Geography is a valuable conjoint with such subjects as law, commerce, planning, valuation, and architecture and can broadly be defined as ‘the study of the earth as the home of people’.
From a geographer’s perspective, the world can be viewed as being composed of two interacting environments, the human (cultural) environment and the natural (physical) environment. Geographers set out to describe and explain the characteristics of, and the processes operating within, each of these environments as well as the interactions that take place between them.
Studies in geography can cover a great variety of areas, such as:- hydrology, coastal processes, biogeography, environmental science, climatology, meteorology, geophysics, geology, botany, population studies, planning, tourism, settlement studies, economic systems, transportation, sociology, anthropology, development studies, land-use studies, and geomorphology.
Form 5 (Pre-Q):
Pre-requisites: None. Students have already completed approximately 18 weeks of the Form 5 Pre-Q Geography course while in Form 4. It should be noted that this work will not be re-taught in Form 5, but will be included in the final Pre-Q examination.
Course description/aims: The Form 5 Pre-Q Geography curriculum is divided into three themes, which are collectively designed to develop an understanding of both the natural and human environment:
- Population and Settlement: Examines why and how populations change and different settlement patterns form
- The Natural Environment: Examines a wide variety of processes shaping the landscape. These include tectonic processes, weathering, river, glacial and wind processes, coastal processes, climate and vegetation environments
- Development: Covers a range of topics from agricultural and industrial systems through to variations in economic development between countries
Geographic skills and various methods of depicting geographical information (e.g. topographic mapping, graphs, models etc) are also covered in the course.
Methods of assessment: School examinations:
- 1 x 1 hour examination – end of Term 1
- 1 x 2 hour examination – end of Term 2
- 1 x 3 hour examination – end of Term 4 (Pre-Q)
Continuation of subject: Cambridge courses are offered at Form 6 (AS) and Form 7 (A2) levels. Students who do not study Form 5 Pre-Q Geography can pick up the subject at AS level. Students should note that NCEA Geography courses are also offered at Forms 6 and 7.
Form 6 (NCEA Level 2):
Pre-requisites: Form 6 NCEA Geography extends upon the ideas and concepts developed in Form 5 Pre-Q NCEA Geography or Level 1 Humanities, but it can be picked up by students who did not study either of these Form 5 courses.
Course description/aims: Geography aims to develop an understanding of the environment as the home of people. This involves studying the characteristics and processes of both the Natural and Cultural environments of New Zealand and other parts of the world. The course also develops a wide range of thinking, practical, valuing and social skills.
- 2.1 – Demonstrate geographic understanding of a large natural environment (eg: Amazon Basin, South island High Country) [External]
- 2.2 – Demonstrate geographic understanding of an urban pattern [Internal]
- 2.3 – Demonstrate geographic understanding of differences in development [External]
- 2.4 – Apply geographic concepts and skills to demonstrate geographic understanding of a given environment [External]
- 2.5 – Conduct geographic research with guidance [Internal]
- 2.6 – Explain aspects of a contemporary New Zealand geographic issue [Internal]
- 2.7 – Explain aspects of a geographic topic at a global scale
Continuation of subject: NCEA Level 3 classes are offered at Form 7. Students who do not study Form 5 or Form 6 Geography can pick up the subject at Form 7. Cambridge qualifications are also offered at both the Form 6 Cambridge (AS) and Form 7 Cambridge (A2) Levels.
Form 6 (AS):
Pre-requisites: Form 6 Cambridge AS Geography builds upon the ideas and concepts developed in the Form 5 Pre-Q course, but can be picked up by students who did not study this course. Students should note that Form 6 Cambridge (AS) Geography is an academically rigorous course and is a significant step-up from the Form 5 Pre-Q course.
Students with a mark lower than 60% in the Pre-Q Examination should consult with Mr Maguire or Mr Paton. Students should only consider taking this subject if their marks and work ethic are very sound. The Department also offers a course in Form 6 NCEA Level 2
Course description/aims: The Form 6 Cambridge AS Geography curriculum is designed to develop an understanding of both the natural and human environments. Students are required to study three themes from the Physical Geography section and two from the Human Geography section.
