S4 Geography

By studying Geography you will learn about other places, peoples and cultures. You will study areas in Scotland and the UK as well as in other countries. Environmental and global issues such as renewable energy, conservation of the rainforests, marine pollution, climate change and natural hazards, form an integral part of the course. You will learn about sustainability, your responsibility as a global citizen and also how to improve your map interpretation, reading, writing and thinking skills.

You will follow the new Geography courses at National 4 / National 5 level depending on your progress in S3 and S4. The courses are divided into three sections which include the following topics:

1. Human Environments:
International issues such as population growth and its management; migration, refugees and asylum seekers; cities, urban and industrial landscapes; shanty towns and their problems (e.g. in Brazil); agriculture and the countryside in the developed and developing world; changes affecting rural areas such as farm diversification, organic farming, biofuels and GM crops.

2. Physical Environments:
Natural landscapes and the scenery of glaciated areas (e.g. the Alps), coastal environments, rivers and their valleys; weather forecasting and the impact of weather systems affecting the British Isles; managing and protecting natural environments, tourism and conservation issues in areas such as UK National Parks (e.g. Cairngorms).

3. Global Issues:
Global climate change, its possible causes and effects; the impact of human activities on natural environments such as Brazil’s tropical rainforests and the Arctic tundra; natural hazards and natural disasters; strategies used by national governments, the United Nations and aid organizations such as the Red Cross to manage these global environmental problems.

A variety of resources including digital presentations, video clips, maps, atlases, DVDs , websites and modern text books are used. You will carry out a small amount of local fieldwork but sometimes there may be field trips to other areas. All pupils will undertake a research project.

Geography is a popular subject for study in S5/6 as well as in higher education. A Geography qualification is readily accepted as one of the entry requirements for a wide variety of other courses and careers and may be recognized as either an arts or as a science based subject by university admissions officers.