Geography Department News – Autumn Term 2022

Lower School Geography

As we draw towards the end of a long but productive term, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the fantastic work on display in the Geography Department at the moment.

In Year 7, students have created cardboard contour landscapes that have really helped their understanding of how to interpret OS maps.

Year 8 have produced some fantastic Bob the Boulder storyboards, giving them an overview of the process, landforms and changes we see in rivers as they flow from source to mouth. Bob has had some wild adventures!

Year 9 have been working on the global fashion industry, and have explored the geography of a pair of jeans, looking at the materials and transport used to get them to shops near us.

GCSE Geography

Year 10 have not long completed their first go at a GCSE assessment and overall, we were pleased with the results. Remember, Year 10 that MRIs and lots of practise makes perfect!  Well done on hitting the ground running this term and making a flying start to the GCSE course. Onwards and upwards!

A particular well done to our Year 11 GCSE Geographers; it has been a long term with a period of Mock exams at the start of November. The Geography Mock results were pleasing overall, and we have some detailed performance analysis with classes. Year 11 are on their second to last topic from the syllabus content, meaning we will be able to embark on an extended period of revision, exam practise and preparation. Keep your eyes on the prize, Year 11!

Some Christmas Geography

Below are a couple of interesting maps that I have found that detail the different meals used to celebrate Christmas and some of the more unusual Christmas traditions around the world. One that isn’t on the map that I found bizarre was that Christmas dinner in Japan is KFC!

Have a great holiday and if you are celebrating Christmas, don’t forget to ask Santa for a globe of your very own (make sure you recycle all that packaging).  Merry Christmas from Mr Bowles, Mr Ward and Mrs Singleton. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Mr Bowles

Curriculum Leader for Geography

Bob the Boulder

Once again this year, Year 8 have had fun working on the life story of everyone’s favourite rock, Bob the Boulder! The level of creativity combined with the excellent Geographical content have blown me away. Images of some of my favourite pieces of work are below, and if you want a closer look, you can come down and check out the Bob Gallery on the Humanities corridor. 

Special mention goes to Evie F; yet another amazing model to accompany her work. She has picked up where she left off last year on her Year 7 Treasure Map. Well done, Evie – geotastic!

Mr Bowles

Curriculum Leader for Geography

Literature and Languages Festival

Our Literature and Languages Festival took place from 10th October to the 21st October. A variety of activities, competitions and events took place and it was a huge success. Please click the link below to view the newsletter articles about the festival.

Geography Department News

A big welcome back to all students after what we hope was a fun holiday filled of opportunities to explore new places and landscapes. Been anywhere interesting? Tell us about it. We are currently putting together a display of souvenirs and trinkets from around the world and we would welcome any additions.

A particularly big welcome to our new GCSE Geographers in Year 10. We are looking forward to getting to know you better and nurturing your love and interest for this wonderful subject. Also, a welcome to our new junior Geographers in Year 7.

Geography Subject Progress Leaders

We are delighted to announce that Caitlyn J and Hannah B have been appointed as our Progress Leaders for this academic year. These two dedicated, committed and enthusiastic Year 10 GCSE Geographers will lead the way in terms of extra-curricular provision and academic support for Years 7 to 9 this year.

What will we study this half term?

Year 7 – Being a Geographer! Baseline knowledge such as continents, oceans, countries and Lancashire towns, before moving onto cartography – map making!

Year 8 – River Landscapes. What river processes shape the landscape, why rivers flood and what we can do to reduce the threat.

Year 9 – Extreme Environments. We will focus on the hot deserts of the world; what they are like, why they are there and how they are spreading.

Year 10 – Coastal Landscapes & Management. What processes shape our beautiful coastline and how living there can often be a battle with the elements.

Year 11 – Changing Cities. Sao Paulo is the biggest city in the Americas and it faces some massive challenges. How can they be tackled?

Mr Bowles

Curriculum Leader for Geography

Geography – Summer Term News 2022

Volcano Competition Winners

Further to the article on the Year 9 Volcano Model Competition Winners last time round, the winning trio have been along to the Geography Department to collect their prizes. Well done again to Fatimah Zahra P, Mariya M and Safiyyah M.  The winning entry is below. Enjoy the lava lamps, girls!

Where’s Earthy?

Email your answer to g.bowles@penworthamgirls.lancs.sch.uk. You must be as specific as possible with your answer. Bonus Question! Which two cities does the bridge in the photo link together?

The Geography Libraries

A reminder that the Geography Department have both a small physical and a virtual library that students can access to further read around the subject.

Outside Room 39, students can find books on maps, oceans, travel, mountains and many more. Have a look, find something you fancy and bring the book to Mr Bowles to sign out. New books have been added recently, all related to recent topics of study.

In the SharePoint of their school Office 365 account, students will find the Geography Virtual Library (once in SharePoint, you can search for it).

Here, students will find separate pages for each year group containing suggested reading for those keen and interested Geographers. Clicking on a book cover will give you a sample of the book, usually about 20-30 pages, and if you like it you can track it down on Amazon, second hand on eBay or at your local bookshop.

Have a great break

Remember, you are always a Geographer, both in the classroom and away from it so try to spread your wings a little and see some of our local countryside if you can. If you are going further afield, have fun and be a respectful and interested tourist.  Regardless of where you are off to, don’t forget to send us a postcard from your travels. Have a great summer and bon voyage from Mr Bowles, Mr Ward and Mrs Singleton.

