Welcome to Montrose Academy
Geography is the study of the physical processes that occur naturally on the planet and in its atmosphere, the impact of these physical processes on human activity and the impact humans may have on their environment.
In S1 pupils will develop their knowledge and understanding of the physical processes responsible for the creation of Scotland’s Landscapes, the impact of flooding and coastal erosion on communities affected along with methods of mitigating the damage caused. Geography coursework continues with a study of the lives of people in the developing nations in contrast to those in the developed world with a focus on ways of reducing the gap.
In S2 pupils study the pressure systems in the atmosphere to explain the weather. Within the Farming topic pupils gain knowledge of the ways humans can have an impact on the environment . The interaction between humans and their environment is studied with a focus on the equatorial rainforest.
In S3 the impact humans have had on their environment will be studied through cities and the way they have changed including plans to mitigate the problems of traffic congestion. In contrast, the natural forces of our planet as they appear in volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis will be explained and the consequences for the populations affected with a focus on mitigating the impact.
Lessons are for the most part teacher led, building a wealth of knowledge and ensuring each pupil has a clear understanding of the complex explanations. There are opportunities for both collaborative and independent learning, discussion and informed debate and interdisciplinary learning experiences within the social subjects’ faculty and with other departments around the school. Tasks are differentiated to suit the needs of all pupils. Active learning techniques are used to promote a stimulating environment in which to learn. Written work is developed to ensure it allows for a detailed explanation with specialised vocabulary used where necessary. This is complemented by the use of annotated diagrams to demonstrate depth of knowledge. Map skills are developed as the course progresses with a wide range of map types used.
Through the broad general phase of Geography pupils will develop skills in numeracy by analysing data from graphs and tables and in measuring rocks. Pupils will develop skills in displaying information using graphics. Geography develops reasoned and justified points of view and promotes interaction with others through debate.
Senior Phase (S4-S6)
At national 4 and 5 the course is made up from four parts of equal value (25% each)
Within Physical Geography pupils will focus on the physical processes responsible for the creation of landscapes carved by the erosive power of rivers and the unique landscapes formed on limestone geology. Pupils will select a case study area and investigate how humans use the land with a view to identifying any conflicts between users and solutions adopted to deal with these conflicts. The physical processes at work in the atmosphere are studied in when examining the factors influencing local weather conditions along with the air pressure systems driving the weather patterns across the UK.
Within Human Geography, demographics of the world’s population are investigated with pupils detailing the factors which cause a change in birth rates and death rates, along with the distribution of the world’s population in relation to the worlds varied environments and resources. Cities in developed and developing countries are studied as they change over time with a view to mitigating any problems such as improvements to shanty towns. Farming is the focus for highlighting the impact of modern developments on the rural landscape in both developed and developing countries.
Two topics are covered. The impact of human activity on the environment is examined by the use of two case study areas. The tundra lands and the equatorial rainforest are researched to provide evidence of misuse by humans and degradation of the environment. The Environmental hazards topic builds knowledge on the cause of earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical storms, the impact on people and the environment and ways to mitigate the damage caused by them.
Pupils will research and report on a geographical topic of their choice. Research methods include data capture from fieldwork and report writing will include processed information on the form of annotated photographs, graphs and diagrams.
Lessons are teacher led and course notes are issued to pupils to complete in each lesson. Pupils completing the National 5 course can advance to Higher
Physical geography has four sections. These include a knowledge and understanding of the atmosphere, with a focus on the redistribution of the energy around the globe, the hydrosphere focusing on how water moves through the hydrological cycle, the lithosphere with a focus on the erosion and deposition by the sea and by the glaciers and the biosphere with a focus on soil, the planet’s most valuable resource.
The population of the planet is examined by accurate counting, accounting for population change, the study of migration and the consequences for the countries concerned. A focus on the rainforest and savannah lands will build knowledge on the impact of humans on their environment and the management of urban change and the impact of management strategies will be evidenced in relation to our cities
In the river basin elective pupils will build their knowledge on the need to manage rivers to provide water, regulate flow, allow shipping and generate power. Using the example of the three gorges dam in China the positive and negative impact of dam construction will be investigated.
In the energy topic pupils study the reasons for increasing or decreasing energy demand in the developed and developing countries and the effectiveness of meeting energy demand by renewable and non-renewable methods
Application of skills
Through a focus on maps, processed data and fieldwork methods, this component of the course tests competence in geographical skills.
Pupils will research and report on a geographical topic of their choice. Research methods include data capture from fieldwork and the detailed report writing will include reference to processed information on the form of annotated photographs, graphs and diagrams and must refer to detailed knowledge of the topic chosen for study. On completion of this course pupils can progress to advanced higher geography