Geography at St Augustine’s

The team    Aims of the department    Information by years    How can I help my daughter    Career progression    Trips and activities

The Team

Michelle Dolan – Head of Department

Miss Dolan joined St Augustine’s Priory in 2010.  She is Form Mistress for III alpha. Since she started, she has taught Geography from form III to UVI.  Miss Dolan is a keen traveller and runs a geography club for III – UVI, in which the wonders of the world are seen through the amazing BBC series Frozen planet, Planet earth etc., all in the safety of a classroom. As an avid photographer Miss Dolan also runs photography club, helping students to appreciate the beauty of the world around them, usually in places which it seems beauty cannot be found. For the more extreme ‘Geographers’ Miss Dolan arranged the first Geography trip to Iceland where students climbed glaciers and snorkelled over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.


Mrs Ama Bartholomew

Mrs Bartholomew joined the Geography department in January 2014 to teach Geography. A graduate of University of Ghana with an honours degree in Geography and Resource Development. Mrs Bartholomew also completed an MSc in International Marketing Management from Leeds University Business School and her PGCE training at Goldsmiths College. She is a passionate geographer who is committed to inspiring young people to ask geographical questions so they can to connect the wider issues in our increasingly interconnected world.

Catherine Wilson

Mrs Wilson has been teaching Geography at St. Augustine’s for 23 years and was the Head of Geography before she became the Principal Deputy Head. Her experience and dedication has moulded the department into a reliable and consistent department. Her experience in field work has resulted in a great variety of fieldtrips being undertaking every year.

Aims of department


The aims and objectives of geography are:

  • to enable students to gain a knowledge and understanding of places in the world and to foster pupils’ sense of wonder at the beauty of the world around them.
  • to increase student’s knowledge of other cultures and, in so doing, teach a respect and understanding of what it means to be a positive citizen in a multi-cultural country;
  • to allow students to learn graphic skills, including how to use, draw and interpret maps;
  • to enable students to know and understand environmental problems at a local, regional and global level;
  • to encourage in students a commitment to sustainable development and an appreciation of what ‘global citizenship’ means;
  • to develop a variety of skills, including those of enquiry, problem solving, ICT, investigation and how to present their conclusions in the most appropriate way.

Information by years

Age 4- 7 or Key Stage 1

At Key Stage 1, Geography is about developing knowledge, skills and understanding relating to children's own environment and the people who live there. Students at this level also begin to develop an awareness of the wider world .Geography at this level is taught within a cross-curricular framework and includes such topics as: investigating the sea side; the road where I live; and sunflowers in France.

Age 7 - 11 or Key Stage 2

Building on the foundations of the previous Key Stage, pupils continue developing their knowledge, skills and understanding of people, places and environments at different scales, in the UK and overseas. They also begin to appreciate how places relate to each other. Throughout the Junior School Geography is taught as a separate subject but cross-curricular links are encouraged with Maths, ICT, History and English. The local environment is used widely and they embark on a field work investigations .

Age 11 - 14 or Key Stage 3

At this level Geography provides the vehicle by which pupils' interest in their surroundings is stimulated within a variety of human and physical conditions on the earth's surface. We hope at this level to foster our pupils' sense of wonder at the beauty around them and to encourage them to develop a concern about the quality of their environment and the future of the human habitat, enhancing their sense of responsibility for the care of the earth and its people.
As pupils progress through this Key Stage a greater emphasis is placed on the investigative nature of Geography through fieldwork. Cross-curricular links continue to be encouraged.

 Age 14 - 16 or Key Stage 4

GCSE - AQA Examination board
Geography A (Linear) 9030
Geography at this level is a popular choice for many as they start to consider potential career options. GCSE assessment consists of three parts:

• People and the physical environment – 37.5%
• People and the human environment – 37.5%
• Coursework - 25%

Paper 1 encompasses the study of geographical skills, and the interaction of people and the natural environment; through the study of tectonic activity, rocks as well as coastal landscapes and processes. Paper 2 includes a study of population, tourism, development and interdependence.
The controlled Assessment coursework allows the opportunity for personalised and independent learning. This controlled assessment requires candidates to use fieldwork to investigate one question or hypothesis at a local scale. Primary data collection must take place within the investigation.

