Geography is a very popular subject at Acle Academy, every year having one of the biggest uptakes of all the options subjects at GCSE. It is part of the Humanities Department (Geography, History and R.E.). In fact, our department was rated as ‘outstanding’ in a recent review and our students consistently achieve success at GCSE.

The vision of the department is to make our students more globally aware and enthusiastic about finding out about the world around us. To ensure this happens, you can expect our lessons to focus on current events and issues that are impacting humans and the environment both globally and locally.

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Our department is progressive and lessons are dynamic, aiming to allow students to extend their learning by using the latest technology. We make use of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) mapping software and are the first department to have Apple TV, which is allowing all students to have the use of iPad technology to be creative in learning on a daily basis!

Year 9 students learn about GIS at the UEA.

In lessons you can expect to be challenged and learn about the processes shaping our planet and human interaction with them. You will learn in a number of ways, in groups and independently. In year 7 you will focus on the United Kingdom, learning map skills, exploring the local area and settlement. In year 8 you will study Europe and physical geography; with Tectonics and Weather within which, you will take on the role of a weather presenter and do a weather forecast on the Interactive whiteboards. In year 9 we expand your coverage and look much more at global issues, such as Population and Development (where we look in particular at Brazil in the lead up to the 2016 Olympics and World Cup).

And then there’s GCSE…  well here we make lessons as challenging and current as possible, really getting students to think about their future and that of the planet as a whole. This is where the links and extra opportunities we offer really pay off.

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Geography offers a wide variety of fieldwork both on and offsite; in fact the first fieldwork experience for our students is in week two of Year 7, where all the year group go out to explore and develop their enquiry skills in our local area, undertaking a variety of activities at Sea Palling, Waxham Barns and Horsey Mere. Then at the end of the year, you will be out planning and doing a research project on the village, town or city that you live in.

Year 7 students doing fieldwork at Sea Palling in their second week at Acle!

Here’s a flavour of a few other things going on:

Year 9 Gifted and Talented students do teamwork and problem solving activities at the UEA Climate Change Conference.

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Year 10s get the opportunity to visit the Olympic site and surrounding areas of Stratford and Hackney Wick, learning how to complete fieldwork techniques in urban areas and looking at the sustainability of the Olympic site.

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There are trips to the University of East Anglia, where our gifted and talented students get the opportunity to pitch their skills against sixth formers at the Sixth Form Geography Conference.

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In Year 11 you will be undertaking fieldwork, often at the North Norfolk Coast (but on occasion in Norwich) in order to use a variety of methods to collect data; this will form part of your controlled assessment investigation.

As well as trips we try to extend our students in other ways. We have a photography competition, the winners of which get entered in to the CPRE (Countryside Protection for Rural England) competition. You will have seen of Harriet Green's success last year, winning the Norfolk CPRE competition and lots of high quality camera equipment.  Not only all this, but there are always new fieldwork opportunities for you to get involved in. Watch this space for a visit to the Royal Geographical Society to work with scientists and researchers in London!

Oh and if you were watching, our Year 10 geographers got themselves a mention on the BBC’s Volcano Live earlier in the year! We all gave in questions, but it was Alice Roberts’ question of ‘Why are Volcanoes called Volcanoes?’ which got answered. Here is Prof. Iain Stewart's answer by the way: "Volcanoes are named after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire".

Our department currently has one main geography teacher, Miss Burdett who is Head of the subject. Miss Burdett is happy to lend a hand and help with any queries.

Year 7 students doing fieldwork at Sea Palling in their second week at Acle!Year 7 Local Environment Visit: Looking at the 1953 flood - changes and defence of the Norfolk coastlineYear 7 Local Environment Visit: Looking at the 1953 flood - changes and defence of the Norfolk coastlineYear 7s at Horsey Mere in SeptemberYear 9 students learn about GIS at the University of East AngliaGifted and Talented Year 9s at the UEA Climate Change Conference 2011Year 9 G&T Geographers at the UEA Climate Change ConferenceOur Year 10 students at the Olympic site, Stratford‘Viewtube’ at the Olympic Park, Stratford, February 2012Year 10 Fieldwork at Westfield, StratfordYear 10s rounding up the day, judging the impact of the Olympic Park on the local areaYear 10 Gifted and Talented Geographers at the University of East Anglia - February 2012Year 10 Kenya leaders, running the Geography workshop for our annual Black History DayYear 10 Kenya Leaders at the BHD workshop teach Year 9s the song ‘Jambo’Year 11s at Sheringham collecting data and evidence for their controlled assessment investigationYear 11 students measuring beach profiles at Salthouse, North NorfolkYear 11 students measuring beach profiles at Salthouse, North Norfolk.Wave frequency counts and observations at Sheringham, September 2012


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