The Knights Templar School

The Knights Templar School

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How to Improve in Year 9 Geography

  1. Use your map skills effectively to deepen your geographical understanding, e.g. grid references.

What does this mean? ‘Map skills’ is an umbrella term for the skills required to interpret and use maps. These form an essential part of studying geography as maps are often used to show locations, patterns and distribution across space.

For example: 4-6 grid references, compass directions, longitude and latitude, scale, measuring distance and describing patterns and distributions are all examples of map skills required for all geographers.

  1. All work needs to be completed to be best of your ability to enable sufficient progress.

What does this mean? Your class teacher has noticed that some classwork/homework has been left unfinished. Your exercise book is an essential revision tool for end of topic and end of year tests so it’s essential that all work is completed to the best of your ability. If you have any questions about which pieces of work need finishing or how to finish work, you need to speak to your Geography teacher.

  1. Recognise and describe patterns and distributions from maps and graphs using data and evidence.

What does this mean? Thematic maps are a type of map designed to show a particular theme connected with a geographic area – choropleth maps are an example of thematic maps which show the distribution of something using different shades of the same colour.

For example: Students study a topic on Tectonics where they’re required to look at the severity of an earthquake in different parts of a country. It’s important that students use descriptive language to describe distribution, e.g. The most powerful part of the earthquake was located… With distance from the epicentre, the strength of the earthquake became…

  1. Use a range of geographical terms accurately to add detail to your writing.

What does this mean? It’s important that students use a range of geographical key terms to add detail to their writing as these terms add clarity and meaning to their work.

For example:

  • Instead of saying ‘when tectonic plates move away from each other’, students could say ‘constructive plate boundary’.
  • Instead of saying, ‘an effect on people’, students could say ‘social effect’.
  • Instead of saying, ‘when the earth is warming up’, students could say ‘global warming’.
  1. Describe how places, people and environments change over time.

What does this mean? Geography is the study of how places, people and environments change over time and students study this idea through a range of different topics including a unit on ‘Global Warming’ and ‘Plate Tectonics.’ Students need to be able to describe what changes are taking place over time.

For example:

  • As part of our global warming unit, students are required to describe how temperatures have changed over time, e.g. they could say that temperatures have generally increased but there have been fluctuations where the temperature has gone up and down.
  • As part of our tectonics unit, students are required to describe how earthquakes form, e.g. they could say that earthquakes occur on conservative plate boundaries where the plates are rubbing together.

    Please take a look at target 6 to see how these examples
    can be developed even further!

  1. Begin to explain (give reasons for) how places, people and environments change over time

What does this mean? Geography is the study of how places, people and environments change over time and students study this idea through a range of different topics including a unit on ‘Global Warming’ and ‘Plate Tectonics.’ Students need to be able to begin to explain what changes are taking place over time.

For example:

  • As part of our global warming unit, students are required to begin to explain how temperatures have changed over time, e.g. they could say that temperatures have generally increased but there have been fluctuations where the temperature has gone up and down. This is happening because of the industrial revolution where large amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
  • As part of our tectonics unit, students are required to begin to explain how earthquakes form, e.g. they could say that earthquakes occur on conservative plate boundaries where the plates are rubbing together. This happens because the tectonic plates are moving at slightly different speeds where they can get stuck, when the plates suddenly release it leads to an earthquake.

Please take a look at target 7 to see how these examples
can be developed even further!

7. Explain in detail how places, people and environments change over time.

What does this mean? Geography is the study of how places, people and environments change over time and students study this idea through a range of different topics including a unit on ‘Global Warming’ and ‘Plate Tectonics.’ Students need to be able to explain what changes are taking place over time.

For example:

  • As part of our global warming unit, students are required to explain how temperatures have changed over time, e.g. they could say that temperatures have generally increased but there have been fluctuations where the temperature has gone up and down. This is happening because of the industrial revolution where large amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases mean that the atmosphere becomes thicker and traps more heat leading to an increase in global temperatures. This is known as the enhanced greenhouse effect.
  • As part of our tectonics unit, students are required to explain how earthquakes form, e.g. they could say that earthquakes occur on conservative plate boundaries where the plates are rubbing together. This happens because the tectonic plates are moving at slightly different speeds where they can get stuck, when the plates suddenly release it leads to an earthquake. The plates move as a result of convection currents which is the result of heat rising and falling in the mantle.
  1. Improve your presentation of data, e.g. graphs need labelled axes and detailed titles.

What does this mean? Students are often asked to present data on a graph and it’s essential that these are printed clearly and accurately.

For example:

  1. Ask a range of useful geographical questions to push and extend your understanding.

What does this mean? The best geographers are inquisitive and ask questions to help further their understanding of geographical issues. The question words are a great place to start, e.g. What? Who? Where? When? Why? Which? How? Sometimes these questions will be easy to answer, e.g. what is a collision plate boundary? Whereas other questions are more complex to answer, e.g. why do the effects of earthquakes differ so much?

These questions can be asked verbally in lessons, as rhetorical questions in written work and researched independently outside of lesson time.

  1. Use independent research to extend your knowledge and to reach an informed opinion.

What does this mean? Geography is a dynamic subject which is always changing – whether it’s the formation of a new country, a volcanic eruption or the energy crisis! The best geographers will keep up to date with developments and bring this understanding into their classwork. Your Geography teacher will be thrilled to hear about any additional reading you have done.

If you would like some more subject specific articles, we have plenty of journals stored in the Geography office so come and speak to us.

For example: Watching the news is a great place to start! The BBC News website and National Geographic also provide a range of articles. You can search for relevant articles using the ‘search’ function on the websites.

BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news

National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/