(PS – don’t forget to send a postcard to the Geography Department for our collection!)

Mr Bowles,

Curriculum Leader for Geography

Year 9 Volcano Competition

Once again, the submissions for this year’s Volcano Model Project from Year 9 students have been absolutely OUTSTANDING! The Geography department are in agreement that the standard is as high, if not higher, than it has ever been – we don’t know how they do it! This year, we feel the students have really pushed themselves to be as creative as they can. We have had students making volcanoes from papier-mâché, builders foam, modelling clay and of course lots of CAKE! We have also seen the introduction of a knitted volcano and some Lego entries. We are really impressed with the level of detail that the students are going into and would like to thank them for the time and hard work they have put into creating such amazing pieces of work!

Merits and Head’s Commendations were awarded to a large number of entries so the students need to come and check their volcanoes. The staff have also selected their personal favourites and decided on an overall winner…

Highly Commended:

Staff picks:

The winner:

Overall Winner: We all loved this model by Fatimah-Zahra P, Mariya M and Safiyyah M. The magma chamber is located well below ground level, which many models get wrong. The cutaway section has clear layers, the annotations are detailed and accurate (many models had very brief labels) and finally the cotton wool ash cloud was great! Well done, girls!

Mr Bowles
Curriculum leader for Geography

The Geography Libraries

A reminder that the Geography department have both a small physical and a virtual library that students can access to read further around the subject.

Outside room 39, students can find books on maps, oceans, travel, mountains and many more. Have a look, find something you like and bring the book to Mr Bowles to sign out. New books have been added recently that all relate to recent topics of study.

In the SharePoint of their school Office 365 account, students will find the Geography Virtual Library, (once in SharePoint you can search for it). Here, students will find separate pages for each year group containing suggested reading for all interested Geographers. Clicking on a book cover will give you a sample of the book, usually about 20-30 pages, and if you like it, you can track it down on Amazon, second hand on eBay or at your local bookshop.

Mr Bowles

Curriculum Leader for Geography

Geography Department News Spring 2022

Hello Geographers! Another eventful term is coming to a close and as always, the standard of work and enthusiasm seen by the Geography staff have really impressed us.  

Year 11 – the home straight!

Just this week, Year 11 classes have completed the GCSE course content, meaning we can now look ahead to an effective and focused period of exam preparation. As we checked through the notes produced over the two-year course, I was struck by the quality of the work and feel confident that the Year 11 students have the foundations on which to build great success in Geography. The Department will provide a suggested study programme for the Easter break and beyond.  There are also a wealth of materials and past papers available on the SharePoint for each Year 11 class.

On the 3rd and 4th March, we had our Year 11 fieldtrip to survey the River Calder to the north east of Garstang.  This gave pupils an insight into the work of hydrologists. We surveyed the depth, width, velocity and bedload of the river and calculated discharge from our data. Aside from a few wet socks, we came through the trip unscathed, although Mr Ward had a close call when chasing after one of our floats down the river! Thanks to the accompanying staff and to the students, who despite some poor weather were full of enthusiasm and took their responsibilities to collect good quality data very seriously.

Year 9

Year 9 are currently embarking on a real Geography classic – tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes. This topic is fundamental to understanding our planet and we have committed to teaching it at almost GCSE standard to give students a flavour of the levels expected on the course and to smooth the transition to Year 10.

Year 7

The current topic of study on population and migration is particularly topical. The UN predicts that they will declare the ‘Day of 8 Billion’ at some time in late 2022 or the first quarter of 2023.  This will be a milestone for human population and one we may struggle to cope with. The second part of the topic will look at migration and this will see us focus on those fleeing Ukraine, the largest movement of refugees in Europe since World War II.  We will look at the routes, destinations and struggles that those people face.

Geography Club

Attendance at Geography Club has slowly but steadily climbed through the course of this term. We have delved into the Geography games cupboard and dug deeper into some of our topics of study. After Easter, we will get out and about, utilising the school grounds to explore fieldwork and our local area.  If you would like an early lunch pass for this club please see Mr Bowles. Club is at lunch time on Monday in Room 39.

Easter Holidays – a chance to see some Geography

There have been some excellent programmes on T.V. lately that fit nicely with our topics of study.

In Year 9, there is ‘Fierce Earth’ which is available on BBC iPlayer, which has episodes on earthquakes and volcanoes

For Year 8, there is another BBC series, ‘Earth’s Great Rivers’, again available on BBC iPlayer, which really helps with the understanding of a river as a system, travelling from source to mouth.

In Year 7, there are a couple of good Stacey Dooley documentaries out there about migration (‘Migrant Kids in Crisis’ and ‘Border Wars’).  Parents, please be advised that both come with warnings about upsetting scenes.

Better than all of these is of course getting out into some Geography! Walk up a hill or along a river/canal, visit somewhere new on the train, go and explore a piece of the coast that you have not been to before; Geography is all around us! Have a lovely break.

Earthy has his selfie stick out for this one, but where is he? Answers to g.bowles@penworthamgirls.lancs.sch.uk. Class Chart Medals for all entries and a prize for the first correct answer.

Mr Bowles

Curriculum Leader for Geography

  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • SMART
  • UNICEF
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider
  • Arts Council England - Artsmark Gold
  • Lancashire Socio-economic Equality Badge
  • SMART
  • UNICEF
  • School Mental Health Award
  • Ofsted - Outstanding Provider