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Aims & Philosophy of the Geography Department

We believe that the study of Geography enables girls to be better prepared as future world citizens. The Geography department aims to give students an informed appreciation for the ever-changing world in which they are growing up, and in which they will live and work as adults. We believe that Geography can excite our curiosity and strengthen our understanding of many contemporary issues. Through the study of global challenges such as climate change, water conflicts, food security and biodiversity we can become more knowledgeable and this knowledge then empowers us to be able to think through problems, make decisions and find solutions.

Fostering an awareness and empathy towards other societies, in their many cultural and environmental settings, is an essential theme in Geography. In order to achieve this understanding, we aim to identify the values and attitudes which influence lifestyles and changes in such societies. Furthermore it is necessary to appreciate that all people depend absolutely upon the atmosphere, soils, water and the “web of life” for their existence and that attempts to intervene in natural environments have to take full account of the processes at work. The concept of sustainable development is crucial in this respect.

Overview of Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Throughout Years I-III we offer a range of topics which are both stimulating and relevant to the girls’ experiences. Topic areas include both human and physical Geography topics:  settlement, agriculture, weather and climate, coasts, rivers, population, ecosystems, aid and development, hazards, tourism and global manufacturing. We also develop girls’ skills with both maps and atlases.

We cover a range of scales from local examples such as York’s land use and coastal erosion along Holderness to global case studies such as Philippines and Typhoon Haiyan. We recognise that girls often have a wealth of geographical experience through travel both overseas and at home and we encourage them to bring their wider knowledge into the classroom to share with others. The dynamic nature of Geography means we approach some elements of the course with a degree of flexibility, always open to using new examples that appear in the news so we can be as up-to-date as possible.

What makes the department unique from those at other schools?

The Geography department at QM is a robust and active area of school. Across all school years, the department works diligently to maintain an active schedule of field work trips to locations both local and further afield to encourage the girls to further develop their understanding and skills sets related to the subject.

The department also maintains a twitter account, @QMGeography.

To learn about the Geography Department
curriculum in other Key Stages please choose a link