The aim of the department is to stimulate an interest, develop an understanding and encourage a love of learning about the world. The emphasis is on exploring the relationship between people and the environment and on finding out about places both in the local area, in the scenic Peak Park, in the UK and in the wider world.
Geography is taught throughout the school following the Common Entrance Syllabus, which has been recently updated. The syllabus requirement encompasses human, physical and environmental geographical issues. In Years 3, 4 and 5 the subject is taught by class teacher and there after it is taught by Geography specialists. Each pupil receives three lessons a week, with preps in addition for Year 7 and 8 children. The scholars are prepared for the requirements of their senior school.
A great variety of resources are used to deliver the curriculum including a wide range of books, written material, visual clips and use of ICT. Fieldwork is also an essential and stimulating ingredient of the course. All Year 8 pupils are expected to produce a fieldwork project which counts towards 20% of their Common Entrance mark. The school has just updated this component and it focuses on the local issue of whether quarrying should continue on Longstone Edge. A field day provides the opportunity for the pupils to see the quarry in action, collect their own data as well as experience the wealth of knowledge from outside speakers. The structured write up is thorough and this style of enquiry has proved to be invaluable for those who opt for Geography at GCSE at their senior schools.
To prepare our pupils, as well as stimulating an interest in the local area, each year from 3 upwards conducts some local fieldwork. This ranges from visiting a local farm to investigating the school microclimate to understanding the problems of engineering the Monsal Dale railway through the heart of the Peak District National Park. We get outside as much as possible to enhance the learning in the classroom setting and help children recognise and think about this pristine Peak National Park environment we are lucky to be situated within.