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The study of Geography involves grasping an ever-changing world in an integrated way. It means getting to the heart of environmental and human problems from a local to a global scale. It encompasses themes vital to today's world: the working of the Earth's natural systems, the increasingly problematic interaction between people and the physical environment, nature of human social organisation with all its inequalities, the development gap and the role of economic and political power on regional and global decision making.

Studying Geography gives you skills for life, whatever career you opt for later. You will learn to identify problems, analyse data and suggest solutions. In today's `information age', the ability to sieve large quantities of information, selecting the salient points quickly and critically, is highly valued.

The aim of the Geography curriculum at St Catherine’s is to educate pupils of their role as global citizens, to explore their values and responsibilities to other people, the environment and the sustainability of the planet. It is interesting, challenging, and progressive and covers a broad range of contemporary issues such as the Geography of Disease, Energy Conflict and Climate Change.

Pupils are encouraged to think and study independently through field work enquiry, decision making, debate and research in order to understand the complexity of the problems we face in the century.

Geography Department Staff

We are a kind and caring department and always have the pupils' best interests at heart. We are approachable and you will always find one or the other of us in room 1 giving help and advice to our pupils; so do pop in and say "hello". We are committed to helping all the girls we teach to enjoy Geography and to achieve their best. 

  • Mrs Sophie Mackness - Head of Department
    Sophie Mackness joined St Catherine's in 2001. She studied Environmental Science at university as she wanted to continue studying some Biology as well as Geography. Her main interest at University was Glacial and Periglacial Environments and Fluvial Processes although she has since developed a keen interest in Geopolitics and has enjoyed teaching this dynamic part of the A2 course. She enjoys creating practical geographical enquiries and encouraging pupils to plan their own fieldwork investigations. She has led trips to The Isle of Wight, Devon, Dorset, West Wittering, Box Hill, London Docklands, Guildford and Godalming, as well as tours to Iceland. She is known for regularly evaluating and changing the Geography schemes of work, ensuring they relate to the latest geographical research and current issues in the news. Her husband and two little boys are also keen geographers and have been on many fieldtrip reconnaissance visits. She enjoys gardening, hiking, eating out in restaurants, cooking, travelling and reading.
  • Mrs Amanda White
    Amanda White joined St Catherine’s in 2000, working part-time in the Geography Department. She has always loved Geography and from a very young age it was her ambition to be a teacher. She relishes teaching such a dynamic subject and particularly enjoys teaching the Pollution and Human Health at Risk, research topic at A2 which requires extensive wider reading. She has run a wide variety of trips and always enjoys getting the girls to experience Geography in the great outdoors; although she is not so sure they enjoy her early morning singing on residential trips! In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and they can often be found at the local sailing club. She also plays stoolball for her local team.
  • Mr James Reed
    James joined St. Catherines in 2018. He studied Environmental Engineering and Resource Management at The University of Nottingham. After spending 7 years as a computer programmer he decided to travel the world for a year, upon his return he decided to share his passion for the natural world through teaching. James really enjoys teaching the Globalisation topic and is also very keen on weather as both topics encourage students to look outwards at the world which is ever changing. Like all good geographers he really enjoys learning beyond the classroom and is a veteran of more field trips than he cares to remember. James’s spare time is spent with his wife and three children and treading the boards each year in a local pantomime.