Geography has never been more important than it is now. Humans have never been more interconnected, and we have never known so much about the natural world, its biodiversity and the consequences of our actions on a dynamic biosphere. The integration of all these things is the essence of Geography.
At Caterham, we enthuse our students to have a curiosity about the world, about the problems we face and about how we can help solve these problems. This makes the study of Geography essential if we want to understand the place we live.
The department has enthusiastic, dedicated teachers who love the subject. Their great skill and dedication enable them to inspire their students with that same love. However, Geography cannot just be taught in the classroom – as it is about the wider world, we take opportunities for students to visit Box Hill, the Olympic Park, South Wales, Morocco and Iceland as well as our own woodland areas.
Outside the curriculum there is also a chance for the students to participate in the Geographical Society, where they can present and discuss a topic away from the syllabus. Most years we also run the Primary School ‘Geographical Quiz of the Year’ – a popular and entertaining look at the world with a competitive edge! We have also developed a partnership with Whyteleafe School where our Sixth Form deliver engaging lessons to their Year 5 classes.
Ultimately, we aim for Geography to be fun, engaging and interactive at all levels of the school. A large number of students go on to study Geography or Geography-related disciplines at University The breadth of knowledge, perspectives and skills that go into a geographical education are increasingly applicable in a complex and continuously evolving labour market and few subjects are as well regarded by employers.
At GCSE we follow the Edexcel iGCSE Specification, and at A level we follow the CIE International A Level Syllabus – please see links to these documents on the right of this page.
Stuart Terrell MPhil, PGCE, Head of Geography
Stuart Terrell is Head of Geography at Caterham School. Having graduated from the University of Birmingham with an honours degree in Geography and Sport and Recreation, he continued his studies with an MPhil in Environmental Management, researching the ways in which US and UK National Parks differ in their approach. He has a real enthusiasm for physical geography, in particular the study of Hazard Management and has enjoyed seeing this up close on numerous trips to Iceland. An experienced teacher, he is now also Team Leading examiner with Cambridge Examinations, a role that has enabled him to give students real insight into exams. Stuart also enjoys travel, playing and coaching hockey, and music.
Vanessa Mesher MA (Cantab), PGCE, Teacher of Geography, Assistant Head of Fifth Year
Vanessa Mesher studied Geography at Cambridge, specializing in Human Geography looking at the landscape and cultural history of places and how they came to take on their modern shape and function. Having worked in industry for 10 years she then returned to education and has been working at Caterham for a decade now, really enjoying the chance to share ideas and develop themes on a sense of place and cultural geography with pupils across the year groups. Pastoral care is also a big focus of her work here, and Vanessa is a Head of Year in Sixth Form where she really enjoys working with Sixth Formers, helping to deliver excellent pastoral care, wellbeing and academic support as face the challenges of A levels and University entrance.
Robert Mugridge BA, PGCE, Teacher of Geography, Head of Aldercombe House, Head of Senior School Hockey
Rebecca Wallace, MA, PGCE, Part Time Teacher of Geography
Rebecca Wallace studied geography at Oxford University but, having travelled extensively throughout East Africa as a child and in her teens, her love of geography grew from an early age. She specialised in urban studies and Southern African geography at university but has a keen interest in all aspects of geography particularly the complex interaction between humans and their environment and what this means for our future. This interest was fuelled by further travel and three years living in Brazil where she worked as an English teacher at a NGO in the favela Vidigal. She has continued to develop her geographical and educational knowledge through studying for a Masters in Town Planning and Conservation and a Masters in Geography Education. Rebecca is also a keen netballer with plenty of playing and coaching experience and helps to coach the senior teams at Caterham.
Alex Gillespie BA (Hons), Teacher of Geography, Resident Tutor Townsend HouseBack to Academic Departments