Geography Department – Further Information
A very wise American politician by the name of Judy Martz, said ‘Everything has to do with
Geography’. Whilst it may not be in the context of prep school Geography, the sentiment is
very much adhered to. Geography is a wide ranging subject, not only in a worldly context,
but across the curriculum, including elements of Science, Mathematics and History. This is
how we teach the subject. Right from the start we want the children to start making sense of
the world around them, whether it be in the school grounds or what is happening around
the world at the present time.
The Head of Geography is responsible for the organisation of the subject throughout the
Pre-Prep and Prep Department. As far as the Pre-Prep is concerned, liaison with the Head of
Pre-Prep is essential to determine what is done in this part of school.
In Years 3, 4 and 5 the subject is taught for approximately half the year, whilst the other half
is History. Each class has 3 periods a week.
Year 3 study maps, plans and fieldwork on villages. Year 4 study Rivers. Year 5 study OS map
work and settlement.
These courses are subject to change and refinement should the Head of Department, in
conjunction with the class teacher, deem necessary or desirable. The Head of Department is
to liaise with the class teachers to ensure the course is resourced and to pass on any other
relevant information, e.g. school policies or changes in the curriculum.
In Year 6, Geography has 2 lessons a week throughout the year. Each group is taught by the
Head of Department. Topics covered in this year include OS map work, Britain, Geography
and sport and the Peak District in preparation for the Year 6 visit at the end of the summer
In Year 7 and 8 we teach the Common Entrance syllabus leading up to the examination at
the end of Year 8. Again each group in both years are taught by the Head of Department.
In the Years 3 and 4 the children are assessed at the end of the topic. In Year 5 they have this
assessment and also a humanities examination in the summer.
In Years 6-8 the children are assessed at the end of each unit and a formal examination in
the summer. Year 8 have a trial examination in the spring term.
Humanities now have regular meetings, particularly helpful as class teachers in the lower
Prep school tend to teach History, Geography and often RE. The Head of Department is
expected to attend Brandeston’s Head of Department meetings and to liaise with the Head
of Department at the College on a regular basis.
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1. To develop a strong interest in one’s own surroundings and in the world as the
home of mankind.
2. To appreciate the variety of physical and human conditions on the earth’s surface.
3. To recognise some of the more important geographical patterns and relationships
which are revealed in different types of landscape and in different human activities.
4. To understand critical relationships between people and environment.
5. To appreciate the importance of geographical location in human affairs and
understand how activities and places are linked by movements of people, materials
and information and by often complex economic, social, political and physical
6. To understand what it means to live in one place rather than another.
7. To understand some of the more important physical and human processes which
produce geographical pattern and variety and which bring about changes.
8. To develop a range of skills necessary to interpret geographical information.
9. To appreciate the significance of people’s beliefs, attitudes and values to those
relationships and issues which have a geographical dimension.
10. To construct a framework of knowledge and understanding about one’s local area,
country and other parts of the world which will facilitate placing information within
appropriate geographical context.
The curriculum in the Pre-Preparatory Department provides pupils with learning
experiences that will enable them –
1. To extend their awareness of, and develop their interest in, their surroundings.
2. To observe accurately and develop simple skills of enquiry.
3. To identify and explore features of the local environment.
4. To distinguish between the variety of ways in which land is used and the variety of
purposes for which buildings are constructed.
5. To recognise and investigate changes taking place in the local area.
6. To relate different types of human activity to specific places within the area.
7. To develop concepts which enable them to recognise the relative position and
spatial attributes of features within their environment.
8. To understand some of the ways in which the local environment affects people’s
9. To develop an awareness of seasonal changes of weather and of the effects which
weather conditions have on the growth of plants, on the lives of animals and on
their own and other people’s activities.
10. To gain some understanding of the different contributions which a variety of
individuals and services make to the life of the community.
11. To begin to develop an interest in people and places beyond their immediate
12. To develop an awareness of cultural and ethnic diversity within our society, while
recognising the similarity of activities, interests and aspirations of different people.
13. To extend and refine their vocabulary and develop language skills.
14. To develop their competence to communicate in a variety of forms, including
pictures, drawings, simple diagrams and maps.
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The curriculum in Junior Prep should enable pupils –
1. To investigate at first-hand features of their local environment; its weather; its
surface features; and some of the activities of its inhabitants, especially those
aspects that involve spatial and environmental relationships.
2. To study some aspects of life and conditions in a number of other small areas in
Britain and abroad, which provide comparisons with their own locality. From such
studies pupils should gain knowledge and understanding of some of the ways in
which people have used, modified and cared for their surroundings, and of the
influence of environmental conditions, culture and technology on the activities and
ways of life of the present inhabitants.
3. To develop an appreciation of the many life styles in Britain and abroad, which
reflect a variety of cultures, and develop positive attitudes towards different
communities and societies, counteracting racial and cultural stereotyping and
4. To have some understanding of changes taking place in their own locality and in
other areas studied, including some appreciation of the ways in which human
decisions influence changes.
5. To gain some appreciation of the importance of location in human affairs and some
understanding of such concepts as distance, direction, spatial distribution and
spatial links (especially movements of people and goods between places), having
applied these ideas in appropriate contexts.
6. To become acquainted with a variety of maps, including large scale maps of their
own neighbourhood, and be able to apply simple techniques of map reading and
7. To acquire familiarity with globes and with atlas maps and be able to identify such
features as the continents and oceans, countries, cities, highland and lowland, coasts
8. To acquire skills in –
a) carrying out observations and in collecting, organising, recording and retrieving
information as part of an enquiry.
b) Using a variety of sources of information about their own locality and other places
c) Communicating their findings and ideas, with varying degrees of precision, in
writing, pictures, models, graphs (line graphs to show trends, bar graphs to show
differences and pie charts to compare parts with the whole), diagrams and maps.
9. To continue to develop language and mathematical skills through studies in
10. To appreciate the significance of people’s attitudes and values in the context of
particular environmental or social issues which they have investigated.
The geographical component of the Senior Prep curriculum encompasses the ISEB
Common Entrance Syllabus and should help pupils –
1. To develop further their understanding of their surroundings and extend their
interest in, and knowledge and understanding of, other places.
2. To gain a perspective within which they can place topical local, national and
3. To learn about the variety of physical and human conditions on the earth’s surface;
the different ways in which people have reacted to, modified and shaped
environments; and the influence of environmental conditions (physical and human)
on social, political and economic activities.
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4. To appreciate more fully the significance in human affairs of the location of places
and of links between places, and develop understanding of the spatial organisation
of human activities.
5. To gain understanding of the processes which have produced pattern and variety on
the earth’s surface and which bring about change.
6. To develop a sensitive awareness of the contrasting opportunities and constraints
facing different peoples living in different places under different economic, social,
political and physical conditions; being able to distinguish between a ‘developing’
and a ‘developed’ country.
7. To develop an understanding of the nature of multicultural and multi-ethnic
societies and a sensitivity to cultural and racial prejudice and injustice.
8. To gain a fuller understanding of some controversial social, economic, political and
environmental issues which have a geographical dimension, reflect on their own and
other people’s attitudes to these issues, and make their own informed judgements.
9. To develop a wide range of skills and competencies that are required for
geographical enquiry and are widely applicable in other contexts.
10. To act more effectively in their environment as individuals and members of society.
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