Head of Department

Miss Heather Swales


  • Bachelor of Science in Geography and Geology
  • PGCE in Secondary Education and Geography

Pleckgate High School’s Geography Department is a thriving, dynamic environment with a clear aim to enthuse students about the world in which they live. We strive for excellence and aim to be outstanding, delivering quality teaching and learning at all levels to challenge student’s perception of the world around them.

Geography is about places, people and the environment.  Students develop a variety of investigative skills as they cover different countries, ecosystems and geographical processes at KS3  and explore these in greater depth at KS4.   When studying such a diverse subject, each term several strands of common learning are visited ; human geography (people in places), physical geography (natural processes and landscapes), locational knowledge, geographical skills and fieldwork and students are immersed in learning about the world around them through different topics.

Students develop their key knowledge and understanding through building on learning and thinking skills with recall and retention tests. New material is delivered through case studies and by wider reading. Several learning strands are interleaved throughout the curriculum to extend the breadth and depth of learning.

During years 7 and 8 students follow the National Curriculum, Geography at KS3, which covers a variety of topics including location of local, national and international places, such as Africa, China and Russia as well as climate change, population and international development.  We encourage students to develop their work outside the classroom by including field studies and use of globes, maps and atlases. We want students to develop an understanding and awareness of the many challenges facing our planet including climate change, population growth and sustainable energy.

Students in Years 9, 10 & 11 build on the skills and learning from Year 7 and 8 and follow the Edexcel syllabus A GCSE specification. Focus is placed on the physical environment, the human environment as well as geographical investigations and UK challenges.  In Year 10, students participate in field trips in contrasting rural and urban environments.  This enables students to gain practical experience of both environments as well as developing skills such as data handling and evaluation.

Please note, every subject exercise book your child has contains a subject ‘Pleckgate Learning Journey’ that outlines the content covered, timelines and assessment points for the current year.

Miss H Swales

The Community of Pleckgate has a local secondary school it can be proud of. It provides an excellent education for all its pupils. They flourish in a bright, positive and secure environment”

Ofsted 2019

Ofsted Outstanding Provider