NCEA Level 1 Geography

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Ms D. Lee.

"The study of geography is about more than just memorizing places on a map. It's about understanding the complexity of our world, appreciating the diversity of cultures that exists across continents. And in the end, it's about using all that knowledge to help bridge divides and bring people together".  Barack Obama

"What is where, why there, and why care?"

The statement above incorporates all essential elements recognised as being fundamental to geography. 

Geography is the dynamic science of place and space, offering profound insights into the intricate connections between humanity and the environment. Within a geographic context, "space" refers to distinct portions of Earth's surface. Location, place, area, region, territory, distribution, and pattern are all closely linked spatial concepts. The COVID-19 pandemic vividly showcased the power and critical importance of geography. Through iconic map-based dashboards, it revealed that geography, encompassing location, provides the framework necessary to comprehend our complex world.

This course empowers you to adopt an informed and analytical perspective on our ever-changing planet and your role within it. By appreciating the relevance of geography, you will recognise its widespread presence in current events. From watching the news, you will grasp that nearly every issue intertwines with geography in some manner. Geography lies at the heart of crucial contemporary debates. For instance, when examining climate change through a geographic lens, you will explore the physical factors driving the problem alongside the cultural factors shaping human responses.

One of the remarkable aspects of geography is its cross-disciplinary nature. It not only opens doors to a diverse range of career opportunities but also cultivates a set of highly transferable skills. Throughout this course, you will develop your capacity for inquiry, collaboration, problem-solving, decision-making, critical evaluation, and digital literacy. Additionally, you will have the chance to apply your learning beyond the classroom, engaging in authentic experiences such as fieldwork. These opportunities will deepen your skill set and expand your horizons for future career paths.

The essence of this subject is all about a sustainable future, and therefore, much of the course is underpinned by the United Nations sustainable development goals.

Topics in Year 11 include the following:

• IN2 Geography - Location creates the essential context, no matter the topic. Gain a solid foundation in geographic concepts while making connections to real-world examples, such as the globalisation of fashion, global warming issues, and fresh water quality. Examine the geology of the Port Hills and observe dynamic changing landscapes in our local area. Experience an immersive field trip to destinations like the Port Hills, Lyttelton, and Corsair Bay.

• Nature's Fury -  "While natural disasters capture headlines and national attention short-term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long-term". Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Compare geological hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis) and hydro-meteorological hazards (cyclones and floods) in both local and international settings. Analyse location, scale, frequency, sequence, and magnitude of these events. Explore the natural processes underlying extreme natural events and their impacts on the physical and natural environment. Investigate case studies to understand responses, rehabilitation, and resilience. Engage in a field trip to Quake City and a walking tour of the Christchurch CBD to examine post-quake changes.

• Food Futures - “Fights over food and water are going to be the most significant direct impacts of climate change in the next five to ten years.” Jim Yong Kim - World Bank. Delve into the future of food and its global implications. With the world population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, explore the spatial distribution of food resources, examining natural and cultural factors influencing these patterns. Investigate national and regional food production and distribution in New Zealand, acknowledging customary resource management and culturally significant food sources. Recognise disparities in food production, consumption, and distribution, including issues of malnutrition, obesity, food waste, and changing food trends such as factory farming, genetic modification, organic food, fast food, plant-based diets, conscious consumerism, and food ethics.

Location, Location, Location - “First we shape the cities – then they shape us.” Jan Gehl - Urban Visionary.  Study the process of global urbanisation in various contexts, such as Christchurch, Auckland, Melbourne, Dubai, London, New York, Detroit, Singapore, Venice, Copenhagen, and Cape Town. Examine patterns, causes, and demands of urban growth. Explore topics like migration to cities, push and pull factors, urban sprawl, slum development, and forced changes. Inquire about the future of cities, including megacities, urban renewal, sustainable city design trends, and challenges related to environmental and geopolitical issues.

• Population Dynamics -  Why are females living for longer than males in every country? Learn about the fascinating world of population geography, including population distribution and density, composition, migration, mobility, change over time, and sustainability. Investigate global connections and ageing population issues, drawing inspiration from innovative approaches used in countries like Finland and Japan, such as remote care revolution, virtual visits, and rent-a-family. Apply future-thinking and problem-solving to New Zealand's ageing population issue, considering different perspectives. Conduct research on life expectancy statistics and changes over time through visiting a local cemetery. Reflect on the significance of overpopulation and its consequences.

• ICT Geography - Unlocking Location Data. Harness the power of geospatial technologies to gather location information, providing insights into a wide range of issues. Utilise subject-specific applications like GIS (Geographic Information Systems), GPS technology, Google Earth Pro, Drone UAV technology, Google My Maps, satellite images, and data recording techniques during fieldwork, enabling data-driven analysis, predictions, and decision-making.

Geography at the movies - Applying Geographic Perspectives. Explore the intersection of geography and cinema, examining films through a geographic lens to gain unique perspectives on the world around us.



Recommended Prior Learning

NIL - A strong interest in learning about people and the environment; identifying issues and being solution focused is desirable.

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

In addition to stationery, there will be travel expenses for practical field studies of approximately $65. In 2024 there are likely to be field trips to the Port Hills, ChCh CBD tour and Quake City, and Waimairi Cemetery. Students also require a write-on skills text at a cost of approximately $25.

This course will have an online learning component that would suit Bring Your Own Device - students bringing a netbook or laptop to class.


Career Pathways

Assessment Information

1.2: Internal assessment - project based and completed in school. (marked internally)
1.3: External assessment - report based and completed in school. (marked externally)
1.4: External assessment - a one hour resource based examination. You are provided with the resources to work on and prepare in class prior to the assessment to get familiar with the location/setting - this resource is then used in the digital examination. (marked externally)

In 2024 and 2025 - Level One Geography standards can be used to achieve the required NCEA co-requisites in Literacy and Numeracy.
Literacy: 1.3 and 1.4
Numeracy: 1.2

Credit Information

You will be assessed in this course through all or a selection of the standards listed below.

Total Credits Available: 15 credits.
Externally Assessed Credits: 10 credits.
Internally Assessed Credits: 5 credits.

Internal or
L1 Literacy Credits
UE Literacy Credits
Numeracy Credits
A.S. 91933 v3
Geography 1.2 - Explore an environment using data
Level: 1
Internal or External: Internal
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: 0
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: Y
A.S. 91934 v3
Geography 1.3 - Demonstrate understanding of how natural processes shape an environment
Level: 1
Internal or External: External
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: 0
A.S. 91935 v3
Geography 1.4 - Demonstrate understanding of decision-making in response to a geographic challenge in the wider Pacific region
Level: 1
Internal or External: External
Credits: 5
Level 1 Literacy Credits: Y
University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Numeracy Credits: 0
Credit Summary
Total Credits: 15
Total Level 1 Literacy Credits: 10
Total University Entrance Literacy Credits: 0
Total Numeracy Credits: 5