New 13+ CE Publishing: Geography for Common Entrance
By John Widdowson
04 Feb

The ISEB Common Entrance Geography Specification is changing in September 2021 and so has our Geography for Common Entrance textbook. Our new edition is branded for both Common Entrance 13+ and Key Stage 3. The new specification develops elements of KS2 and KS3 of the Geography National Curriculum within the familiar framework of physical, human and environmental themes.

In line with the new specification, the new book includes:

  • Three chapters with a Physical Geography focus – tectonics, meteorology and geomorphology
  • Two chapters with a Human Geography focus – demography and economy
  • A completely new chapter about environment, including local environments, national parks, global warming and pollution

Each chapter is brought to life with case studies from the UK and other parts of the world. The 13+ CE specification no longer requires rote learning of specific case studies. This has given us freedom to include new, up to date case studies to capture students’ imaginations and to deepen their understanding of Geography.

The underlying ethos of Common Entrance Geography is geographical enquiry. Students will largely be assessed on their ability to use geographical enquiry skills, ask geographical questions, analyse evidence, make decisions and evaluate. Geographical enquiry also lies at the heart of the new Geography for Common Entrance textbook. Each chapter opens with a Big Question that students will investigate through the chapter content and case studies. At the end of the chapter, they return to the Big Question and complete their enquiry with a substantive final task.

Other key features throughout the book include:

  • Keywords highlighted in bold. These include all the geographical words mentioned in the ISEB Common Entrance specification. The definition of each word is given in the glossary at the back of the book.
  • Activities on every spread to encourage students to interact with what they have read in order to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Your Challenge activities appear on most spreads to challenge more able students, including those destined for the Common Academic Scholarship Exam (CASE). Some tasks take them beyond the book to do extra research.
  • Ordnance Survey maps are frequently used, giving students opportunities to develop their map reading skills.
  • Test Yourself pages at the end of each chapter allow students to revise and test themselves in preparation for their Geography Common Entrance exam.

This new edition of Geography for Common Entrance was written during the Covid-19 pandemic, at a time when many schools were closed and students were learning online. Never has a Geography textbook needed to respond so swiftly to a changing world! Indeed, the world we find when eventually we come out of the pandemic may look rather different to the world we knew when we went into it. We have tried to reflect or anticipate some of these changes in the book but, no doubt there will be others. As geographers, we are used to responding to ‘breaking news’ events. They can help to engage students and develop their understanding. The questions they will inevitably ask could form the basis for further geographical enquiry. Geography never stands still!

John Widdowson is author of the new Common Entrance 13+ Geography for ISEB CE and KS3 series as well as other successful Geography for Common Entrance resources. Find out more about John here.

The new Common Entrance 13+ Geography for ISEB CE and KS3 Textbook and Textbook Answers will be publishing in Summer 2021. These new resources are for first teaching from September 2021 and for first examinations in November 2022. Learn more about our new Geography for Common Entrance series and pre-order the new resources here.

The new resources map to the new ISEB specification for Geography for Common Entrance at 13+. Find out more about the new specification and its aims here.

Tags: 13+, 13+ Common Entrance, Common Academic Scholarship Exams, Common Entrance, Entrance exams, Geography, Geography for Common Entrance, Independent School Examination Board, ISEB, John Widdowson, school entrance exams

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