Geography Department Overview

Programmes Taught
First Year (Three Periods Per Week) Junior Certificate Course
Second Year (Three Periods Per Week) Junior Certificate Course
Third Year (Three Periods Per Week) Junior Certificate Course
Fifth Year (Five Periods Per Week) Leaving Certificate Course
Sixth Year (Five Periods Per Week) Leaving Certificate Course
Transition Year (3 Periods Per Week) Each Ty Group Rotates After 6 Weeks.
Tourism Ireland Programme
Shaping Of the Inishowen Landscape (or module presented by Teacher)
Leaving Certificate Course

Geography is concerned with the study of people and their environment. A study of Geography will help students develop an understanding of their physical and human surroundings. It examines the changing interrelationships between the physical and human worlds. Through their study of Geography, students will develop geographical skills that will help them make informed judgements about issues at local, national and international levels.

1. To impart the Junior Certificate and Senior Geography courses as prescribed by the Department of Education and Science. Teachers have access to Junior and Leaving Certificate syllabus.
2. To develop an understanding of a selection of contrasting physical and human (social, economic and cultural) environments and of the relationships that exist between them.
3. To promote an awareness of the spatial structural, and temporal patterns of environmental Phenomena, both physical and human, at a variety of scales and to realise that these patterns can change over time.
4. To understand the opportunities for, and challenges of global interdependence.
5. To promote the conservation and sustained management of the earth’s resources for the welfare and happiness of its inhabitants and for future generations.
6. To recognise and be sensitive to other people and their culture, here in Ireland and elsewhere.
7. To develop a variety of geographical skills which can be applied to the world of work and to many other aspects of life.
8. To develop and promote active citizenship and to encourage informed participation, through lifelong learning, in society at local, national, European and global levels.
9. To encourage the use of information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning of geography.
10. To assist students to become well informed and responsible citizens and to enable them to progress to further studies or to enter into the world of work.
11. To provide students, through their study of geography, with an interesting and enjoyable experience and imbue in them a lifelong love of their natural and cultural environment at local national and international levels.

1. Knowledge and understanding
Students should acquire knowledge and develop an understanding from a local, national and international perspective of
• basic spatial relationships
• physical and environmental phenomena and processes.
• social, cultural and economic phenomena and processes.
• the interaction and inter-relationships between physical, environmental, social, cultural and economic phenomena.
• the practical aspects of these different phenomena as they relate to the students local environment and community.

2. Course concepts
• location
• spatial distribution
• aerial association
• inter-relationship
• spatial interaction
• density
• pattern
• region
• change over time

3. Skills
• information gathering skills
Ø maps
Ø pie charts, bar graphs, line graphs, Diagrams and pictorial models.
Ø statistics
Ø photographs
Ø pictures and cartoons
Ø textual sources with geographical Terminology
Ø Information and communication Technology including computers, television, radio, GIS and satellite imagery
• Presentation and communication skills including presenting ideas in the form of maps, statistics, figures and in oral and written form.
• Investigative skills including a fieldwork project (senior) and a variety of other modes of investigation.
• Social skills including working in groups, following instructions, teamwork and co –operation and the use of verbal communication to find out, debate and pass on information.
• Evaluation skills including distinguishing fact from opinion, drawing conclusions, proving simple hypotheses, making informed judgements, suggesting sensible solutions to problems and suggesting realistic plans for action.

4. Attitudes
Students should be encouraged to develop positive attitudes towards themselves, others and their environment such as:
• A willingness to perceive and evaluate natural and cultural phenomena from the point of view of others
• An appreciation of social, cultural and environmental diversity
• An awareness of the dangers of all types of stereotyping and prejudice
• Sensitivity to the aesthetic quality of the natural and cultural environment, leading to their desire to maintain and enhance this quality.

The New Junior Cert Course
First years in Sept 2018 will be the first to undertake the new course. It will be examined as part of the New Junior cert in June 2021.

