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  • Mrs N Major (HOD)
  • Mrs D Carlisle
  • Mr B O’Donnell
  • Mrs H Thompson

Lagan College - Geography Department

In the Geography Department we aim to help students understand the major issues that directly affect their lives, their community and the wider world and help them explore:

  • their sense of identity and belonging;
  • their curiosity about the world around them; and
  • their value system about how we interact with our world and with each other.

Key Stage 3

During two periods each week students explore a variety of Physical and Human Geography topics. Year 8 starts with ‘What is Geography?’ and moves on to exploring our local neighbourhoods and understanding location and place. We also study Ecosystems, Population and Migration, Rivers and Coasts, Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Weather and Climate, Development and Global Issues such as Climate Change and Pollution.

We are fortunate to be able to take trips to Cregagh Glen during class time to explore river features and processes and woodland environments. We also complete coastal fieldwork with a day trip to the White Rocks, Portrush. Our aim is to lay the foundation for a lifetime of curiosity about the world around us and prepare students who wish to take Geography at GCSE level.

Key Stage 4

We follow CCEA GCSE Geography Specification. This course involves the study of three units of work, studied during four periods each week, which build on the themes studied in Years 8 – 10. The units are:

  • Understanding Our Natural World
  • Living in Our World
  • Fieldwork Skills.

Each unit is examined by sitting an external exam.

  • Unit 1: Understanding Our Natural World
    • The topics studied are River Environments, Coastal Environments, Our Changing Weather and Climate, and The Restless Earth. This unit is assessed in a 1 hour 30 minute written examination worth 40% of the overall GCSE qualification. Students are usually entered for this exam at the end of Year 11.
  • Unit 2: Living in Our World
    • The topics are Population and Migration, Changing Urban Areas, Contrasts in World Development, and Managing Our Environment. This unit is also assessed in a 1 hour 30 minute written examination worth 40% of the overall GCSE qualification.
  • Unit 3 Fieldwork Skills
    • For this unit students collect geographical data first hand (usually by a fieldtrip to a river) and create and submit a word-processed fieldwork statement and table of data. This unit is assessed in a 1 hour written examination worth 20% of the overall GCSE qualification.

Exams for Units 2 and 3 are usually sat at the end of Year 12.

Post 16 Study

For the purposes of continuity, students follow the CCEA GCE Geography Specification. This specification aims to encourage students to develop a lifelong interest in Geography, draw together different areas of knowledge, skills and understanding, develop higher order thinking skills and apply their knowledge and skills to real world situations.

This involves three exam papers at AS level – covering Physical Geography (River Environments, Ecosystems and Weather and Climate); Human Geography (Population, Settlement and Development) and Fieldwork skills and Techniques. To prepare for this, students conduct a coastal study of Murlough Sand Dunes. At A2 level, students study three units – ‘Processes and Issues in Human Geography’, ‘Physical Processes, Landforms and Management’ and ‘Decision Making in Geography’. At both AS Level and A2 Level students develop a wide range of skills that universities and employers are looking for.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Key Stage 5 students are encouraged to attend lectures by the Belfast Branch of the Royal Geographical Association, which cover specific aspects of the GCE specification.

Career Pathways

  • Business and Management
  • Marketing
  • Accountancy
  • Environmental Services
  • GIS – development and use of Geographic Information Systems
  • Law
  • Media and Journalism
  • Planning/ Surveying
  • Teaching
  • Civil Engineering
  • Social services