Head of Department: Mr K Vane
The Geography department is a very successful department both inside and outside the classroom. Excellent continued examination success has allowed students to follow many different career paths from medicine and veterinary to planning, environmentalism, politics or fashion. We are proud of them all, but particularly those who choose to carry on their studies in Geography, Geology, and Geography related subjects. Enabling all of this is an excellent team of experienced and very dedicated teachers who are passionate about all things geographical.
At A-level, students are taught by two teachers specialising in either physical or human geography. Here there are two teaching groups, while each year of GCSE has three or four groups. Also offered is a successful Sixth Form enrichment activity of GCSE Geology in one year, using our large school collection of rocks, minerals and fossils comprising many hundreds of catalogued specimens. We are grateful to Geologist Dr Maggie Williams (Honorary Visiting Senior Fellow, School of Environmental Sciences at University of Liverpool) and to the late Miss Potts (former Head of Geography) for the generous donations that have allowed us to develop the collection into such a fabulous resource.
Each year we organise around 20 fieldwork visits and other trips. Indeed recently, 40 days were spent ‘learning outside of the classroom’ in one academic year. Our visits range from studying urban rebranding in Liverpool to the redevelopment of the Lea Valley in Stratford, London. The stunning scenery of Britain is seen with annual visits to the Yorkshire Dales (Yr. 8), Snowdonia and the Clwydians (Yr. 12). All Year 7 students visit the beautiful nearby Hilbre Island in a joint Geography /Biology fieldtrip. At GCSE the aim is to bring the text book alive with residential visits to the North-east to measure and follow the stunning River Tees from source to sea as well as working along the fast disappearing Holderness Coast. ‘A’ level students learn fieldwork skills in a 3-day residential trip to the Lake District. In a global dimension, all exam class students (years 9 to 13) have the opportunity to visit Iceland in February, as well as the new biannual 17-day field expedition to China. Both these expeditions, and the whole school project expedition currently changing from China to Malawi are organised by the Geography department.
Key Stage 3 and 4 teams regularly used to participate in the Merseyside World Wise Quiz events, winning the Senior Quiz in 2016, with further enrichment opportunities provided by our model club making the stunning landscape models used in teaching at all levels.
Geography is located in one corridor (the ‘A Corridor’) in the same set of four rooms used for the subject since the school opened, though today each are equipped with large iTVs. Tablets are used in fieldwork along with the best of specialist data collecting equipment from hydrovanes to a full wireless weather station sending information from the school roof to the display screen in the corridor. Our department drone allows us to access difficult locations especially on geology fieldwork. The department has used e-learning for a number of years now with extensive in-house online Geography library of resources that students at all levels can access through the school’s virtual learning environment.