The Geography Department has developed an outstanding reputation and is one of the strongest departments in this very successful School. The popularity of the subject as an option choice is reflected in the large numbers choosing the subject at GCSE and A Level. Whilst the subject attracts boys of high academic calibre the Department also prides itself on the success achieved by the full ability range of students who enjoy studying the subject. The Department has been well served by an experienced team of teachers who have brought much to the School both in and out of the classroom. Their experience indicates that teaching Geography at RBAI is extremely rewarding. The Department has extended its subject provision at GCSE by adding Leisure and Tourism. This has assisted the school in meeting its requirements of the Entitlement Framework.
Each year around 90 boys in Year 11 opt to study Geography. This requires 4 sets in Years 11 and 12. The uptake for A Level Geography is high with around 50% of GCSE entrants proceeding to study the subject in Sixth Form. This represents approximately 50 boys who are taught in three sets. The subject regularly achieves a 100% pass rate at A2. There are currently 4 full time members of the Department and a further 2 members of staff contribute to the successful delivery of the subject throughout the School.
The full-time staff teach in their own, well equipped Geography rooms. Each room is equipped with TVs, video and DVD players and C2K computers with Interactive Whiteboards. ICT is integrated into our current schemes of work and is well embedded into the new schemes of work for the Revised Curriculum which commenced in September 2007. The Department is currently developing an electronic library of resources for pupils to access. Fieldwork is an important element of the Geography Curriculum. At GCSE level classes undertake fieldwork in a river environment, AS pupil’s study sand dunes at Magilligan, whilst at A2 Level classes carry out field work at the grounds of Belfast Castle. The Year 8 pupils carry out fieldwork of Belfast, while enjoying a bus trip taking in many different areas across the city. Where appropriate, visits are made to University Open Days, Conferences and other events. Pupils have enjoyed success in Geographical Quizzes at local and national levels.
Pupils at the 2012 RBAI Open Day in the Geography department
Mr IRH Gray Head of Department/Head of Key Stage 4
Miss RM Haslett
Mr D McCann
Mr SL McMullan
Mr CA McKinstry Vice-Principal
All members of the Department contribute much time and expertise to the extra-curricular activities in the school. This includes, rugby, football, cricket, Eco club, school performances, skiing, World Challenge, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Year 8 study lays the foundations for Geography through investigation of the subject at a broad level using a wide range of learning strategies and developing various skills such as, Map work, Fieldwork, and Group work. The Units include: Weather/climate, River flooding and Settlement.
Year 9 study allows pupils to make connections with the world around them by enhancing key skills and developing a global awareness through investigating a number of units such as; Weathering, Rivers and Coasts; Farming; Industry; Resources; Population; World issues.
Year 10 study offers the opportunity for pupils to interact with the Geography around them by preparing them for GCSE and beyond by investigating topical units such as; Ecosystems; Volcanoes and Earthquakes; Tourism; Fashion and Sport;Italy; World Development.
To view a gallery of pictures of Year 10 Stevenson making volcanoes:
Years 11 & 12 study the CCEA GCSE syllabus:
The course consists of 2 Units:-
Unit 1- Understanding our natural world.
The dynamic Earth
Our changing weather and Climate
The restless Earth
Dr Robinson visits the RBAI Geography Department to discuss The Restless Earth:
Unit 2- Living in our World.
People and Where they live
Contrasts in World Development
Managing Our resources
The examination consists of two papers. Paper 1 examines Unit 1 and Paper 2 the Unit 2. Each paper is worth 37.5%, while the remaining 25% is achieved through a Fieldwork study report. Year 13 & 14 study the CCEA, AS and A2 syllabus:
Follow link : CCEA
For images on the Y13 trip to Magilligan:
Pictures from Leisure and Tourism event: