Geography is a compulsory subject at Junior Level, and it is optional at Senior Level. The Geography Rooms; Room 3, Room 11, Room 43 and Room 24, continue to be a hive of activity throughout the year. The designated rooms are occupied daily by Geography classes at both Senior and Junior Level. Evidence of activity‐based learning can be seen in the Geography Rooms where numerous posters, projects and models are on display. In our teaching of the curriculum, we place emphasis on the interesting geographic elements of our local area by using local examples, case studies and maps.
At Junior Level, there are three classes per week while five classes per week (one single class and two double classes) are allocated at Senior Level. At Junior Cycle, there are two Classroom-Based Assessments. They relate to specified learning outcomes and are scheduled to be undertaken by students in a defined time period within class contact time to a national timetable (as advised by the NCCA) in the school calendar. Following the second of these assessments, students, in Year Three, complete an Assessment Task which is sent to the State Examinations Commission, with the final examination script for that subject, for marking.
The first CBA, entitled Geography in the News, provides opportunities for students to engage in practical, authentic learning experiences that reflect the relevance of the study of geography to the world around them. Geography in the news provides students with opportunities to actively observe the interactions and interconnections between people, places, environments, and spatial patterns. This Classroom-Based Assessment asks students to research and draw conclusions on the implications of geographical events through a real-life example.
The second CBA, entitled My Geography, provides students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and experience gained through the first Classroom-Based Assessment to undertake an active investigation into geographical aspect(s) of their local area. Having experienced and engaged with the key geographical questions of who, what, where, when, how and why during Geography in the news, students will continue to develop this learning in their on-going classroom learning and through an investigation of local geographical aspect(s). My Geography provides a frame for students to actively explore and engage with the interactions and linkages between people, places, environments, and spatial patternsin their local area and consider the related implications for the human and physical environment.
Students undertake a written Assessment Task (AT) to be submitted to the State Examinations Commission (SEC) for marking as part of the state-certified examination for Geography. The Assessment Task is allocated 10% of the marks available for this examination. The Assessment Task is directly related to the second Classroom-Based Assessment, My Geography. The Assessment Task will assess students in aspects of their learning including:
- their ability to reflect on the development of their geographical thinking through engaging in the research process in completing the My Geography CBA.
- their ability to evaluate new knowledge or understanding that has emerged through their experience of the Classroom-Based Assessment.
- their ability to reflect on the skills they have developed, and their capacity to apply them to unfamiliar situations in the future.
- their ability to reflect on how their appreciation of Geography has been influenced through the experience of the Classroom-Based Assessment.
- their reflections on how their experience of My geography has influenced their attitudes and values.
The Geography department meets regularly to co-ordinate geography trips, in-school activities and classroom teaching. A number of formal and many informal meetings were held during the year to plan and review work and progress and to examine the report by the Department of Education and Skills, in-service resources etc. As a department, we are extremely encouraged by the overall standard of results and the large number of students taking Higher Level Geography at both Junior and Leaving Certificate. Geography continues to be a very popular subject option for Leaving Certificate.