Geography at Madras is delivered by two enthusiastic and experienced subject specialists. All levels, from S1 to Advanced Higher, are taught with appropriate resources and experiences and contribute to a broad general education, and has always been, but is now increasingly, at the centre of the understanding not only of major global issues such as global warming, conservation, international population movements, globalisation and sustainability, but also of local issues such as urban growth and land use conflict - to name but a few.
Geography also contributes to the essential skills of literacy, numeracy, problem-solving and critical thinking, and increasingly to the use of information and communications technology. We take on this remit with commitment and purpose as we understand the importance of such an integral part of our pupils' education, and we work with many other departments to produce comprehensive and integrated courses. Such liaison will continue with 'Curriculum for Excellence' and we are in a unique position in that we sit astride the traditional 'arts' and 'sciences' and can contribute to wider education and allow pathways to an incredible variety of career opportunities.
What is Geography - and why choose it?
Geography is the study of people and places. It describes and explains where people live and what they do. Geography is everywhere, and pupils learn from the local environment to the global environment. By studying the physical features which make up our landscapes, such as mountains, rivers, seas, deserts, glaciers and volcanoes, we can understand the way landscape was formed and continues to change. We can understand that landscapes are always evolving - from the geological timescale to the present, from 'dynamic earth' to current human urban and rural landscapes. We study disasters and, more importantly, how we might cope with them. We study urbanization, and we study development and aid. Geography provides us with a knowledge and understanding of other people and how they live and in this way it forms the basis of good citizenship through tolerance and concern for others.
Through the skills and knowledge described, Geography provides pupils with abilities which make them very attractive to employers. Careers in Administration and Management, Government and Public Services, the Leisure, Recreation and Travel Industries, Environmental Management, and Information Services are all areas where such attributes are required - and of course, the traditional areas of Education and Research in such subjects as Physical, Human and Environmental Geography and Geoscience, Cartography, Meteorology, Planning, Outdoor Education and Teaching and Lecturing, are all areas where Geography graduates are sought. Many of our former pupils are now in these areas.
Geography not only has an intrinsic value but makes a major contribution to the wider curriculum. Our methods of inclusive learning, our participation in lots of fieldwork (see Fieldwork page), our contribution to literacy, numeracy, thinking and ICT skills, citizenship and sustainable development put the subject right at the heart of the rationale behind 'Curriculum or Excellence' which we will be developing over the next few years. The four capacities detailing the purpose of Curriculum for Excellence, where pupils are expected to become effective contributors, confident individuals, successful learners and responsible citizens, could have been written with Geography in mind!
Explore the links on the left of this page to see how we deliver the Geography curriculum to all stages in the secondary school.