As we continue our work exploring the skills we will need for the future, we asked Whitchurch High School student, Maddie Emery, about her favourite school topic and why it’s important to her. As Maddie makes important decisions around university courses and writes her personal statement, we asked her to share her thoughts on what she wants to study in the future and why…

Maddie Emery

Geography: It’s Importance in Today’s World

When I get asked by my peers why I took Geography at GCSE and A-Level, I always respond with;why wouldn’t I?”  

Geography is the one subject in school that encompasses every element of discussion in our modern, ever-changing world. Whether you enjoy learning about tectonic movement, migration or the history of our planet, Geography can cover it all.  

Throughout my school career, I have heard the same old jokes told about Geography. Some key ones that stand out are: “All you do is colour in!” and “We don’t need to learn how to read a map. That’s what Satnavs are for!” But that isn’t what Geography is truly about. This subject is so much more than the basic map skills you learn in year 7; it is our future, our present and our past.  

Without Geography, how are we meant to understand the complexities of our world and the people who inhabit it? Without Geography, how will you learn to understand why we have refugee crises, or why natural hazard are becoming a more frequent occurrence, or even why the two are linked?  

You may learn about governance in politics lessons, or ecosystems in biology, but in Geography you have the rare chance to learn about the governance of ecosystems and how that affects the geopolitical climate we live in.  

I’ve been told time and time again that Geography is losing its relevance in today’s society and that I should plan for my future and focus my studies to fit a specific career plan. However, there are so many aspects to Geography, who is to say I can’t fit my career plan to my studies?  

We are told to start planning for our futures as early as we can when we pick our GCSEs. I for one, had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I was 14. By picking Geography, I knew I was keeping my options open because the sky is the limit in this subject – literally.  

I believe that Geography is key to the positive development of future generations because we are the ones who are rewriting it. The constant changing nature of the geography of our world means it is vital that we understand how and why the world is developing the way it is so that we have a better chance of making an impact.  

It is vital to study Geography in order to understand the past and how geography has played an important role in the evolution of places, environments, people and their ideas. It is therefore the key to understanding possible future patterns 

The knowledge and skills learnt in Geography are the answer to improving our world, whether that is through environmental action; or social understanding; or by contributing to action that helps fix the many concerns we have about our planet’s uncertain future.  

Geographers are critical thinkers, problem solvers and have the skills to address to many of life’s biggest questions. You can’t avoid it – Geography infiltrates every aspect of our lives!