Age 16-18 or Key Stage 5

AS and A Level - Edexcel Examination Board

Geography at A Level aims to provide a balanced geographical knowledge which builds upon prior knowledge of the subject at GCSE. Through the use of regional examples and case studies pupils gain a meaningful understanding of geographical concepts and principles. Detailed studies are undertaken at a variety of scales from the local through to the global and, in addition, areas at various stages of development.

• AS Unit 1 - Global Challenges - 60%
• AS Unit 2 - Geographical Investigations - 40%
• A2 Unit 3 - Contested Planet - 60%
• A2 Unit 4 - Geographical Research - 40%

How can I help my daughter?


Encourage your daughter to become aware of her geographical position in the world, the UK and her locality.  Talk to your daughter about how their local environment changes throughout the year and encourage them to be aware of their surroundings.


Build on what they’ve learnt in KS1 and start to help them question how different environments attract different types of people. Purchase the ‘First News’ newspaper which will help students be aware of the world around them and current affair issues.


Students now learn to question and evaluate situations and apply reasoning to what they see happen in the world around them. It is important that they start to read papers, check the BBC news website and watch the news.  Websites such as BBC Bitesize offers lots of fun games and quiz which you could take with your daughter.


At GCSE level the students are now learning to make linkages between topics and worldly issues. They study plate tectonics in detail and it is essential that they are constantly up to date with world news. You can help your daughter look into the backgrounds of areas affected and help them make links between physical and social geography.
BBC Bitesize also has a dedicated geography section which can help your daughter consolidate her classroom learning with revision notes, videos and tests.

You can also use the AQA website to find key materials

The Student Room is also a good place for your daughter to discuss topics with other students online


At A-Level your daughter should now be constantly searching for understanding in every aspect of world development, politics and creation. You can help her to develop her skills by encouraging her to read newspapers like the ‘The Times’ or ‘The Guardian’, by watching with her political shows which relate to development or energy security. She needs to view the world around her and through research decide the reason behind the actions of governments and the impacts that has on others.

I would also recommend  you advise your daughter to become a member of the Royal Geographical Society as the experience of attending lectures in this wonderful facility will only help to instil a love for Geography even more.

Career progression

Geographers are highly valued in the world of work for their flexibility, initiative and ability to work independently. In the past students who have studied geography at university have gone on to work in many areas including management, journalism, education, urban and town planning, as well as leisure and tourism.

Trips  and Activities

At St Augustine's we recognise that text based knowledge is best consolidated by field experience. FromL1 to LVI field trips are an essential part of the learning experience. Here are details of some of key field studies and our overseas expeditions.


Iceland 2012




Fieldtrip aim

Skills developed


From Local area

To study the changes in Land use in a local area

Recording and analysing data on a basic level


River Chess

To study how a river changes as it travels from source to mouth.

Recording and measuring.

Drawing field sketches.

Analysing the data recorded.


School Grounds

To study the possibility of a microclimate within the school grounds.

Students will use a variety of equipment to measure and record their findings. They will produce a report on the methods they used and their findings. This will be supported by presented data.


Local area

To discover if the local area has been impacted by globalisation and to assess if rebranding has taken place.

Develop on a range of research skills looking into the impacts globalisation on the development on a locality.  The will also develop field work skills by collecting both qualitative and quantitative data.


Southend-on-sea, England

Controlled Assessment which changes every year. E.g. ‘How has tourism had an impact on the locality?’

At this stage the students consolidate on their pre-existing skills and decided upon a range of methods which will help them prove their hypothesis is correct or incorrect. Planning and organisation along with individual time keeping is essential.


Devon, England

Geographical investigation of a crowded coastline, researching Shoreline Management plans and rebranding in both rural and urban areas.

Students carry out detailed studies of contrasting coastal environments at a local scale, exploring competing and conflicting land uses, and evaluating the pressures created by development

Fieldwork and research opportunities will be based on data collection and include surveys of coastal development and land use, coastal management, and the state of the coastal environment. Opportunities for research work include satellite images to show coastal change, maps to calculate coastal erosion, shoreline management and statistics for coastal retreat and flooding.

GCSE/Sixth Form


Investigate tectonic activity and glacial landscapes and how tourism develops in these areas. 

Students will apply what they have learned in their text books to some real life experiences. From studying Geothermal energy to walking through Thingveller where the European and American plates are ripping apart from each other students will be able to see first-hand how people have adapted to living in a tectonic hazard zone.  A-Level students will also carry out some field investigations of the glacial landscape.