Statements of Learning
1 communicates effectively using a variety of means in a range of contexts in L1*
3 creates, appreciates and critically interprets a wide range of texts
5 has an awareness of personal values and an understanding of the process of moral decision making
6 appreciates and respects how diverse values, beliefs and traditions have contributed to the communities and culture in which she/he lives
7 values what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts
8 values local, national and international heritage, understands the importance of the relationship between past and current events and the forces that drive change
9 understands the origins and impacts of social, economic, and environmental aspects of the world around her/him
15 recognises the potential uses of mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding in all areas of learning
16 describes, illustrates, interprets, predicts and explains patterns and relationships
17 devises and evaluates strategies for investigating and solving problems using mathematical knowledge, reasoning and skills
18 observes and evaluates empirical events and processes and draws valid deductions and conclusions
19 values the role and contribution of science and technology to society, and their personal, social and global importance
23 brings an idea from conception to realisation
24 uses technology and digital media tools to learn, communicate, work and think collaboratively and creatively in a responsible and ethical manner

Key Skills
This key skill helps learners to understand themselves both as individuals and as learners so that they can develop personal goals and plans. It also helps them develop strategies to make considered decisions, to take action and to reflect on their progress.

This key skill recognises that learners’ overall wellbeing must be supported alongside their intellectual development. Being healthy, physically and emotionally, being socially active and being able to take care of oneself and of others helps learners become happy and confident. This key skill also helps young people become positive and engaged in their learning and supports them in the safe and ethical use of digital technology.

This skill helps learners develop good communication skills in all aspects of life, using a variety of media. As well as developing literacy skills it also develops learners’ confidence in communicating, expressing opinions, writing, making oral presentations and performing.

This skill enables learners to develop their imagination and creativity as they explore different ways of doing things and of thinking. Students learn to stay with challenges or tasks to completion and to learn from their experiences.

This skill helps learners develop good relationships and to appreciate the value of cooperating to reach both collective and personal goals. Students also learn to value diversity and to engage in collaborative work aimed at making the world a better place.

This key skill helps learners gradually improve their capacity to search for information from different sources. They also develop their skills in judging and discriminating between information types and sources and they develop strategies for organising information so that they can understand it and use it later. This skill also develops learners’ thinking skills
so that they can become more skilled in higher order reasoning and problem-solving.

Classroom-Based Assessments
Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) have been introduced to allow students to demonstrate their understanding of concepts and skills and their ability to apply them in ways that may not be possible in an externally assessed examination. They are used in the assessment of learning in subjects and in short courses. CBAs are assessed by the students’ teachers and reported on to students and parents/guardians during junior cycle and in the JCPA.
There is a need to avoid ‘over-assessment’ and to minimise the cumulative burden on students and teachers of multiple assessments across the full range of subjects. In this context, the Classroom-Based Assessments will substitute other assessments currently undertaken in the school such as in-house examinations (Christmas/end of term), as appropriate.

Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs) in Subjects
Students will undertake two Classroom-Based Assessments facilitated by their teacher, generally one in second year and one in third year. Classroom-Based Assessments in all subjects will be specified at a common level.

The assessments associated with CBAs will cover a broad range of activities, including oral tasks, written work of different types, practical or designing and making tasks, artistic performances, scientific experiments, projects or other suitable tasks, depending on the subject in question.
A small number of subjects, (Visual Art, Music, Home Economics and the Technology subjects) involve practical work, a performance, or the creation of an artefact which is currently marked by the SEC. These subjects will continue to have an external SEC assessment of the practical work, performance or artefact, together with the related accompanying written evidence, as appropriate. In these subjects the second CBA will be linked to the forthcoming practical work, performance or artefact. The formative assessment related to the production of these artefacts and performances will be reported upon to the student and parent/guardian by the school as for all other second Classroom-Based Assessments.
CBAs will be undertaken by students within class time to a national timetable. Details of the timetable along with assessment guidelines for each subject are available on
When assessing the level of student achievement in a Classroom-Based Assessment against the learning outcomes, teachers will use ‘on-balance’ judgement in relation to the Features of Quality, which are set out in four level descriptors:

Classroom Based Assessment Descriptors

  • Exceptional
  • Above Expectations
  • In Line with Expectations
  • Yet to Meet Expectations

The following table provides an explanation of the current and revised grading system for Junior Certificate / Junior Cycle subjects.
Junior Certificate Junior Cycle

  Junior Certificate Junior Cycle
Level Percentage Grade Descriptor Percentage Grade Descriptor
Higher, Ordinary, Foundation/ Ard, Gnath, Bonn ≥ 85 to 100 A ≥ 90 to 100 Distinction
≥ 70 and < 85 B ≥ 75 and < 90 Higher Merit
≥ 55 and < 70 C ≥ 55 and < 75 Merit
≥ 40 and < 55 D ≥ 40 and < 55 Achieved
≥ 25 and < 40 E ≥ 20 and < 40 Partially Achieved
≥ 10 and < 25 F ≥ 0 and < 20 Not Graded (NG)
≥ 0 and < 10 NG