Physical Geography themes:
- Hydrology and Fluvial Geomorphology: Examines the processes operating in river drainage systems and the various landforms created. Human interactions and modifications are also explored
- Rocks and Weathering: Looks at the different processes influencing, and responsible for, weathering and slope development. The nature of weathering processes in rocks of differing chemical composition and structure, and in different environments, are examined
- Atmosphere and Weather: Examines the energy flows that drive the earth’s weather and climate systems. Atmospheric moisture, precipitation, air stability and resulting weather phenomena are studied. The human impact, for example, global warming, greenhouse effect and urban heat islands is explored
Human Geography themes:
- Population Change: Looks at the components of population change, its management, and the relationships between population and resources
- Migration: Looks at migration as a component of population change – both internal and international
- Settlement Dynamics: Examines settlement hierarchies and the factors that affect them. Urban trends and issues in Lower Income Countries and Higher Income Countries are studied
Methods of assessment: The Cambridge AS Geography course is assessed by two 90 minute external examinations (one for the Physical Geography topics and one for the Human Geography topics). If a student continues with Geography at the Cambridge A2 Form 7 level, then the examinations sat at Cambridge AS Form 6 will contribute 50% of their final A Level mark.
Continuation of subject: Geography offers a Cambridge A2 level course in Form 7, which enables students to complete Cambridge A Levels in this subject.
Form 7 (NCEA Level 3):
Pre-requisites: Form 7 NCEA Geography extends upon the ideas and concepts developed in Form 5 and Form 6 NCEA Geography, but can be picked up by students who did not study the Form 5 or Form 6 course. Students should note that Cambridge qualifications are also offered in Form 6 Cambridge AS and Form 7 Cambridge A2 Geography.
Recommended achievement levels:
- Students averaging over 55% in Form 6 School Geography and/ or English examinations have an appropriate achievement level to study NCEA Level 3 Geography
- Students averaging 45- 55% in Form 6 School Geography and/ or English examinations may find NCEA Level 3 Geography difficult, especially if they did not take Geography in Forms 5 or 6
- Students averaging under 45% in Form 6 School Geography and/or English examinations are not recommended to take NCEA Level 3 Geography
Course description/aims: Geography aims to develop an understanding of the environment as the home of people. In Form 7, this involves studying a particular Natural environment within New Zealand, and an aspect of the cultural environment of New Zealand and another country. The course also develops a wide range of thinking, practical, valuing and social skills, and has a particular emphasis of the role played by Geography in planning and decision-making.
- 3.1 – Demonstrate understanding of how interacting processes shape a New Zealand geographic environment [External]
- 3.2 – Demonstrate understanding of how a cultural process shapes geographic environment(s) [External]
- 3.4 – Demonstrate understanding of a given environment(s) through the selection and application of geographic concepts and skills [External]
- 3.5 – Conduct geographic research with consultation [Internal]
- 3.6 – Analyse aspects of a contemporary geographic issue [Internal]
- 3.7 – Analyse aspects of a geographic topic at a global scale [Internal]
Continuation of subject: Geography is taught in both Arts and Science Faculties at Auckland University, as part of the School of Environment. Geography is also a valuable conjoint subject with Law, Commerce, Planning or Valuation degrees.
Form 7 (A2):
Pre-requisites: Form 7 Cambridge A2 Geography builds upon the ideas and concepts developed in the Form 6 Cambridge AS course.
- Students who gain an ‘A’ to a good ‘D’ grade in Cambridge AS Geography will be admitted to this course
- Students who gain a low ‘D’ grade in Cambridge AS Geography must consult with the Head of Geography to gain entry into this course
- Students who gain an ‘E’ grade or ungraded result in Cambridge AS Geography will not be able to enter this course.
Course description/aims: The Cambridge A2 Geography curriculum is designed to develop an understanding of both the natural and human environments. Students are required to select two options from the Physical Geography section and two from the Human Geography section
Physical Geography options:
- Tropical Environments: climates, ecosystems, landforms, sustainable management
- Coastal Environments: wave and marine processes, coastal landforms, coral reefs, sustainable management
- Hazardous Environments: crustal movements, mass movements, atmospheric disturbance, sustainable management
- Arid and Semi Arid Environments: distribution and characteristics, processes producing desert landforms, soils and vegetation, sustainable management
Human Geography options:
- Production, Location and Change: agricultural systems and food production, management of agricultural change, manufacturing and related service industry, management of industrial change
- Environmental Management sustainable energy supplies, management of energy supplies, environmental degradation, management
- Economic Transition: national development, globalisation, regional development, management
- Global Interdependence: international trade; international tourism
Methods of assessment: Students sit two examination papers totaling 3 hours – one paper covering the Physical Geography options and one covering the Human Geography options. Combined, these examinations make up 50% of the Cambridge A Level Geography qualification – the other 50% coming from the Cambridge AS Level examination sat in Form 6.
Continuation of subject: Geography is taught in both Arts and Science Faculties at Auckland University, and as part of the School of Environment. Geography is also a valuable conjoint subject with Law, Commerce, Planning or Valuation degrees.
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