S2 Geography

S2 Geography Course Outline:
Earth Forces
Japan
Rivers & Coasts
The Developing World

In the autumn term S2 Geography classes study the structure of the Earth and learn about the causes and effects of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis. Various up to date case studies are used such as the 2010 and 2011 eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland and the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan (2011). To complete this unit pupils undertake a substantial individual research project on an Earth Forces topic of their choice.

In the winter term S2 pupils learn about the geography and culture of Japan. Pupils study Japan's physical geography and look at some of the ways in which Japan is similar to, but still very different from, the British Isles. Topics include Japan's crowded cities, high-tech industry, the Bullet Train, rice cultivation on miniature farms and new development on reclaimed land. Each pupil presents a mini-report on one aspect of Japan and its culture.

In the spring term, S2 classes focus on another aspect of physical geography - rivers and coasts. After learning about weathering and erosion pupils study the course of a river from source to mouth and all the different landforms to be found along it. Coastal landforms are also investigated, with Orkney examples featuring prominently as they learn about caves, sea arches, sea stacks, blowholes, sand spits and sand bars.

In the latter part of the spring term and up until the end of the S2 course, pupils study the developing world. Topics include the geography of Africa, population growth, inequality and the problems of shanty towns with case studies focussing on Brazil and Kenya. As part of the unit, pupils work in small groups to research a developing world nation of their choice and present their findings to the rest of their class as a wall display.

A variety of resources are used to deliver the course. These include text books, worksheets, digital presentations, video clips, library resources and computers. While computers are sometimes used as part of a whole class lesson, they are more often used by pupils (often by prior arrangement in the school library) to research and produce individual projects.