and Advanced Higher Geography are all offered.
S1 & S2 Geography
We start with an introduction to Britain's Weather and a look at major weather hazards. We then get some practice in using the Atlas and maps. The focus then moves on to The Empty Lands: Changing Lands and Landscapes.
We pick up in S2 with issues surrounding our divided world i.e. Rich World/Poor World and then we move onto our dynamic earth by looking at volcanoes and earthquakes. We finish the year by looking at farming in the UK.
National 4/5 Geography
Geography is the study of places and of the inter-relationships of people within them. Increasingly, geographers are concerned with the ‘global village’ – the interdependence of all the earth’s people and the increasing pressures on the environment.
Skills and Knowledge
A broad overview of the subject skills, knowledge and understanding that will be covered in the course includes:
- developing and applying knowledge and understanding and geographic skills across contexts drawn from physical environments, human environments, and global issues
- researching and using information collected from a range of sources about geographical issues
- using mapping skills (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps) and research skills (including fieldwork skills)
- interpreting and evaluating information from a range of sources, including maps
- using a range of numerical and graphical information
- demonstrating a basic knowledge and understanding of the physical environment of Scotland and/or the United Kingdom
- demonstrating a basic knowledge and understanding of the human environment in a global context through the comparative study of developed and developing countries, and giving explanations
- demonstrating a basic knowledge and understanding of selected global issues by describing information which is mainly factual but has some theoretical content, and giving explanations.
Learning and Teaching Methods
This resource-based course uses up-to-date textbooks, worksheets, maps and video resources. Pupils are encouraged to collect news items and to use their own observations. Direct class teaching, group work and individual research are all used to deliver the course.
A qualification in geography can lead to a wide variety of careers in business, planning, tourism and other areas. It also enhances pupils appreciation of places they travel to, they're understanding of environmental issues and generally encourages pupils to become well-informed citizens.
Intermediate 2 Geography
The current S4 are following an Intermediate Course presenting mostly at Intermediate 2 but also at Intermediate 1 where appropriate.
There are 3 Large Units:
About 1 hour each week with a quick test and an Ink Exercise approximately every two weeks
Assessments (Internal and External)
SQA - 3 NABs plus final exam
Candidates who are successful in achieving an Intermediate 2 award can then progress onto Higher Geography in S5 or S6.
The purpose of this course is to add breadth and depth to the conceptual understanding of physical and human environments and their inter-relationships. Pupils would normally be expected to have attained a pass at Intermediate 2 level, or National 5
The course is made up of three mandatory units
- Physical Environments - These are the key areas of physical knowledge, which include a number of themes identified at Intermediate 2/National 5
- Human Environments - These are the key areas of human knowledge, which include a number of themes identified at Intermediate 2/National 5
- Environmental Interactions - Two core areas are extended and investigated via ‘real life’ case studies.
Fact sheets and worksheets supplement modern textbooks. Maps and videos continue to be used and classes are led on a seminar basis and discussion is encouraged.
Varied activities are set. These may include ink exercises, quick tests, researching, revising and re-reading course work on a weekly basis.
Advanced Higher Geography
The Advanced Higher in Geography is designed to develop a greater maturity of outlook by providing the opportunity for independent study in depth.
The course consists of three units:-
- Geographical Methods and Techniques – examination paper - 30% of final award.
- Geographical study. This is a piece of work to cover a maximum of 25 A4 pages – 40% of final award.
- Geographical Issues. An issue must be investigated and sources critically evaluated – 30% of final award.
METHODOLOGY AND HOMEWORK
The pupil, in consultation with the teacher, must select from the content of the course, original pieces of work to complete on a thematic basis. This demands great maturity as the award is based upon a considerable amount of independent study. Integral to the course is a number of fieldwork excursions in the local area. This takes place throughout the year in order to prepare the students to complete their own Geographical study.