‘My Geography teacher at school inspired me to a lifelong interest in Geography and a curiosity about our world which has stayed with me through my life. Geography is a living, breathing subject, constantly adapting itself to change. … For me Geography is a great adventure with a purpose’. Michael Palin OBE
Geography is a contemporary and diverse subject. Through a balanced curriculum at St. Anthony’s, we investigate features of both the human and physical world and how they intertwine. Through our teaching, we aim to highlight important characteristics of the Earth’s major physical systems and interdependence of people, places and environments. There is no better time to be studying Geography, whether it be the myriad issues facing our planet, or the human decisions which shape their response, cultivating independent thinkers, curious investigators, and equipping our future leaders with a sense of awe and wonder about our world is central to the Geography Department here.
Producing the next generation of digital cartographers, marine geologists, or United Nations ambassadors, takes a deep understanding of how the world works: scientifically, environmentally and, increasingly, politically. Understanding the geo-politics behind Earth systems is key in appreciating the scale of the problem facing humanity, and we encourage the boys to debate, ask questions and design solutions to problems such as plastic waste and urban sustainability, both of which produce rich project based work in Years 5 and 6.
From Foundation Stage through to Common Entrance in Year 8, the emphasis is on engaging learning. Geography is taught as a discrete subject from Year 1 and above and involves an equal mix of Physical and Human topics which range from River Systems to Urban Planning, Volcanology, Transport and Settlement Geography and Coastal Management. There is also a strong emphasis on map work from the early years upwards, including the mastery of locational knowledge.
Boys also complete a coursework element in Year 8, worth 20% of total Common Entrance marks. Data are collected during a field trip in the Easter term in Year 7, during which the boys appreciate the value of outdoor education, and that whilst classroom Geography may be stimulating, the real knowledge and application are outside, in the world around us.
Engendering environmentally responsible, globally aware citizens, who are ready for the challenges of the 21st Century and beyond, has been, and remains the core mission of the Geography Department, and mirrors St. Anthony’s core tenets of compassion, kindness and respect for others and our environment.
Boys are not only prepared for the challenge of the Common Entrance examinations but are also stretched well beyond the traditional curriculum, including preparation for scholarship examinations such as the Westminster Challenge. Boys begin the Geography Common Entrance syllabus at the beginning of Year 6 to fully prepare them for the rigors of Common Entrance and beyond. Following, but not being bound by the Common Entrance Geography syllabus, allows our geographers to really explore global issues, and for growth mindsets to be developed within global dilemma scenarios: How exactly can global agreements such as the Paris Accord make a difference? Can technology solve global issues? How can we plan for a crowded future planet in a sustainable way? What role do Trans-National Corporations have in the development of our world?