Geography

  

(Picture taken from HSD trip to Iceland - 2015) 

Geography Teaching Team

Mrs J Wilson (Subject Co-ordinator)                  (JC, TY, LC)
Ms N Fallon                                                         (JC, TY, LC)
Mr R Hanan                                                         (TY)
Mr P Irwin                                                            (TY)
Ms S Jones                                                         (JC)
Mr C Rankin                                                        (JC, TY, LC)
Mr R Sullivan                                                      (TY)

Subject Overview

Geography is the study of people and their relationship with their environment.  It is concerned with helping students develop an understanding of the physical, social and economic processes which shape the world around them.

The Geography syllabus makes an important contribution towards enabling young people to make sense of the changing inter-relationships in the world in which they live and aims give them a global perspective of how people, places and economies interact.  Through studying Geography students will develop a range of skills enabling them to make a valued contribution to society at local, national and international levels.

The Geography department aims to…

  • Enable students to develop a knowledge and understanding of a selection of contrasting physical and human environments and of the relationships that exist between them.
  • Promote an awareness of the spatial, structural, and temporal patterns of environmental phenomena and to enable students to realise that these patterns can change with time.
  • Help students to understand the opportunities for, and challenges of, global interdependence.
  • Promote the conservation and sustained management of the earth’s resources for future generations.
  • Teach students to recognise, and be sensitive to other people and their culture, here in Ireland and elsewhere.
  • Develop a variety of geographical skills which can be applied to the world of work and to many other aspects of life.
  • Develop and promote active citizenship in society at local, national, European and global level.
  • Encourage the use of information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning of geography.
  • Assist students to become well-informed and responsible citizens and to enable them to progress to further studies or to enter the world of work.
  • Provide students, through their study of geography, with an interesting and enjoyable experience and imbue in them a lifelong love of their natural and cultural environment.

The Geography Department focuses on helping students develop transferable skills they can use in college and future jobs in the following 5 key areas; research skills, presentation and communication skills, investigation skills, social skills and evaluation skills.

Research skills

Students should be able to use

  • maps of various scales including Ordnance Survey maps and synoptic weather maps
  • figures (line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, diagrams and pictorial models)
  • statistics
  • photographs, including aerial and satellite photographs
  • pictures, including cartoons
  • textual sources with geographical terminology
  • information and communication technology sources (e.g. computerised data and packages, TV and radio programmes, internet, audio and digital sources)
  • GIS and satellite imagery.

Presentation and communication skills

Students should be able to

  • present and communicate information and ideas in a variety of ways (including maps, figures, statistics, written, and oral)

Investigative skills

Students should be able to

  • select and use a variety of modes of investigation
  • carry out a geographical investigation using both primary and secondary sources of information

Social skills

Students should be able to

  • develop social skills (e.g. working effectively alone or in groups, following instructions, teamwork and co-operation, use of verbal communication to find out, debate and pass on information)

Evaluation skills

Students should be able to

  • synthesise, analyse, interpret and evaluate information (e.g. distinguish fact from opinion, draw conclusions, prove simple hypotheses, make informed judgements, suggest sensible solutions to problems and, where appropriate, suggest realistic plans for action).

Junior Cycle

The Junior Certificate Syllabus is presented in three sections, each based on a broad theme:

1)     The Physical Environment

2)     Population, Settlement Patterns and Urbanisation

3)     Patterns in Economic Activity

 The section of the syllabus concentrated on in 1st year is The Physical Environment, in 2nd year is Population, Settlement and Urbanisation and in 3rd year is Patterns in Economic Activity.

Transition Year

The High School’s Transition Year Geography course is made up of 5 modules.  Each module is taught in a 6 week block, by a teacher with a specialist interest in the area of study.  The modules cover a wide range of topics with the aim of giving students a full understanding of the economic, physical and human processes that are included in Geography as a discipline of study.  Project work and Geographical Investigations are seen as being essential to skills development in the TY Geography course as they give students the opportunity to advance their knowledge and more importantly to develop many transferable skills.   Whether students chose to study LC Geography or not, this course will be of benefit to them through improving their understanding of topical global and local issues.

As Geography is the study of people and their relationships with their environment, the 5 modules taught in Transition Year Geography are as follows:

Economic Geography

  • Travel and Transport

Physical Geography

  • Natural Hazards
  • Geoecology

Human Geography

  • Cultural Studies
  • Environmental Studies

Senior Cycle

The Leaving Certificate syllabus is presented in five sections:

Core

1)      Physical Geography

2)      Regional Geography

3)      Geographical investigation and skills

Elective

1)     Patterns and processes in the Human environment

Option

1)     Geoecology

The sections of the syllabus concentrated on in 5th year are Physical Geography and Human Geography and in 6th year Geoecology and Regional Geography.  The practical fieldwork involved in Geographical investigation and skills will be carried out in 5th year and the written project will be completed in 6th year.

Career Opportunities

Foreign Diplomacy

International aid / NGO work

Geological surveyor

Community development

Management consultancy

Charity sector

Local government planning

Weather and climate analyst

Land surveyor

Media – Jouralism/TV/Radio

Environmental management

Teaching  (Primary/ Post-primary / TEFL)

Urban planning

Transport management

GIS specialist / Cartographer

     

Much of the above material is taken from The Department of Education Leaving Certificate Syllabus (published 2005/6).

Additional Information

The Geography Department has regular trips for all students to enjoy.  Some of the recent and upcoming trips are listed below:

Iceland 2015: This LC trip is open to TY, 5th year and 6th year and involves visiting many of the outstanding and unique landscape features Iceland has to offer! 

Butlers Chocolate Factory 2015: This trip is for 3rd year students to help them understand the processes involved in manufacturing, a key section of the JC course.

Glendasan, Co Wicklow 2014: The 6th years recently spent time at Glendasan River conducting their LC Geographical Investigation.

Italy 2014: A regular LC trip for our 5th and 6th year Geography students to visit the Mezzogiorno region in Italy, an important region on the LC course.  Every LC student will have the opportunity to visit Iceland or Italy as part of their LC Geography experience at The High School.

Arigna Coal Mine, Arigna, Co Roscommon 2013: A trip for 5th year Geography students to help them understand human interaction with the rock cycle.

The Burren, Co Clare: The Burren has always been a popular trip destination for The High School Geography Department.