Our aim is to instruct our students so that they develop an appreciation for the world around them. As the future generation, students in Belvedere College are encouraged to become stewards of the Earth where sustainability is a central core of their lives.
Shane Moran (Dept. Head)
All staff meet on a regular basis where there is a collaborative approach to planning, learning, teaching and assessment. The Department has an agreed programme for each year. Each teacher follows a set plan where Units of Learning are followed from the Specifications set by the NCCA. At Christmas and summer, each student within a year group receives a common paper. This allows us to get an overall picture of the year itself.
The Geography Department follows the prescribed curriculum which has been set by the NCCA. All Junior Cycle students study a Common Level course. Each student follows our Transition Year programme. In Poetry and Rhetoric (5th and 6th year), Geography is an optional subject and our students sit the Leaving Certificate at both Higher and Ordinary Level. All of our classes are mixed ability.
At Junior Cycle level, all of our students follow the DES Junior Cycle course. The Specification can be viewed here
Primary Economic Activites
Volcanoes and Earthquakes
Secondary Economic Activites
Rivers, Seas and Glaciation
Teritary Economic Activites
Maps and Aerial Photographs
In Syntax (Transition Year) students follow a course prescribed by their teacher. An example of such would be Reconciling with Creation: Transport and Climate Change. The course is a ½ year course. Students study the causes, effects and solutions to transportation. They undertake actions where students are surveyed and a fieldtrip is undertaken. The information from the survey and fieldtrip will be sent to policy makers. The aim of the course is to give students a full understanding of transportation and the tools where they become agents of change rather than passive observers
In Poetry and Rhetoric (5th and 6th year) we also follow the DES course. The course outline for Leaving Cert Geography can be viewed here
Under the Leaving Cert programme, students are required to submit a fieldtrip for examination that is worth 20% of the final exam. This is a great opportunity for students to get a hands-on approach to Geography. This year Rhetoric students travelled to Arklow, Co. Wicklow or Portmarnock, Co. Dublin.
The department has is one of the largest and most successful option subjects for the Leaving Cert. Working with the senior school management team, we endeavour to maintain small classes at Leaving Cert level. We believe that this maintains a good working environment within the class group.
IT and Geography
The College continues to invest in the department in terms of access to IT, up-to-date maps and GIS/ICT programmes.
We use a 24/7 managed learning environment called “Edmodo” This enables students to follow our course notes, receive news of events and participate in discussion forums. Microsoft Teams is also used where appropriate.
There are several books in the college library and periodicals are frequently bought. We find the internet to be a great potential for students and students are encouraged to use it for research. With such a vast range of resources available, we feel that this can make Geography much more ‘alive’ to students
Junior Cycle Geography
In September 2018 Geography began the new Junior Cycle. This is a new programme for junior students to follow where students are encouraged to develop a number of Key Skills, Statements of Learning and Wellbeing Indicators by the study of Geography. To learn more about the Junior Cycle, click here
Students will have three classes per week of Geography. The subject will be a Common Level exam which will be 2 hours long. Along with the written paper at the end of 3rd year, students complete two Classroom-based Assessments (CBAs). CBA 1 is completed near the end of 2nd year where students will complete a presentation called ‘Geography in the News’. CBA 2 is completed close to Christmas of 3rd year where students complete a fieldtrip called ‘My Geography’. This will be a study in the local area. The CBA descriptors (results) are recorded on students Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA). Immediately after CBA 2, students write an Assessment Task (AT) where they reflect on their learning on CBA 2. The AT is submitted to the State Examinations Commission for correction. The AT is worth 10% of the final Junior Cycle exam for Geography. The written exam and AT are then recorded on the JCPA together to give the final descriptor for Geography.
Changes to State Exams 2022 cohort only
Due to the disruption to learning and teaching caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the NCCA has readjusted the Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate Examinations for 2022.
At Junior Cycle, students will not be required to complete CBA 2 or the Assessment Task. Students in the 2022 cohort have already completed CBA 1 in 2nd year. At the time of writing, the terminal exam in June will remain at Common Level, covering all topics. This exam will be 2 hours long and will be run by the SEC.
Students sitting the Leaving Cert 2022 will have a slightly amended examination. Please follow media announcements on this amendment as they come out.
Please note that these changes are only for the 2022 State Exams. The changes do not apply for previous or future years.
Each year one Rhetoric student is award the Rhetoric Geography Award. For 2022, the award was presented to the student who scored the highest result in an examination. Conor O’Driscoll (OB’22) won the Geography Award 2022.
Shane Moran, Head of Geography