Why study Geography?
Geography is a link subject bringing together aspects of many other subjects and putting them into context. It examines the interaction between humans and the environment, looking at contemporary issues such as global warming, famine and poverty. By examining the physical and human environments and, how they interact at local, national and global scales, we can better understand these issues.
The outdoor classroom and fieldtrips are a valuable resource for geographical study and are used extensively at Dollar Academy.
Form I consolidate the study of geology and landscape features in the first term with a trip to Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
Form III have a residential trip to limestone scenery of the Yorkshire Dales in Term 3.
The Higher Managing Environmental Resources (MER) class visit Loch Leven.
As well as a residential trip to Aberfeldy, the Advanced Higher Geography class undertake detailed fieldwork in the local area as a part of their own personal field study.
Form I and II have the opportunity of visiting the French and Swiss Alps to look at glaciation and the impact of human activity on the Alpine environment.
Form IV-VI may choose to visit South-West USA to look at the changing climate from San Francisco through Death Valley to The Grand Canyon and the case study of the Colorado River and Hoover Dam.
There is an emphasis on progression in the study of Geography from the Prep School, Junior School and all the way through to Form VI. Therefore skills developed using maps and graphs are built on in subsequent years. As well as this, Geography acts as a cross-curricular bridge linking many subjects and pupils make good use of transferable skills learned elsewhere in the school.
Forms I & II are used as an introduction to the subject covering the basics of many of the topics that pupils will go on to study in greater depth if they choose geography later in the school. The course incorporates the experiences and outcomes of a Curriculum for Excellence and builds on the skills covered in the Junior School. The physical topics covered in Form I covers topics on the physical landscape and earth forces as well as the geography of food and energy. Form II looks at population change and the geography of towns and cities as well as climatic regions in Africa and weather patterns. Assessment in Form I and II is a combination of traditional style tests and investigative presentations.
From session 2012/2013 Forms III & IV pupils will undertake the new National 5 qualification, bringing together the best of the old Intermediate 2 and Standard Grade courses. They will take many of the themes covered in Form I and II and examine them in greater detail. This course encourages a more rigorous understanding of our contemporary world. Pupils study three themes across the 2 years – the physical environment, the human environment and global issues. The latter looking at major contemporary issues like climate change and sustainability.
In Forms V & VI pupils can study Higher Geography and/or Higher Managing Environmental Resources (MER). In Form VI pupils can also progress on to the Advanced Higher Geography course or study aspects of Intermediate 2 Geology.
Higher Managing Environmental Resources (MER) provides a science-based preparation for those students going on to further study in science, applied science or land-based organisations. The aim of the course is to provide a balanced understanding of the environment from a national perspective through the study of natural resources, ecology and land use. Students will develop an awareness of the environment and the increasing complexities of environmental issues. These issues include biodiversity, sustainable development and environmental responsibility. An investigative approach is used to develop research using a variety of resources. This is enhanced throughout the year with site visits to specific organisations or projects, and by the expertise of visiting speakers.
Higher Geography is a natural extension of the work at Intermediate 2 and National 5 level. As well as a more detailed examination of physical and human topics, the environmental issues covered at Higher level are development and health and river basin management.
Advanced Higher Geography provides the opportunity for independent study from a geographical perspective. Three units are studied: Geographical methods and techniques, a fieldwork study and geographical issues, which develop critical thinking. The course is an excellent preparation for study at university.
Intermediate 2 Geology is offered to Form VI and is especially useful for those going on to study Earth Science. Three units are offered, either separately or building up into the whole course.
Rocks and minerals - identification, formation, structure and relationship.
Earth Physics and Earth Movements - plate tectonics and isostasy.
Earth History - fossils and stratigraphical relationships.