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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Learning to Fly

These are the skills and habits which outstanding students of Geography develop. Do as many of these as possible to become completely independent in the subject and to develop the skills and knowledge needed to attain 8/9 at GCSE and A* at A Level. Remember that just doing what your teacher tells you - in your lessons and beyond - is not enough to develop your full potential in the subject.

In your lessons

  • Participate in lessons with specific questions and asking for help.
  • Engage in debate over controversial topics.
  • Listening to other students and the teacher, respecting the range of viewpoints on topics.
  • Thinking critically about your own work and finding ways to improve it.
  • Thinking about ways in which new knowledge you encounter in the lesson fits in with what you already know.

Between your lessons

  • Looking back over your notes and activities from the last lesson.
  • Reviewing the work of a lesson - making sure you know what you have or haven’t understood.
  • Use resources on Moodle to develop depth and breadth to your lesson notes and examination skills.
  • Use past questions, sample student answers and examiner reports to develop quality answers.
  • Use checklists to identify the context of learning particularly when applying case study knowledge to a question.
  • Making notes of any questions to ask your teachers or look up on Moodle.
  • Going to see your teacher to ask for clarification and guidance.

Beyond your lessons

  • Keeping up to date with Geographical news and current affairs.
  • Read a geographical book.
  • Keep up to date using Geographical magazines and periodicals.
  • Watching high quality documentaries and TED talks to enrich your learning.
  • Talking to your friends and family about what you have learnt.
  • Develop a sense of the ‘big picture’ by forming synoptic links between topics.
  • Keeping a glossary of key geographical terms.
  • Use days out and holidays to experience the wider world and apply lesson knowledge to help identify the Geography.

Of course we recognise that our students have busy lives and that this level of engagement is not always possible all the time - but this is what you should aim for if you want to reach the highest level in the subject. You don’t need to do ALL of these things to improve your Geography - just doing one or two of them will have an impact. Decide on two or three to focus on to improve your skills.