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Geography

The Geography Department aims to develop pupils understanding of the world and the evaluation of the interconnectedness of human and physical processes around the globe, through development of analytical, and data-reading skills and the synthesis of summaries with persuasive writing.

Being primarily about places, people and their patterns, and with the remit in the subject to examine the wider world, the Geography Department regularly leaves its spacious classrooms to experience geography up close.

Dunbar students (Forms 1 and 2) are taught the core principles of cartography (mapwork), British weather and its landscape features, and also examine what it means to be British. These topics are underpinned with trips to the banks of the River Thames to do mudlarking (looking through river mud for items of historical value) and fieldwork in nearby settlements.

Form 3 students then engage with the global breadth of ecosystems, human development and global issues through group work, presentations and individual projects. The syllabus reinforces skills and provides greater opportunities to engage with the topics studied.

At GCSE level (following the AQA8035), the students develop their understanding of spatial distribution (patterns) and the dynamics of population issues, urban change, tourism and tectonics among others. Fieldwork is undertaken both on and offsite.

At A Level (following the Cambridge International specification), pupils develop a variety of geographical skills which include:

  • An understanding of the nature and use of different geographical information, both quantitative and qualitative, and their limitations;

  • An ability to use and interpret a variety of geographical information so you can identify, describe and explain geographical trends and patterns;

  • An ability to interpret and evaluate information and produce reasoned conclusions.

We undertake a number of field trips and go to university lectures with Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth to apply understanding and to enrich learning. Additionally there are talks and seminars led by staff.

Outside of the classroom, the Department assess the dynamism of inner cities, analyses the environmental impact of tourism of Studland in Dorset and examines how the dynamics of the coast at Hurst Spit are managed. The programme offered by the Department at Pangbourne leads to many students pursuing their Geography studies at university and beyond.