A selective school for boys and girls aged 11 to 18. Day and Boarding

Cranbrook School - Respect Aspire Achieve


Welcome to the Geography Department.

Geography has been a very popular and successful subject at Cranbrook for many years. Geography is a broad subject which attempts to make sense of the world that we live in. It is the study of both the physical and human environment, and importantly nowadays, the relationship and impact between the two. We therefore not only analyse physical and human landscapes, but also consider important topical issues which will affect our futures such as ageing populations, climate change, energy provision, migration, globalisation, the impact of tourism, rainforests, coastal protection and sustainable management. It is the ability of Geography to synthesise different disciplines and subjects that makes it so unique and important. Students enjoy Geography because they can relate to it and appreciate the value of furthering their understanding. Many of our Sixth Formers continue to study the subject at a higher level and we have an excellent track record of students progressing onto Russell Group universities and Oxbridge.

We are a department of four staff with different geographical backgrounds and a real passion for our topical subject. Our aim is to make the subject as relevant and stimulating as possible and we constantly relate our topics to real world examples and refer to current news events and issues. The department is well resourced in three dedicated rooms and we have a wealth of reference materials in our large and well equipped office. Due to the changing nature of the subject we also encourage our students to use ICT where possible including mapping software and subscribe to ArcView GIS which is being used by many organisations and employers.

All the Geography courses are challenging and up to date. There is less emphasis on simple factual recall and more on analysis, understanding and data response. Fieldwork is considered a vital element of the subject and most year groups are involved in field trips and research out of the classroom. Over many years we have taken trips to conduct fieldwork on the Sussex coast at Pett Level and Fairlight and to look at the impacts of tourism in Rye. We also have on-going research into population changes of villages in the Cranbrook area and contrast these to changes to London Docklands and Canning Town. Sixth Formers are taken on a residential field trip to the Dorset coast to study the many classic landform features and how the area is managed.

The geography curriculum covers a wide range of topics and we aim to incorporate geographical skills where possible as they now form a crucial element of the GCSE and A Level course. Our topics for each year group include the following:

Year 7 : Geographical Skills, Settlement, The Water Cycle and Britain’s Weather & Climate, Tourism, Rocks and South-East England, Brazil.

Year 9 : Urban Change, Population, Rivers, Coasts, Tectonics, Advanced GCSE Skills.

GCSE : The Challenge of Natural Hazards, The Living World, Physical Landscapes in the UK, Urban Issues and Challenges, The Changing Economic World, The Challenge of Resource Management, Geographical Applications and Skills.

(Further information about the GCSE: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/gcse/geography-8035)

A Level : Coastal Systems and Landscapes, Hazards, Changing Places, Water and Carbon Cycles, Global Systems and Global Governance, Population and the Environment.

(Further information about the A Level:  http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/geography/as-and-a-level/geography-7037)

Mr Simon Penny, Head of Geography :  pennys@cranbrook.kent.sch.uk

Teachers: Mr D Swinburne, Mr J Knight

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