Cullybackey College Crest
  • Principal:
  • Mr D Donaldson
  • B.Ed., M.Ed., P.Q.H.

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School Report

Curriculum Mapping



Geography is a subject that, by its very nature, inspires children to become active and independent learners. We aim to promote pupils curiosity and learning through first hand experience and involvement, wherever possible.

Geography encourages young people to ask questions and to find answers, to form opinions and develop new skills. It enables them to become aware of why the world around them is as it is, and to understand and value their part in it.

Year 8

What is Geography? – Find out why Geography is such an important subject and how we can be better geographers.
Map Skills – Students learn how to accurately read and interpret Ordnance Survey maps and develop the skills to understand the information about a landscape from a map.
Earthquakes and Volcanoes – Learn about Slemish Mountain, the Noah Pod and the tallest mountain on the planet.
Settlements – We will carry out an investigation of the reasons why Cullybackey village is located on the site that it is.

Year 9

Map Skills – Students will add new skills to those developed in Year 8 with the aim of further developing their confidence.
Weather and Climate – Why does it always rain in Northern Ireland? What is lightening? This topic seeks to answer questions like that, and many others.
Ecosystems – We look at why different plants and animals are only found in certain places e.g. why do polar bears only live at the North Pole? We study insect eating plants in the Rainforest and learn how to make snake pie in the Sahara desert?
Population – Earth's population is currently more than 7 billion, we will try to understand why populations rise and fall, and also what governments are doing to affect the number of people in their country by learning about China's One Child Policy.

Year 10

Rivers and Coasts – How can you tell if the ocean is friendly? Ask your geography teacher to find out.
Map Skills – This year we learn how to measure distances on OS maps as well as practicing all of the other skills already learned in previous years.
Big Miracle – Pupils carry out a research project investigating the role of the media when it comes to influencing public opinion about environmental issues.
Development – We will try to understand why some countries are wealthy whilst others are so poor, and we'll look at what we can do about this difference. As part of this we will investigate whether Fair-trade and Aid are helping to improve the lives of people in poorer countries.
Climate Change – This topic will coincide with Climate Change week (3rd – 9th March 2014) involving a number activities occurring around the school encouraging Year 10 to use the knowledge they have learned in the Geography classroom about how human activity may be altering our global climate.

Year 11 and 12

We follow the CCEA Geography specification.
In Year 11 pupils study:

  • The Dynamic Landscape (Rivers and Coasts)
  • Our Changing Weather and Climate)
  • The Restless Earth (Earthquakes and Volcanoes)

Students sit a modular exam on all three units at the end of Year 11.

Pupils also complete the data collection of their fieldwork studying the changes occurring along the course of the Curly Burn river (Thursday 27th February 2014 at Magilligan Field Centre).

In Year 12 pupils begin by completing the Controlled Assessment Task using the data they collected about the changes along the Curly Burn River. This piece of work is worth 25% of the overall GCSE grade. Then we study the final 3 units:

  • People and Where They Live
  • Contrasts in World Development
  • Managing Our Resources

Students sit the exam on these 3 units at the end of Year 12.

Year 13 and 14

We follow the CCEA Geography specification.

At AS we study the topics of:

  • Fluvial Environments (Rivers)
  • Ecosystems
  • Atmospheres (Weather and Climate)

Students also participate in the collection of data regarding changes through a sand dune system. This year the trip will take place on Wednesday 13th November 2013.

We then study:

  • Population
  • Urban and Rural Environments
  • Geographical Skills and Techniques

At A2 level we study:

  • The Nuclear Debate – we also complete a piece of data collection in Ballymena concerning the general publics attitude to the use of Nuclear Energy.
  • Impacts of Population Change
  • Planning for Sustainable Settlements

Followed by:

  • Nature and Sustainability of Tropical Ecosystems
  • The Dynamic Earth (Earthquakes and Volcanoes)
  • Decision-Making task