National 4/5 Student Guide
The purpose of Geography is to develop your understanding of our changing world and its human and physical processes. Opportunities for practical activities, including fieldwork, will be encouraged so that you can interact with your environment and learn using relevant, real-life examples. Geography draws on both social and natural sciences with contexts for study which are local, national and international.
What Will I Be Learning?
The course is made up of three units:
- Physical Environments
- Human Environments
- Global Issues
In addition to this you will need to complete a piece of independent research which includes fieldwork. This work will be assessed and counts towards your final grade.
The topics you will study in physical environments are:
The topics you will study in human environments are:
Urban - Glasgow, Scotland and Mumbai, India
Rural - Great Plains, USA and Kerala, India
The topics you will study in global issues are:
Environmental Hazards Case Studies:
- Earthquake - Tohoku, Japan (2011)
- Volcano - Mt. St. Helens (1980)
- Tropical Storm - Typhoon Haiyan (2013)
Health Case Studies:
- Developing World - Cholera
- Developed World - Heart Disease
- Whole World - HIV/AIDS
We will be completing a number of fieldtrips to help give you a better understanding of what we have learnt in class. You will also use the information collected to complete a report that will be used to show that you have passed the criteria for the N4 Added Value Unit.
How Will I Be Assessed?
Progress will be monitored throughout and will take the form of formal written assessments, peer and self-assessments, presentations and creative writing tasks. Homework will be issued on a regular basis to extend learning beyond the classroom and enhance the activities that are completed in school. These will often take the form of past paper or exam style questions.
How Do I Pass Each Unit?
You will need to show that you meet the standards for the course. You will be given unit assessments that, if you answer well, will show that your work meets the ‘unit outcomes’ for each unit. You can find all of the unit outcomes at the end of this booklet.
How Do I Pass The Course?
National 4 pupils will need to pass all unit outcomes for each of the three units (Physical Environments, Human Environments and Global Issues) as well as completing an Added Value Unit which consists of a report on a piece of independent research. These will be assessed internally on a pass/fail basis.
National 5 pupils will need to pass all unit outcomes for each of the three units (Physical Environments, Human Environments and Global Issues) in addition to completing an Assignment which is a write-up of a piece of independent research, completed under exam conditions and assessed externally out of 20 marks. There will also be an external exam which is marked out of 80. The final award will therefore be marked out of a combined total of 100 marks and graded A-D.
National 5 Exam
The N5 exam is 2hr 20mins long and is marked out of 80. You will have 5 questions from the
Physical Environments unit, 4 questions from the Human Environments unit and 2 from the Global Issues unit. There will be an element of choice in the exam so you need to read the instructions very carefully. You will sit a prelim which will replicate the format of the final exam to help you.
National 5 Assignment
The other 20 marks that make up your total are for the assignment. This is a write up of your fieldwork which is completed under exam conditions during classtime. You will get 1hr to complete this.