Geography: Skills for Discovery

Course Length: Full academic year (30 weeks)
This Year's ScheduleClick here to view

Aims of the Course

This course as well as our other geography offering, Exploring Environments, has been created by Sandra Bird to excite students about the world around them. Older students can jump straight into Skills for Discovery as Exploring Environments is not a pre-requisite for this course as its main focus is on the practical skills used by the geographer.  It's something she knows a lot about, having designed exams in the past for a UK national exam in geography.

Throughout the year, students will be looking at different maps, and learning how to read and interpret them. Alongside this, they'll be working on fieldwork skills: learning how to carry out a geographical investigation and how to process and interpret the results.

Texts include titles such as The World's Great River Journeys (Dalton and Stone) and Milner's Pinpoint.

Older students can jump straight into this course, Skills for Discovery. In other words, Exploring Environments is not a pre-requisite. Either one will serve US students for a high school credit under the umbrella of social sciences.

Homework Expectations

Each week, students complete a reading assignment, write a summary, and answer three questions based on the text. They also attend a one-hour webinar, where they'll look in more detail at some of the themes in the books. At this level, students either need to submit a fieldwork project or answer written questions to show that they have an understanding of fieldwork procedures. Papers also test data interpretation and map skills.

How It Supports Your Child's Education

This course serves as a high school credit in social studies for US-style, college-bound approaches. Under the UK system, Skills for Discovery is particularly useful for students hoping to sit an (I)GCSE in Geography.

Who Teaches Geography: Skills for Discovery?

Sandra Bird has a degree in Combined Science from Sheffield University and taught geography for a number of years before home educating her two daughters. She has 27 years of experience as a geography examiner, including being principal examiner for 15 of them. Her Blog About Britain project is a free resource for UK geography. Links to the 40 booklets of lessons and activities can be found by searching Blog About Britain on Facebook.
See all courses taught by Sandra